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Peer review is central to the assessment of applications for ARC grants. The ARC engages both General and Detailed assessors to peer review applications.

General Assessors

Each grant scheme round has a Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) comprised of General assessors. General assessors are commonly distinguished academic researchers drawn from the ARC College of Experts (CoE). For some grant schemes the SAC will also include members from end-user communities such as industry specialists.

General assessors utilise knowledge of their disciplinary areas and a broad understanding of intellectual and methodological issues and good research planning.

Each application has a lead General assessor (known as Carriage 1) who is typically close to the academic field of the application, and one or more General assessors (known as Other Carriages) with supplementary expertise.

Selection Advisory Committee structure

SACs recommend to the ARC CEO which applications should be funded and how much funding successful applications should receive.

The size and structure of the SAC is influenced by the nature of the grant scheme and the volume of applications expected. For most schemes, the SAC will be divided into three, four or five broad disciplinary Panels.

For specialist and highly prestigious schemes such as Australian Laureate Fellowships, Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities, Discovery Indigenous, Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) and Centres of Excellence, the SAC consists of a single interdisciplinary panel.

Detailed Assessors

Detailed assessors are drawn from the ARC Assessor Community and are assigned applications  for their specific expertise in a field of research.  Information enabling Detailed assessors to be matched and aligned with applications is held within each individual’s RMS profiles.

Detailed assessors provide a written assessment and scores against the scheme selection criteria for each application to which they are assigned. These assessments are central to the considerations of the General assessors in determining which applications to support for funding.  

As a result of a Peer Review consultation paper conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC) in 2009, there is no longer any remuneration paid to detailed assessors for undertaking this work. At the ARC we understand that you would be inundated with requests from time to time, so please advise if you have the capacity to undertake this role for the ARC. 

Peer review flow chart

Peer review flow chart 2019

  • Step 1: General Assessors are assigned to applications
  • Step 2: Detailed assessors are assigned to applications by Carriage 1 General assessors or by the ARC Executive Directors dependent upon the scheme
  • Step 3: Detailed assessors provide comprehensive written assessments with scores against each selection criteria
  • Step 4: Applicants have the opportunity to submit a rejoinder to address the assessments provided by the Detailed assessors
  • Step 5: General assessors review the applications, assessments and rejoinders in addition to conferring with co-Carriages prior to submitting a final score for each application
  • Step 6: General assessors convene at a Selection Meeting to discuss and determine funding recommendations for submission to the ARC CEO
  • Step 7: The ARC CEO reviews the recommendations of the SAC and the statements addressing the National Interest Test for each application to determine final recommendations
  • Step 8:  The ARC CEO makes funding recommendations to the Minister for Education.  The Minister gives final approval and announces outcomes
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