18 December 2019

As part of our transition to the whole-of-government grant agreement template, the ARC has simplified its grant management processes around start dates, parental leave and ethics clearances.

Following feedback from Research Offices, we have simplified the project start dates for new grants. Each of our annual schemes will now have a common date by which all projects funded under that scheme must commence, rather than a different date according to when each grant was accepted in the Research Management System. The date will generally be 12 months from the scheme-specific ‘grant commencement date’, allowing enough flexibility for the recipients to get everything in place to establish their project, while giving certainty that all grants in a scheme are on the same timeline. The project start date for each grant opportunity is in the grant agreement available on GrantConnect.

As part of the ARC’s Gender Equality Action Plan for 2018, we undertook a review of the provisions, requirements and management of maternity leave and parental/partner leave under the National Competitive Grants Program. As a result, we have simplified parental leave arrangements for new grants so all ARC fellowship and award recipients can access funds for up to 14 weeks paid parental leave per child, subject to the provisions of their organisation’s enterprise agreement. We have also streamlined the approval process for all grants so the only documentation needed to access funds for parental leave is certification from the Administering Organisation’s Human Resources department. You can find more information about the variation approval process on the Grants Administration page of our website.

We have also introduced a new and simplified process for ethics clearances that brings the ARC into line with National Health and Medical Research Council practices. Under the 2019 edition grant agreements, a plan for ethical clearances must be in place before the project starts. This will ensure that clearance is approved before the particular component of the project which requires ethical clearance begins. The plan does not need to be submitted to the ARC unless it is requested.

The ARC continues to look for opportunities to streamline our policies and processes, taking into account feedback from the sector. If you have specific questions about these changes, please send an email to arc-postaward@arc.gov.au