ARC Schemes

Outline

  •  National Competitive Grants Program
    • Overview
    • Discovery Program
    • Linkage Program

National Competitive Grants Program

  • Through the NCGP, the ARC supports the highest-quality fundamental and applied research and research training across all disciplines*.
  • The ARC encourages partnerships between researchers and industry, government, community organisations and the international community.
  • The NCGP comprises two main elements—Discovery and Linkage—under which the ARC funds a range of complementary schemes to:
    • support researchers at different stages of their careers
    • build Australia’s research capability
    • expand and enhance research networks and collaborations
    • develop centres of research excellence.

*Clinical and other medical research is primarily supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

National Competitive Grants Program

 

Graphical representation of schemes in the ARC's National Competitive Grants Program. Each scheme is a rectangle with the area of the rectangle representing ARC funding (new and ongoing projects) for 2017. 

Area of box represents ARC funding by scheme (new and ongoing projects) for 2016*. 

ARC NCGP funding by scheme 2009–2017

Stacked area chart showing ARC funding by scheme through the years 2009-2017 (New and ongoing).

 

 NCGP Lifecycle

Infographic—NCGP Lifecycle timeline from development of funding rules to final report.

Discovery Program

The ARC's Discovery funding schemes recognise the importance of fundamental research to the national innovation system.

Schemes:

  • Discovery Projects
  • Discovery Indigenous.
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
  • Future Fellowships
  • Australian Laureate Fellowships.

 Discovery Projects

The Discovery Projects scheme provides funding for research projects that can be undertaken by individual researchers or research teams.

The objectives of the Discovery Projects scheme are to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams
  • encourage high-quality research and research training
  • enhance international collaboration in research
  • expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the Science and Research Priorities.

Discovery Projectsreturn and success rates, 2012–2018

 

Graphical representation of schemes in the ARC's National Competitive Grants Program. Each scheme is a rectangle with the area of the rectangle representing ARC funding (new and ongoing projects) for 2017. 

Area of box represents ARC funding by scheme (new and ongoing projects) for 2016*. 
 
Discovery Projects scheme return and success rates 2009-2018

Participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Projects 2018 by gender and career age


Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Projects 2018 by gender and career age.

 

Discovery Projects, 2012–2018

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Discovery Projects 2012–2018. 2018 success rate is circled.

Data notes
Note 1: Includes Cis only. 
Note 2: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 3: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate

Discovery Indigenous

Discovery Indigenous scheme provides funding to Administering Organisations to support research programs led by an Indigenous Australian researcher and build research capacity of higher degree research and early career researchers.

The objectives of the Discovery Indigenous scheme are to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research and research training by Indigenous researchers as individuals and as teams
  • develop the research expertise of Indigenous researchers
  • support and retain established Indigenous researchers in Australian higher education institutions
  • expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability.

Discovery Indigenous—success rates, 2009–2018

Chart showing Discovery Indigenous scheme success rates 2009–2018

 Participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Indigenous 2018 by gender and career age*

* Career age is calculated as years since PhD.

Source: 2018 Selection Report http://www.arc.gov.au/selection-report-discovery-indigenous-2018

Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Indigenous 2018 by gender and career age

 

Discovery Indigenous, 2012–2018

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Discovery Indigenous 2012–2018. 2018 female success rate is circled.
Data notes
Note 1: Includes Cis only
Note 2: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 3: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate

 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

The DECRA scheme provides more focused support for early career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.

Researchers may be eligible to apply if they have been awarded a PhD within five years, or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption).

 Up to 200 three-year DECRAs may be awarded each year providing a researcher with up to $140,858 per annum.

  • This is composed of $100,858 in salary and on-costs, and up to $40,000 in project costs. 

 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

The objectives of the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme are to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers;
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways;
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments;
  • expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability; and
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the Science and Research Priorities.

