Eligibility matters

Under the Australian Research Council Act 2001, the Minister must not approve for funding any Proposal that fails to meet the eligibility criteria set out in the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines.

All Proposals are assessed against the eligibility requirements in the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines. The ARC may recommend that a Proposal that does not meet the requirements be deemed ineligible.

It is the responsibility of all participants intending on applying for funding from the ARC that they ensure they read and comply with the current scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines.

 Researcher Roles

Your employment status is the main determinant of whether you are eligible for a Chief Investigator (CI) or Partner Investigator (PI) role. The difference between these roles is not related to your intended level of involvement or full-time equivalent (FTE) on the Project.

Chief Investigators
All CIs must consider how many grants they currently hold (including with other Eligible Organisations) against the limits under the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines. CIs must consider that they are required to reside predominantly in Australia for the duration of the Project.

Partner Investigators
Researchers should ensure they do not meet the eligibility requirements of a CI under the relevant scheme Funding Rules if they wish to apply as a PI. PIs must secure cash, or in-kind contribution or other resources from their own organisation for the Project (having regard to the total cost of the project and the relative contribution of other investigators).

Director Roles
Schemes that require a Director role state that researchers intending to undertake this role must meet the eligibility criteria for a CI along with additional requirements for example, be employed by the Administering Organisation at the commencement of and for the duration of the Project and responsible for implementing the strategic direction and managing the research programme/Project. Please refer to the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines for further eligibility requirements for a Director role.

Award of PhD 
Schemes that require researchers to hold a PhD at the closing time of submission of Proposals should assess their eligibility based on their award date of their PhD against the relevant scheme Funding Rules. Award of PhD means the date of conferral of a PhD, not the date of submission of the thesis, nor the date the thesis was accepted by the examination board.

Exemptions or significant career interruptions may apply; researchers should consult the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines for further details.



An ARC Fellow or Award recipient cannot concurrently hold more than one ARC Fellowship or Award. Some schemes have restrictions on the number of times applications can be submitted.

An ARC Fellow or Award recipient cannot concurrently hold a Fellowship from another Commonwealth funding agency.


 Number of Proposals, Funded Projects and Cross-Scheme Eligibility

CIs, ARC Fellows and Award recipients should assess the number of Proposals and funded Projects under the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines
Researchers will not be permitted to relinquish a CI, ARC Fellowship, ARC Award or Centre Personnel role or existing ARC grants to circumvent the limits.

The ARC will not duplicate funding for research, including infrastructure, funded by the Commonwealth.


 Organisational types

Administering/Eligible Organisations
A Proposal may only be submitted by an Eligible Organisation listed at Appendix A of the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines.
The Eligible Organisation that submits the Proposal will be the Administering Organisation and all other Eligible Organisations listed on the Proposal will be Other Eligible Organisations or Collaborating Organisations, depending on the scheme requirements.

Other Eligible Organisations
Other Eligible Organisation means any Eligible Organisation which is identified in the Proposal as a contributor to the Project but is not the Administering Organisation.

Other Organisations
Organisations which are not Eligible Organisations but which are listed on the Proposal will be Other Organisations or Partner Organisations, depending on the scheme requirements.

Partner Organisations
Partner Organisation means a national or international organisation, other than an Eligible Organisation, which satisfies the eligibility requirements for a Partner Organisation and is to be a cash and/or in-kind contributor to the Project.

For schemes that include Partner Organisations, the organisations need to consider if they meet the eligibility requirements under the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines.


 Incomplete or Misleading Information

It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to the Commonwealth. If the ARC considers that a Proposal is incomplete, inaccurate or contains false or misleading information, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to recommend that the Proposal not be approved for funding.

Examples of misleading information and misconduct include providing fictitious information about research opportunity and performance evidence, plagiarism, making false claims in publication records and making false claims in relation to qualifications and/or appointments.


 Medical Research

A research proposal will be deemed ineligible for funding under the Discovery ProjectsDiscovery IndigenousDiscovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Australian Laureate Fellowships, Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities and Centres of Excellence schemes if it is primarily and substantially aimed at understanding or treating a human disease or human health condition.

Definition of Medical Research can be found on the ARC website and within the relevant scheme Funding Rules/Grant Guidelines.

The ARC’s Medical Research Advisory Group (MRAG) is responsible for providing additional technical advice regarding medical eligibility for selected applications to the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) Eligibility Committee. Please see the Medical Research Advisory Group Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

 Submission of Proposals

Administering Organisations must submit Proposals through the Research Management System (RMS) unless otherwise advised by the ARC. RMS is a web-based system used to prepare and submit research proposals, assessments and rejoinders.

All Proposals must meet the format and content requirements, including certification, as set out in the RMS form and the Instructions to Applicants. All Proposals must be submitted by the scheme deadline advertised on the ARC Funding Calendar page. Additions, deletions and modifications will not be accepted after submission, unless invited by the ARC.