25 October 2019

Since the last update, we have been working to update the application form, grant guidelines and associated documents to prepare for the opening of grant schemes. We have received valuable and insightful feedback over the last year and this has helped to finalise the changes we will progressively make to all of these items.

The objectives and assessment criteria in the grant guidelines have been reviewed and updated to ensure they reflect the expectations of government, are standard across schemes where relevant, and that there is clear line of sight between the intended program and scheme outcomes and the information required for assessment in the application form.

The application forms have been revised to reduce duplication, improve consistency between forms, and remove questions that are no longer needed.

Feedback received about Research Opportunity Performance Evidence (ROPE) has been taken into account to make future applications easier to complete. For example, ROPE questions will only apply when necessary, so that Partner Investigators who will not be undertaking research only need to provide relevant information. We have also significantly reduced the requirements in the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme.

The Grant Agreements that will be attached to the new scheme rounds will be based on the new whole-of-Australian-Government Grant Agreement templates. This will mean that Grant Agreements from most Australian Government agencies are consistent in the majority of key clauses.

In addition, we have reviewed the requirements for variations, Partner/Participating Organisation Agreed Contribution Reports (POACRs), and a number of reports required for Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) grants and ARC Centres of Excellence. As a result of the review, we have:

  • reduced the information needed for variations and POACRs
  • simplified ITRP Progress Reports
  • removed requirement for Centre Outputs and Details of Income and Expenditure report (CODIE)
  • revised or created new supporting documents to help complete reports
  • updated KPI information
  • continued the roll out of the new Final Report form template in RMS.

We have received positive feedback about these changes, and also about the new Research Office dashboard and notifications for post-award management of active grants in RMS, which we mentioned in last ARChway.

As always, the ARC will continue to look for opportunities to streamline our policies and processes, taking into account feedback from the sector. If you have specific questions about our recent streamlining work, or suggestions for future streamlining, please send an email to NCGP@arc.gov.au.

Image: Word Cloud—streamlining grant process.
Credit: ARC.