It is a requirement of the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act) that entities bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) have a privacy policy. The APPs are set out in Schedule 1 of the Act.

This policy outlines the personal information handling practices at the Australian Research Council (ARC) and provides general information about the purposes for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. It applies to all individuals involved in ARC business. 


Personal Information

In this policy, personal information has the same meaning as defined in subsection 6(1) of the Act. 

“Personal information’ means information or an opinion about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

  • whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
  • whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.”

Sensitive information

In this policy, sensitive information (a subset of personal information) has the same meanings as defined in subsection 6(1) of the Act.

“Sensitive information means:

  • Information or an opinion about an individual’s:
    • racial or ethnic origin; or
    • political opinions; or
    • membership of a political organisation; or
    • religious beliefs or affiliations; or
    • philosophical beliefs; or
    • membership of a professional or trade association; or
    • membership of a trade union; or
    • sexual orientation or practices; or
    • criminal record;

that is also personal information; or

  • health information about an individual; or
  • genetic information about an individual that is not otherwise health information; or
  • biometric information about an individual that is not otherwise health information; or
  • biometric information that is to be used for the purpose of automated biometric verification or biometric identification, including biometric templates."

Collection of your personal information

The ARC collects personal and sensitive information directly from you or your authorised representative where the collection is necessary for its functions. For example, the ARC may collect this information when you are an employee or prospective employee of the ARC, when you apply for a research grant, or participate in peer review processes.

The ARC may also collect personal and sensitive information about you from a third party, such as from another Australian Government department, when an organisation participates in an ARC targeted or public consultation, or responds to a request for tender.

Some of the personal and sensitive information collected by the ARC may include:

  • title
  • name
  • date of birth
  • tax file number
  • curricula vitae
  • current employment and employment history
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • cultural background
  • disclosures of interest
  • research grant and research publication history
  • details of research misconduct or fraud
  • commercial in confidence information
  • Australian Business Number.

The ARC follows a competitive recruitment process resulting in the establishment of a merit list of suitable candidates for Commonwealth wide vacancies. Any candidates placed on a merit list may be contacted by another entity looking to fill a vacant position. The ARC will contact any candidates where a particular merit list is likely to be shared with another entity and provide candidates with the choice of ‘opting out’ of consideration by that entity.

Use and disclosure of your personal information

The ARC may disclose your personal information to third parties (including overseas recipients) for the purposes we collected it, for related purposes, or where you would reasonably expect us to disclose the personal information.

The ARC will not be taken to have breached its privacy obligations to the extent that personal information is disclosed:

  • by the ARC to its advisors (including Research Evaluation Committee members, ERA peer reviewers, and EI Assessment Panel members), officers, employers or other third parties in order to assess, evaluate or verify submissions to ERA and/or EI
  • to third parties to enable effective administration or auditing of the NCGP, ERA and/or EI
  • for a purpose directly related to the enforcement or investigation of a possible breach of any Commonwealth, State, Territory or local law
  • to the Minister and ministerial staff, or in response to a demand by a House or a Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament
  • within the ARC, or to another Commonwealth Department or entity, where this serves the Commonwealth’s legitimate interests
  • as authorised or required by law
  • in accordance with any other provisions of the Grant Guidelines or Grant Agreements, ERA Submission Guidelines or EI Submission Guidelines
  • that is in the public domain 
  • to comply with obligations or to exercise rights under the ARC Research Integrity Policy.

Access to ARC records and your personal information

Access to ARC records and to your personal and sensitive information is limited to those who have legislative or operational authority, including:

  • ARC staff; committee members and individuals involved in ARC peer review, ERA evaluations and EI assessments
  • members of the Australian Research Integrity Committee
  • other Australian Government agencies and legal oversight bodies where the personal information is required 
  • the ARC People and Services team.

When engaging with the ARC as a committee member, reviewer, researcher, advisor, or employee, the individual is responsible for reading and understanding this policy. 

Anonymity and pseudonymity

While you can ask the ARC to deal with you anonymously or pseudonymously, in most cases the ARC will require your contact details.

Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines

In accordance with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines, the name of grant recipients, the amount of the grant, the grant scheme and the recipient’s organisation is published.

ERA and EI Submission Guidelines

In accordance with the ERA Submission Guidelines, the ARC may publish select submitted data from ERA submissions. Such data may include, but is not limited to research output metadata (such as author names and research output titles) and FoR codes.

In accordance with the EI Submission Guidelines, the ARC may publish select submitted data from EI submissions. Such data may include engagement narratives and impact studies which may refer to individual researchers.

Storage and Security

The ARC takes the following steps to protect your personal information:

  • secure access to our premises
  • monitored system access
  • system access only through authenticated credentials
  • access to personal information is on a ‘need to know’ basis and only by authorised staff 
  • regular updating and auditing of our storage system.

In accordance with the Act and the Archives Act 1983, personal and sensitive information is destroyed in a secure manner, archived, or deleted when it is no longer required.

Accessing and correcting your personal information

Under the Act, you have a right to access or correct personal information about you held by the ARC. Please contact the ARC Privacy Officer on (02) 6287 6600 or via email to privacy@arc.gov.au.

Privacy complaints

If you wish to complain that the ARC has breached one of the APPs you can contact the ARC’s Privacy Officer on (02) 6287 6600 or via email to privacy@arc.gov.au.

The ARC will aim to respond to your complaint within 30 calendar days and provide you with a response in writing.

If you are not satisfied with the ARC’s response you may refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Contact details 

Australian Research Council 
Phone: 02 6287 6600 
Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place, Canberra Airport ACT 2609 
GPO Box 2702, Canberra ACT 2601