The Linkage Program promotes national and international research partnerships between researchers and business, industry, community organisations and other publicly funded research agencies. By supporting the development of partnerships, the ARC encourages the transfer of skills, knowledge and ideas as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

The Linkage Projects grant opportunity supports projects which initiate or develop long term strategic research alliances to apply advanced knowledge to problems, acquire new knowledge and as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

To facilitate successful collaboration between higher education institutions and other parts of the innovation system, Linkage Projects applications can be submitted at any time and funding outcomes are recommended to the Minister within six months of application submission.

The objectives of the Linkage Projects grant opportunity are to: 

  • support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems to provide opportunities to achieve national economic, commercial, environmental, or social benefits;
  • provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector;
  • encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system; and
  • build the scale and focus of research in the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities.

Applications for funding under the Linkage Projects scheme must include at least one Partner Organisation. The Partner Organisation must make a contribution in cash and/or in kind to the project. The combined Partner Organisation contributions for an application (i.e. the total of the cash and in-kind contributions of the Partner Organisations) must at least match the total funding requested from the ARC.

The Linkage Projects scheme provides project funding of $50,000 to $300,000 per year for two to five years. Project funding may be used for: personnel, for example, research associates or assistants and technicians and stipends for higher degree by research students; teaching relief; access to research and infrastructure facilities and technical workshop services; essential field research; expert third party services; equipment and consumables; publication and dissemination of outputs and outreach; specialised computer equipment and software; travel costs essential to the project; web hosting and development; workshops, focus groups and conferences; and essential support costs for researchers who are carers or who themselves require care.

Continuous submission and assessment process

The Linkage Projects scheme opened for continuous submission and assessment of applications on 1 July 2016—a measure announced by the Australian Government as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda on 7 December 2015.

The continuous submission and assessment process means that applications are rigorously assessed as soon as they are submitted in the ARC’s Research Management System (RMS) and funding outcomes are recommended to the Minister within six months of application submission.

Outcomes for projects funded under this process are announced periodically, with details available on the RMS Funding Announcements page.

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the relevant Grant Guidelines and Grant Agreements. Grants from the ARC are made to organisations, not individual researchers or research teams. The Grant Guidelines contain the list of Eligible Organisations. The Linkage Projects ‘Instructions to Applicants’ also contain information about the continuous submission and assessment of applications and should be read and understood before submitting applications.

The Grant Guidelines and Grant Opportunity for LP19 (GO2093) are now available on GrantConnect