 DECRA commitments

  • The DECRA Recipient is expected to spend a minimum of 20 per cent of her/his time on activities at the Administering Organisation, and 80 per cent of her/his time on research activities related to the proposed DECRA. (D6.4 and D6.5)
  • The DECRA Recipient may not engage in other professional employment for the duration of the DECRA without prior approval from the ARC under subsection D6.7 of the Funding Rules. 
  • The DECRA Recipient may spend up to 0.2 (20 per cent of Full Time Equivalent) of her/his time annually on teaching activities. The DECRA will not be extended to accommodate any periods of teaching. Supervision of honours or postgraduate students is not included in this limit. (D6.5)

 DECRA—success rates, 2012–2018

Chart showing Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme return and success rates 2009–2018

 Participation and success rate of DECRA 2018 candidates by gender and career age*

* Career age is calculated as years since PhD.

Source: 2018 Selection Report http://www.arc.gov.au/selection-report-discovery-early-career-researcher-award-2018

Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2018 proposals by gender and career age.

 

 First-time awardees by scheme 2009–18

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Discovery Indigenous 2012–2018. 2018 female success rate is circled.
Data notes
Note 1: Includes Cis only
Note 2: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 3: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate

 

 First-time awardees by scheme 2009–18

 

Chart showing the numbers and percentage of “first time” awardees in Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and Discovery Projects (DP) schemes, 2009–2018.

 Average Age of Lead CI in Discovery Projects, DECRA and Future Fellowships 2009–2018

Chart showing average age of lead CI in DP, DECRA and Future Fellows.

 Future Fellowships

The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers, to conduct their research in Australia.

Up to 100 four-year Future Fellowships will be awarded each year, providing a four-year salary at one of three salary levels of between $152,630 up to $216,896 per year (including on-costs).

An additional $50,000 per year may be provided to the Administering Organisation that may be used for higher degree by research stipends and expenditure on field research and travel costs essential to the project.

 Future Fellowships

The objectives of the Future Fellowships scheme are to:

  • ensure that outstanding mid-career researchers are recruited and retained by Administering Organisations in continuing academic positions
  • build collaboration across industry and/or research organisations and/or disciplines
  • support research in national priorities that will result in economic, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia
  • strengthen Australia’s research capacity by supporting innovative, internationally competitive research.

 Future Fellows—success rates, 2009–2018

 

Future Fellowships scheme, showing participation and success rates 2009–2018.

 Future Fellowships, 2012–2018


Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Future Fellowships 2012–2018. 2018 success rate is circled.
Data notes
Note 1: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 2: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate

  Participation and success rate of 2017 Future Fellows by gender and career age*

 

*Career age is calculated at closing time of proposals, four researchers in this round were less than 5 years PhD

Source: FT 2018 selection report

Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Future Fellowships 2018 proposals by gender and career age

 Australian Laureate Fellowships

The prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme supports outstanding Australian and international researchers and research leaders to build Australia’s research capacity, undertake innovative research programs and mentor early career researchers.

Up to 17 five-year Australian Laureate Fellowships may be awarded each year, providing a researcher with up to $160,664 per annum including on-costs, in addition to:

  • a Level E professorial salary provided by the Administering Organisation;
  • funding for up to two Postdoctoral Research Associates (five years) and two Postgraduate Researchers (four years); and
  • up to $300,000 per annum project funding.

 Australian Laureate Fellowships

The objectives of the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme are to:

  • attract and retain outstanding researchers and research leaders of international reputation
  • support ground-breaking, internationally competitive research
  • provide an excellent research training environment and exemplary mentorship to nurture early-career researchers
  • forge strong links among researchers, the international research community and/or industry
  • expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the Science and Research Priorities.

 Named Australian Laureate Fellowships

  • Two named Australian Laureate Fellowships may be awarded to successful female Australian Laureate Fellows.
    • Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship—awarded to a highly ranked female candidate from the humanities, arts and social science disciplines.
    • Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship—awarded to a highly ranked female candidate from the science and technology disciplines.

