Downloadable PDF version—ARC Post Award Guidance including Major Investments: Responding to the impact of COVID-19. 

Some variation requests will not be required in 2020

The following variations can now be approved at the discretion of Administering Organisations and notified to the ARC in the 2020 End of the Year Report submitted in March 2021:

  • 2020 budget changes where funding is moved across line items. Provided revised budgets comply with allowable items and expenditure caps (e.g. travel) in the relevant Grant Guidelines, the ARC will seek notification of total 2020 expenditure via the 2020 End of Year Reports. Previously the ARC required budget change variation requests for all significant budget changes across line items. 
    • For budget-related special conditions in the grant offer, such as those relating to teaching relief, salary conversions, additional appointments for a named position (Fellowship/Award), or a Discovery International Award, a variation request will still be required.
  • Deferral of commencement for projects with funding commencing in 2019 or 2020 (including LP18 grants):
    • for CE grants commencing in 2020, where the Final Commencement Date is on or before 31 December 2020.
    • for grants funded under all other ARC schemes, where the new commencement date is within 12 months of the Project’s Grant Offer being executed (previously six months). This also includes LP18 grants that were announced in 2019. If the deferral of commencement is beyond this timing, a variation request must be submitted to the ARC.
  • Suspension of projects for a period or periods totalling up to 12 months (previously six months). 
    • If the suspension is for over 12 months or totals over 12 months a variation request must be submitted.
  • Extension of the project end date due to project delay or suspension resulting in unspent funds.

End of Year Report instructions will be updated accordingly for 2020.

Extensions to notification and reporting requirements

The following extensions to notification and reporting deadlines are applied to all projects:

  • Notification and resolution of default of Participating Organisation contributions:
    • For CE grants the notification period remains within three months, but the time period to resolve participating organisation contributions and submit a revised Participating Organisation Agreed Contribution Report (POACR) has been extended to 12 months (please see: FAQ–General–Linkage Program Partner Organisations requirements)
    • For all other grants the notification period has been extended to within three months of the full impact being determined (previously required immediately), and the time period to resolve participating organisation contributions and submit a revised POACR has also been extended to 12 months (please see: FAQ–General–Linkage Program Partner Organisations requirements)
  • Variations related to changes in specified personnel can be submitted within six months of the change (previously three months).
  • The deadlines for KPIs and plans as well as launches for Major Investments (ARC Centres of Excellence and ITRP schemes) have been extended (please see: FAQ–Major Investment–Key Performance Indicators)

Variations considered

Administering Organisations can also seek other variations to projects due to the impact of COVID-19, including:

  • Deferral of project commencement greater than 12 months 
  • Suspension of project totalling more than 12 months
  • Changes to FTE of specified personnel, including Fellowships and Awards (please see: FAQ–General–Salaries)
  • Change to the scope and/or objectives of a research project (please see: FAQ–General–​​​​​​Program Changes)
  • Reallocate Discovery International Award (DIA) funds if the project is nearing completion (please see: FAQ–General–Travel)
  • Change to partner organisation minimum contributions, where attempts to find replacement contributions have been unsuccessful (please see: FAQ–General–Linkage Program Partner Organisations requirements)
  • Changes to Establishment Funds for Major Investments including increasing the allowable amount (please see: Major Investment Guidance–Establishment Funds).

The ARC acknowledges that the impact of COVID-19 will become apparent over the coming months, therefore variations do not need to be submitted immediately, but can be submitted at any time prior to submission of 2020 End of Year Reports (due 30 March 2021).

Note: In deferring, suspending or extending a current ARC project, researchers should take into account the impact on their project limits for holding active ARC grants and eligibility to apply for future ARC grants. The limits on holding active grants remain the same and there are currently no plans to change the application and project limits for grant opportunities scheduled to open later this year.