Linkage Projects 2018 Selection Report (as at 5 July 2019)
Linkage Projects 2018 Selection Report
for proposals submitted 20 December 2017 to 20 December 2018 (as at 5 July 2019)
The Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to Eligible Organisations to support research and development (R&D) projects which are collaborative between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system, which are undertaken to acquire new knowledge, and which involve risk or innovation.
The objectives of the Linkage Projects scheme are to:
- support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations, including industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, social or cultural benefits
- provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research
- encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system
- build the scale and focus of research in the national Science and Research Priorities.
This report outlines recommendations from the selection process for Linkage Projects 2018 proposals, which used a continuous submission and assessment process. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS). This report outlines recommendations from the selection process for that round.
These recommendations are based on advice from the ARC Selection Advisory Committees (SAC) which:
- assigned independent assessors to review the proposals
- assessed proposals and reviewed assessments made by independent assessors
- reviewed applicants’ comments on assessors’ reports
- ranked each proposal relative to the others on the basis of the proposal, the assessors’ reports and applicants’ responses to those assessments
- assessed and recommended budgets
and, advice from the ARC NCGP Eligibility Committee which:
- considered eligibility issues identified by ARC staff, the ARC SAC or independent assessors
- where required, sought advice from the ARC’s Medical Research Advisory Group
- made recommendations to the CEO in respect of ineligible proposals.
This report reflects the outcomes approved by the Minister. Unless otherwise specified, figures presented in this report exclude withdrawn proposals.
Selection criteria and corresponding weightings for Linkage Projects 2018 proposals are:
- Investigator(s) (25%)
- Project Quality and Innovation (25%)
- Feasibility (20%)
- Benefit (30%).
The ARC assessment process for Linkage Projects 2018 used a total of 74 SAC members across four discipline panels and was managed in the RMS. A total of 1757 independent assessors’ reports were submitted to the ARC for Linkage Projects 2018.
Funding levels and duration
Funding of between $50,000 and $300,000 per annum for up to five years may be awarded for each Linkage Projects proposal.
Summary of Outcomes
The ARC received a total of 448 proposals for Linkage Projects 2018, none of which were withdrawn. Of the unsuccessful proposals, 23 were found to not meet eligibility requirements.
The overall success rate for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2018 is 31.3 per cent, with a higher percentage of allocation of requested funds compared to Linkage Projects 2017. A comparison of success rates and funding amounts is shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funds for approved Linkage Projects proposals from 2017 and 2018
|Scheme Round||Proposals considered||Proposals approved||Success rate (%)||Requested funds over project life (all proposals)||Requested funds over project life (approved proposals)||Funds allocated over project life||Allocation as a percentage of request (%)|
Outcomes by discipline panels
A summary of outcome by discipline panel is shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Proposal numbers, success rates and requested and allocated funds for approved Linkage Projects 2018 proposals by discipline panel
|Panel*||Proposals considered||Proposals approved||Success rate (%)||Requested funds over project life (all proposals considered)||Requested funds over project life (approved proposals)||Approved funds over project life (approved proposals)||Allocation as a percentage of request (%)|
*BEM = Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Environmental, Medical and Health Sciences; ET = Engineering and Technology; HSE = Humanities and Creative Arts, Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences; PMI = Physical, Mathematical and Information Sciences
Outcomes by Science and Research Priorities
A summary of outcomes by Science and Research Priorities is shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Approved funding and success rate for Linkage Projects 2018 proposals by Science and Research Priority
|Priority area||Proposals considered||Proposals approved||Success rate (%)||Approved funds (over project life)|
|Soil and Water||23||11||47.8||$4,853,497|
|Total Proposals within Science and Research Priorities||338||104||30.8||$46,213,837|
|Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)||75.4||74.3||76.3|
Leverage of ARC Funding
Of the 448 proposals considered, 140 were approved with a total approved funding of $60.6 million over the life of these projects. There are 346 unique Partner Organisations involved with these projects and they have pledged a total (cash and in-kind) of $104.7 million. This represents $1.73 from Partner Organisations for every dollar funded by the ARC.
Outcomes by Administering Organisation
A summary of outcomes by Administering Organisation is shown in Table 4.