 Named Australian Laureate Fellowships

 

Australian Laureate Fellowships—success rates, 2009–2018

Chart showing Australian Laureate Fellowships participation and success rates 2009–201

Australian Laureate Fellowships, 2012–2018

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Australian Laureate Fellowships 2012–2018. 2018 success rate is circled.
Data notes
Note 1: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 2: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate

 Linkage Program

The ARC's Linkage funding schemes aim to encourage and extend cooperative approaches to research and improve the use of research outcomes by strengthening links within Australia’s innovation system and with innovation systems internationally.

Schemes:

  • Linkage Projects
  • Industrial Transformation Research Program
  • Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities
  • ARC Centres of Excellence
  • Special Research Initiatives
  • Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects.

 Linkage Projects

The Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to Eligible Organisations to support research and development (R&D) projects which:

  • are collaborative between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system
  • are undertaken to acquire new knowledge, and
  • involve risk or innovation.

Proposals 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 a Proposal (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.

 Linkage Projects

The objectives of the Linkage Projects scheme are to:

  • support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations, including industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, commercial, social or cultural benefits
  • provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research
  • encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system
  • build the scale and focus of research in the national Science and Research Priorities.

 Linkage Projects—return and success rates, 2009–2017

Chart showing Linkage Projects (LP) scheme participation rates, return and success rates 2009–2017.

Linkage Projects, 2012–2017

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Linkage Projects 2012–2017. 2017 success rate is circled.
Data notes
Note 1: Includes Chief Investigators only.  
Note 2: Excludes LP18
Note 3: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 4: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate.

 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF)

The Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme provides funding for research infrastructure, equipment and facilities to eligible organisations.

The scheme enables higher education researchers to participate in cooperative initiatives so that expensive infrastructure, equipment and facilities can be shared between higher education organisations and also with industry.

The scheme also fosters collaboration through its support of the cooperative use of international or national research facilities.

 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF)

 

The objectives of the LIEF scheme are to:

  • encourage Eligible Organisations to develop collaborative arrangements with other Eligible Organisations and/or Partner Organisations to develop and support research infrastructure
  • support large-scale national or international cooperative initiatives allowing expensive research infrastructure to be shared and/or accessed
  • support areas of existing and/or emerging research strength
  • support and develop research infrastructure for the broader research community.

 LIEF—return and success rates, 2009–2018

Chart showing Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme return and success rates 2009–2018.

 

 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities, 2012–2018

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities 2012–2018. 2018 success rate is circled.
Data notes
Note 1: Includes Cis only.  
Note 2: The participation rate is the proportion of Female/Male applications, (ie number of female applications/total number of applications).
Note 3: Excludes persons with unknown gender or intersex/indeterminate

 Industrial Transformation Research Program

The Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) encourages and supports university-based researchers and industry to work together to find solutions to a range of issues facing Australian industries.

The Program consists of two schemes:

  • Industrial Transformation Research Hubs
  • Industrial Transformation Training Centres

 Industrial Transformation Research Program

Overall objectives:

  • foster important partnerships between business and universities
  • support researchers (higher degree by research & post doctoral fellows) to gain ‘hands-on’, practical skills and experience in important priority areas

 Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ITTC)

To foster close partnerships between university-based researchers and industry to provide innovative training for early career researchers vital to Australia’s future industry.

Over the life of the program the ARC will:

  • establish Training Centres nationwide
  • support 10 ‘industry ready’ Higher Degree by Research candidates and postdoctoral researchers in each Training Centre
  • provide up to $1 million per year for up to five (5) years for each Training Centre.

 Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ITTC)

The objectives of the Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme are to:

  • foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and postdoctoral fellows to pursue industrial training
  • drive growth, productivity and competitiveness within key growth sectors
  • enhance competitive research collaboration between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector
  • strengthen the capabilities of industries and other research end-users in identified Industrial Transformation Priority areas.

Fostering the next generation of researchers

ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres place early career researchers in an industry setting.

