2 December 2021


Outcomes of ARC Appeals committee on preprints 

The Independent Appeals Committee of the Australian Research Council (ARC) completed its review of grant applications deemed ineligible due to their inclusion of preprints in the 2022 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and 2021 Future Fellowships rounds.  

The ARC Appeals Committee upheld all 28 appeals submitted to the Committee for having included preprints in their applications. The Committee also extended the ruling for 4 other applicants that did not submit an appeal.  

In total, 32 applications are now ruled eligible

A successful appeal does not indicate that applications are to be funded, only that their applications are eligible—eligibility is assessed separately from suitability for funding in the ARC’s competitive assessment process.  
 
6 of the 32 now eligible applications had been ranked highly in the grants assessment process and were recommended for funding—including 5 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and 1 Future Fellowships application.  

The remaining 26 of the applications were ruled by the ARC Appeals Committee to be eligible, but not recommended for funding in their schemes due to their ranking in the competitive assessment process. The CEO of the ARC has decided that those applicants will be given another opportunity to apply above and beyond the standard number of times if they wish to reapply, where they have exhausted their opportunity to do so—with this only the case for 3 grant applicants. 

All administering organisations have been notified of their appeal outcomes, so they can now work with their researchers on options for potential submission of applications for the current grant opportunity rounds, including the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2023 and the Future Fellowships for funding commencing in 2022

In 2020, the ARC disallowed any inclusion of preprints, which led to some submitted applications being ruled ineligible.  

Based on feedback from the sector, this was adjusted in 2021 to allow inclusion of preprints in any part of future National Competitive Grant Program (NCGP) applications.  

The use of preprints is no longer an eligibility issue and future applications will not be excluded by their use.   

That change did not apply retrospectively. Applications for closed rounds have used the ARC’s standard appeals processes to appeal through the ARC’s independent Appeals Committee. 

The ARC Appeals Committee met to consider all appeals received against ARC processes, including on the issue of preprints, and their recommendations made to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ARC for consideration. The ARC CEO makes recommendations for funding to the Minister for Education.