The ARC's Discovery funding schemes recognise the importance of fundamental research to the national innovation system. The national innovation system includes the people (for example, in government, higher education and business), processes and relationships involved in 'new' knowledge in a knowledge-based economy. 

A strong capability in fundamental research (sometimes called discovery, basic or blue sky research) will result in the development of new ideas, the creation of jobs, economic growth and an enhanced quality of life in Australia.

The Discovery Program aims to deliver outcomes of benefit to Australia and build Australia’s research capacity through support for:

  • excellent, internationally competitive research by individuals and teams;
  • research training and career opportunities for the best Australian and international researchers;
  • international collaboration; and
  • research in priority areas.

The Discovery schemes are: