Success rates are defined as the percentage of grant applications received that are funded. Generally, success rate is reported on by scheme round. The number of grants awarded under most NCGP funding schemes is not defined (except the fellowship schemes). Success rate is a function of the demand for grants from the academic community, the cost of doing research and the resources the ARC has available.

In this visualisation, you can explore success rates by scheme round start year, scheme and research discipline. Drop down filters and click elements in the graphs allow exploration of the data. There are two tabs in the visualisation on this page to show different interactions of certain elements. Selecting an element in one interactive graph or table may affect what you see in another graph or table within the same tab. This visualisation is shown over two tabs, click the < > arrows to navigate between tabs. The text will update depending on the filters selected. Press the ‘reset filters’ button to remove all selections made. Click Help for more information on using the ARC’s Microsoft Power BI Tool.

Data Insights

Since 2002, the ARC has received more than 112,000 applications and funded more than 28,000 projects resulting in a success rate of around 25 per cent. Success rates are influenced by the total funding available to the ARC, which has been stable since 2014, and the cost of doing research, which has increased (as indicated by the median funding increasing in the Funding Overview visualisation).

Since 2012 the total number of applications submitted to the ARC has been decreasing, and the success rate has remained relatively stable at approximately 21 per cent. The reduction in applications partly reflects the outcomes of the ARC’s collaboration with stakeholders to develop processes encouraging only high quality, well-developed research applications to be submitted to the ARC.  

The establishment of the DECRA scheme in 2012 resulted in a lower number of applications being submitted under the Discovery Projects scheme in that year. After the first year of the DECRA scheme, in which 2159 applications were received, the number of applications settled to between 1162 (2019) and 1468 (2014), and the success rate has been around 15 per cent.

Success rates across the range of fields of research the ARC funds are reasonably consistent. While a far greater percentage of STEM applications are received, the success rate is fairly similar at approximately 21 per cent since 2012. By comparison, the success rate by program is highly impacted by the number of applications received. For instance, over the same period, the Discovery Program receives many more applications than the Linkage Program, and the success rate is around 19 per cent for Discovery and around 33 per cent for Linkage.

In 2020, success rates are lower than in previous years. This is both the result of not all schemes having been announced for 2020 and due to the Special Research Initiative for Australian Society, History and Culture scheme, which attracted a far higher number of applications than available funding.

Understanding the data 

Scheme Round Start Year is used in the calculation of the success rate of a particular scheme round. The total number of projects by Scheme Round Start Year will be different to other NCGP trends visualisations that were based on funding commencement year.

The research discipline allocated to a project is identified by the researcher in the project application. Whether a project is identified as Science Technology Engineering Maths (STEM) or Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) is defined using ARC methodology based on the fields of research allocated to an application.

Full details can be found in the scheme round selection reports.

To read more about the terms used on this page and how the data is gathered see the Methodology & Data Notes.

To note: this data is correct as of 20/10/2020, and only includes grants announced as of this date. 

While due care has been taken in its preparation, the ARC cannot guarantee and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or interpretation of the information.

Trend Visualisation