Over a five-year period the ARC will award funding for up to 50 Training Centres with funding for at least ten Higher Degree by Research candidates and three postdoctoral fellows in each Training Centre.
 

Dr Fiona Cameron, Prof @FGC_Chris Blanchard & students at launch of ARC ITTC for Functional Grains @CharlesSturtUni pic.twitter.com/DlUGFWzgLv

— ARC (@arc_gov_au) February 16, 2015

 Industrial Transformation Research Hubs (ITRH)

Opportunities for universities and industrial partners to focus on significant collaborative R&D projects with outcomes beyond their independent endeavours.

  •  The ARC will invest up to $1 million per year in each Research Hub with matching investment by industry partners up to a maximum of five years

 Industrial Transformation Research Hubs (ITRH)

The objectives of the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme are to:

  • encourage collaborative research and development (R&D) projects between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector that will solve challenging industry issues relevant to the Industrial Transformation Priorities
  • drive growth, productivity and competitiveness within key growth sectors
  • leverage national and international investment in targeted industry sectors, including from industry and other research end-users.

ITRP Research Hubs Success Rates, 2012–2018

Industrial Transformation Research Program Research Hubs Success Rates for 2012–2018 (all rounds).

 

ITRP Training Centres Success Rates, 2013–2018

Industrial Transformation Research Program Training Centres Success Rates for 2013–2018 (all rounds).

 ARC Centres of Excellence

  • One of the ARC’s most prestigious schemes
  • Funding focal points of national expertise
  • High quality collaborative research
  • Significant collaboration between universities, publicly funded research agencies, national and international research groups, governments and businesses
  • All fields of research except medicine
  • Highly competitive and international standing
  • Usually run every 3 years

 ARC Centres of Excellence Objectives

  • Undertake highly innovative and potentially transformational research that aims to achieve international standing in the fields of research envisaged and leads to a significant advancement of capabilities and knowledge
  • Link existing Australian research strengths and build critical mass with new capacity for interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to address the most challenging and significant research problems
  • Develop relationships and build new networks with major national and international centres and research programs to help strengthen research, achieve global competitiveness and gain recognition for Australian research
  • Build Australia’s human capacity in a range of research areas by attracting and retaining, from within Australia and abroad, researchers of high international standing as well as the most promising research students
  • Provide high-quality postgraduate and postdoctoral training environments for the next generation of researchers
  • Offer Australian researchers opportunities to work on large-scale problems over longer periods of time
  • Establish Centres that have an impact on the wider community through interaction with higher education institutions, governments, industry and the private and non-profit sector

 Expectations of a Centre of Excellence

As large investments over a seven year period Centres are expected to:

  • Engage with multiple partners, both nationally and internationally and involve significant collaboration—and leverage success
  • Be a world leading Centre in its field and conduct a highly integrated research program that aims to achieve international standing
  • Involve multiple nodes that work together and build critical mass – forming a truly national centre
  • Build Australia’s human capacity by attracting and retaining researchers of international standing
  • Attract the most promising research students and provide high-quality postgraduate and postdoctoral training environments .

 Centres of Excellence 2017: Success by Discipline Panel

BSB = Biological Sciences and Biotechnology; EMI = Engineering, Mathematics and Informatics; HCA = Humanities and Creative Arts; PCE = Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; SBE = Social, Behavioural and Economics Sciences

Centre of Excellence scheme success rate by discipline panel, 2017 round.

 Centre of Excellence Success Rates

Chart showing Centre of Excellence scheme success rates—EOI, Shortlist and Funded—for three rounds, CE11, CE14 and CE17.

Centres of Excellence: funding by Field of Research 

Chart showing ARC Centre of Excellence scheme funding by Field of Research (2011-2017 rounds), with Engineering highlighted.  Note Fields of Research which received no funding are not shown.

 Centres of Excellence 2014

  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis

 Centres of Excellence 2017

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology*

*Centre builds on funding received in previous rounds.

 Special Research Initiatives (SRIs)

The Special Research Initiatives (SRI) scheme provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas.