The selection process for ARC schemes normally includes assessment by external peer reviewers, in parallel to the assessment, moderation and overall ranking provided by an ARC College of Experts (CoE) Panel or Selection Advisory Committee (SAC).

The assessment comments provided by external assessors may be made available to Applicants. This provides an important feedback mechanism that may help researchers when drafting future Applications. Where the ARC seeks external assessments, Applicants may be given the opportunity to submit a Rejoinder.

The purpose of the Rejoinder process is to allow Applicants to respond to assessment comments made by external assessors. Rejoinders are not viewed by external assessors but are considered by an ARC College of Experts Panel or SAC when deciding the overall ranking of an Application. It is therefore important to carefully review the comments provided by assessors and provide clear responses to any points raised.

Applicants should keep the following points in mind when preparing a Rejoinder:

  • Rejoinders should be written in a clear and concise manner. Please note that the Rejoinder text is limited to 5000 characters (including spaces). Pictures, graphs or other documents cannot be inserted or attached.
  • The purpose of a Rejoinder is to clarify any perceived weaknesses in the Application identified by external assessors.  The Rejoinder should respond directly to assessor comments, addressing any misunderstanding or difference of opinion in a constructive manner.
  • As noted in scheme Grant Guidelines (formerly known as Funding Rules), Applications must contain all of the necessary information for assessment. Rejoinders should draw only on information already provided in the Application. New information, including new research results/methods, should not be provided.
  • Rejoinders should not include reference to any new awards, appointments or publications which may have occurred in the time since the submission of the Application. Track records and publication histories are assessed as at the time of Application submission and therefore no updates should be provided.
  • Rejoinders should not include any information that was left out of or incorrectly entered in the original Application. Modification to the Application can only be made if requested by the ARC.
  • Rejoinders should not include any information relevant to scheme round eligibility. Eligibility issues are dealt with in a separate process.
  • Rejoinders should not include any messages to the ARC. Rejoinders are provided to an ARC College of Experts Panel or SAC for assessment purposes and are not necessarily viewed by ARC staff.

The Rejoinder Process

A notice will be posted on the ARC website and a network message sent to Research Offices when assessor reports are released and the Rejoinder period opens. The first named Participant on each Application will also receive an automated email informing them of the opening of the Rejoinder period.

For the Linkage Projects scheme: due to the continuous nature of the assessment process, Research Offices will be advised by email regarding any relevant Rejoinder period(s), and the first named Participant on each Application will receive an automated email.

Researchers involved in Applications submitted to the ARC are strongly advised to maintain contact with their Research Office during the selection cycle.

Assessor reports and Rejoinder Forms are made available to Applicants via the Research Management System (RMS). Instructions for accessing the assessments and submitting Rejoinders are available below.

Research Management System—User Guide: Submitting a Rejoinder in RMS

PDF Format (453KB) – Word Format (246KB)

Rejoinder period dates

The period for submitting Rejoinders is not fixed, but is normally one to two weeks and due as per the Grant Guidelines. An indicative time period is listed on the ARC Grant Calendar page prior to the opening of the Rejoinder period, to provide a general guide as to when the Rejoinder process will take place. The exact dates will be provided with the Grant Opportunity on the GrantConnect website and on the ARC Grant Calendar page once the Rejoinder period opens.

The Linkage Projects scheme does not have a fixed time for Rejoinders. The Research Office will be notified two weeks in advance of the Rejoinder opening for an Applicationand Applicants will have approximately one week to complete the Rejoinder after opening.

Late Rejoinders will not be accepted.