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Overview of ARC Funding Process

Grant Guidelines

Every scheme has Grant Guidelines— the legislative instrument describing the scheme objectives, assessment criteria, eligibility criteria and requirements for applications.  

The Grant Guidelines are developed in consultation with the research community and Eligible Organisations. 

Grant Guidelines are approved by the Minister for Education, on advice from the ARC. Approved Guidelines are published to GrantConnect.

Please visit the Grant Guidelines page for further information.


Guidance Material

In addition to Grant Guidelines for each scheme, the ARC provides a range of guidance material for applicants including Instructions to Applicants and Frequently Asked Questions.All supporting documentation is available with the Grant Opportunity published alongside the Grant Guidelines on the GrantConnect website. The documentation covers all aspects of the requirements for submitting an application, including instructions on using the ARC’s Research Management System (RMS).

Requests Not to Assess

Applicants may provide a written request to the ARC naming assessors they do not wish to assess their application. They can nominate up to three assessors per application without the need for justification unless the Request Not to Assess names a current ARC College of Experts member. Requests nominating an ARC College of Experts member must be accompanied by comprehensive evidence justifying the request.  

In extraordinary circumstances, the ARC may consider a request for more than three persons whom the Administering Organisation does not wish to assess an application only if direct and comprehensive evidence justifying the exclusion of each named person can be provided. The Administering Organisation must directly support the justification in writing, and provide appropriate justification and substantive evidence. However, if the ARC considers the evidence insufficient for one or more of the named people, the whole request may be denied. 

The ARC does not support removing leading researchers in the field from the assessment process unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated.

Please visit the Request Not to Assess process page for further information. 


To be considered for funding, applications must meet eligibility requirements specified in the scheme Grant Guidelines. Only the Eligible Organisations listed in the scheme Grant Guidelines may submit applications. Applications must also meet the format and submission requirements in the scheme ‘Instructions to Applicants’ document. Eligibility is determined by ARC staff and is an independent and parallel process to the assessment process undertaken by assessors.

Every application is checked by the ARC against the eligibility criteria set out in the relevant scheme Grant Guidelines. 

The NCGP Eligibility Committee considers all eligibility issues identified by ARC staff or assessors. If the Committee finds that the application is potentially ineligible, the Administering Organisation may be asked to provide further information to provide clarity on the issue.  Any information provided in relation to such a request must be consistent with the content of the original application. The Committee considers any further information provided by the Administering Organisation and an eligibility recommendation is made to the ARC CEO.

Possible eligibility issues identified by Detailed Assessors or General Assessors should be communicated separately and directly to the ARC as soon as possible by email to These issues are kept strictly separate from the assessment process and should not be commented upon within the assessment text.  

Please refer to the Eligibility matters page for further information.


The ARC Research Integrity and Research Misconduct policy is available on the ARC website. Research integrity issues that are brought to the ARC’s attention are reviewed by the ARC Research Integrity Committee. 

Possible research integrity issues identified by Detailed Assessors or General Assessors should be communicated directly to the ARC as soon as possible by email to These issues are kept strictly separate from the assessment process.

Further information on Research Integrity at the ARC can be found on the Research Integrity page.


Most ARC funding schemes involve Detailed and General Assessors in the peer review process.

General Assessors undertake an initial assessment of the applications against the scheme selection criteria. 

Meanwhile, Detailed Assessors provide scores and comments against the scheme specific assessment criteria for the applications to which they are assigned. Examples of the level of detail required from Detailed Assessors are available on the Assessor Resources page.

For most schemes, applicants are provided with the opportunity to respond to Detailed Assessor comments through the rejoinder process.

The General Assessors then take into account information in the Detailed assessments and rejoinder before submitting their final scores.

The Detailed and General assessment scores are used to formulate a ranked list of applications which is used as the basis of discussion at the scheme selection meeting.

You can find more detailed information about this process on the Peer Review Process page.   


At the selection meeting, the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC), made up of General Assessors, discusses the relative merits of applications. The SAC provides the ARC with recommendations as to which applications should be funded and the extent of funding for successful applications. 

You can find more detailed information about this process on the Peer Review Process page.

Approval of funding

ARC CEO’s recommendation

The ARC CEO considers the advice from the Selection Advisory Committee and the applicant’s response to the National Interest Test statement. The CEO will then make funding recommendations to the Minister for Education, who reviews and approves proposed expenditure.


Once the Minister has approved and announced the details of funded applications, the ARC will notify Administering Organisations of their application outcomes via their Research Office. Lead investigators are notified whether their application has been successful, unsuccessful or determined to be ineligible via the RMS.

At the conclusion of each cycle, a selection report is published on the ARC website providing an analysis of funding outcomes for the scheme round, and a list of successful applications.

All grant awards will be published to the GrantConnect website within 21 days of funding announcement.

Feedback to Applicants

The type of feedback provided varies from scheme to scheme. Where an application is determined to be ineligible, the ARC will advise the applicant accordingly.     

Grant Agreements

Administering Organisations that have been successful in having applications funded are provided with a Grant Agreement, outlining the terms and conditions by which any successful projects must be administered. Funding for successful projects may only begin after the appropriate delegates of the Administering Organisation and ARC have accepted the Grant Agreement in the Research Management System.

Further information regarding Grant Agreements can be found on the Grant Agreements page.

Appeals process

The Grant Guidelines for the various ARC grant schemes provides for an appeals process. Appeals will be considered only against process issues and not against Committee decisions or assessor scores and comments. Appeals must be lodged using the Appeals Form. The form must be submitted through the relevant Administering Organisation's Research Office.

You can find further information about the Appeals process on the Appeals process page.

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