Table 4. Numbers of proposals, success rates, ARC approved funding and Partner Organisation contributions for approved Linkage Projects 2018 proposals by Administering Organisation
|Administering Organisation||Proposals considered||Proposals approved||Success rate (%)||ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)||Partner Organisation contributions (cash & in-kind) over project life (approved proposals)|
|Australian Capital Territory||17||6||35.3||$3,205,113||$4,462,570|
|The Australian National University||15||6||40.0||$3,205,113||$4,462,570|
|University of Canberra||2||0||0||-||-|
|New South Wales||151||42||27.8||$17,449,238||$28,107,992|
|Australian Catholic University||4||2||50.0||$829,167||$1,593,550|
|Southern Cross University||2||0||0||-||-|
|The University of New England||1||0||0||-||-|
|The University of New South Wales||60||16||26.7||$6,813,829||$12,803,717|
|The University of Newcastle||13||2||15.4||$703,527||$917,686|
|The University of Sydney||35||10||28.6||$4,716,402||$6,057,537|
|University of Technology Sydney||8||5||62.5||$1,945,701||$3,356,969|
|University of Wollongong||15||4||26.7||$1,482,727||$2,058,908|
|Western Sydney University||4||2||50.0||$485,250||$508,092|
|Central Queensland University||1||0||0||-||-|
|James Cook University||3||1||33.3||$394,015||*|
|Queensland University of Technology||22||7||31.8||$3,192,760||$5,614,016|
|The University of Queensland||40||15||37.5||$5,903,450||$12,649,029|
|University of the Sunshine Coast||2||0||0||-||-|
|The University of Adelaide||18||5||27.8||$2,092,291||$3,082,689|
|University of South Australia||6||2||33.3||$771,630||$1,251,393|
|University of Tasmania||3||1||33.3||$178,117||*|
|La Trobe University||6||1||16.7||$236,657||*|
|Swinburne University of Technology||9||6||66.7||$3,003,583||$5,066,122|
|The University of Melbourne||51||17||33.3||$7,573,417||$11,633,387|
|Edith Cowan University||1||0||0||-||-|
|The University of Western Australia||13||4||30.8||$2,064,081||$6,349,227|
* For confidentiality reasons, total contributions by Partner Organisations are not shown in instances in which Administering Organisations are associated with one approved proposal only. Table 4 total does, however, include the total contributions by Partner Organisations on approved Projects associated with those Administering Organisations.
Partner Organisations were identified as Australian, international, government, non-profit, industry or overseas higher education organisations. The Partner Organisation contributions in these categories for Linkage Projects 2018 proposals approved for funding are shown below in Table 5.
Table 5. Partner Organisation contributions by sector for approved Linkage Projects 2018 proposals
|Australian state, territory and local||$9,149,385||28.0||$21,419,394||29.7||$30,568,779||29.2|
Note: All percentages are shown using rounded figures, and as such may not sum to 100%.
Linkage Projects proposals represent partnerships between researchers, higher education organisations and other organisations, as well as collaborations between Partner Organisations within projects. There are a total of 380 instances of collaboration with Partner Organisations (including multiple collaborations with a number of organisations) in Linkage Projects 2018 giving an average of 2.71 Partner Organisations involved in each proposal. These partnerships form congruent and/or complementary linkages in Fields of Research (FoR). A summary of the FoR categories identified by applicants of approved proposals and the total Partner Organisation contributions are shown below in Table 6.
Table 6. Proposal data by Field of Research category for Linkage Projects 2018
|Field of Research category||Number of proposals approved #||Partner Organisation contributions (cash & in-kind) over project life (approved proposals)|
|Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences||5||$3,065,804|
|Information and Computing Sciences||10||$6,875,749|
|Medical and Health Sciences||4||$3,145,790|
|Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services||2||$2,299,696|
|Studies in Human Society||9||$4,741,164|
|Psychology and Cognitive Sciences||6||$4,261,227|
|Law and Legal Studies||1||*|
|Studies in Creative Arts and Writing||7||$5,484,323|
|Language, Communication and Culture||8||$2,917,312|
|History and Archaeology||4||$3,175,284|
|Philosophy and Religious Studies||1||*|
# Based on the primary FoR
* For confidentiality reasons, total contributions by Partner Organisations are not shown in instances in which FoR codes are associated with one approved proposal only. The Table 6 total does, however, include the total contributions by Partner Organisations on approved Projects associated with those FoR codes.
Age and Gender
A total of 2543 participants were named on all proposals considered in this round. Of these, 877 were female, 1660 were male and six have chosen to not specify their gender. Figure 1 shows the number and success rate of participants in the round by age and gender. The success rate for female and male participants in this round of Linkage Projects proposals is 29.4 per cent and 35.5 per cent respectively. A total of 292 of the proposals considered had a male lead CI, of which 94 were successful, representing a 32.2 per cent success rate. A total of 155 of the proposals considered had a female lead CI, of which 46 were successful, representing a 29.7 per cent success rate.
Figure 1. Participation and success rates by age and gender for Linkage Projects 2018
Among 448 of the proposals considered, applicants foreshadowed 419 instances of collaboration with researchers in 54 overseas locations. Of the proposals approved for funding, 80 foreshadowed 134 instances of collaboration with researchers in 28 overseas locations (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Instances of international collaboration on approved proposals in Linkage Projects 2018