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 2018. 

ARC NCGP funding by scheme 2009–2018

Stacked area chart showing ARC funding by scheme through the years 2009-2018 (New and ongoing). Note that this chart cannot be accurately updated until LP19 is completely announced.

 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.

The Discovery Projects scheme provides grant funding to support research projects that may be undertaken by individual researchers or research teams. Discovery Projects Grants are awarded annually.

Funding period

Funding level per year

Up to five years

$30,000 to $500,000

Discovery Projectssuccess rates, 2009–2020

 

Discovery Projects scheme return and success rates 2009-2020.

Participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Projects 2020 by gender and career age

* Career age is calculated as years since PhD.

Source: DP Selection Report 2020 ​

Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Projects 2020 by gender and career age.

Discovery Projects, 2009–2020, Participation and Success by gender

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Discovery Projects 2009–2020.

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 grant funding to support research projects led by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researcher. They are awarded annually.

Funding period

Funding level per year

Up to five years

$30,000 to $500,000 including Discovery Australian Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Award salary of $104,316 to $220,907 (including 30 per cent
on-costs)

Discovery Indigenous—success rates, 2012–2020

Chart showing Discovery Indigenous scheme participation and success rates 2012–2020

 Participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Indigenous 2020 by gender and career age*

*Career age is calculated as years since PhD.

Source: IN 2020 Selection Report.

Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Indigenous 2020 by gender and career age

Discovery Indigenous, 2012–2020, Participation and Success by Gender

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Discovery Indigenous 2012–2020.

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. 

Funding period

Funding level per year

Three years (may be undertaken on a part-time
basis not exceeding six
consecutive years)

$104,316 salary (including 30 per cent on-costs), plus up to $50,000 project costs

 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. (D6.7)
  • 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, 2012–2020

Chart showing Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme participation and success rates 2012–2020

 Participation and success rate of DECRA 2020 candidates by gender and career age*

*Career age is calculated as years since PhD based on the relevant qualification as selected in the application and does not take career interruptions into consideration.

Source: DECRA 2020 Selection Report.

Chart showing participation and success rate of Chief Investigators (CIs) in Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2020 proposals by gender and career age.

DECRA, 2012–2020, Participation and Success by Gender

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2012–2020.

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

 Average Age of Lead Chief Investigator in Discovery Projects, DECRA and Future Fellowships 2009–2019

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

 Future Fellowships

Future Fellowships reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to excellence in research by supporting excellent
mid-career researchers to undertake high quality research in areas of national and international benefit.

Up to 100 four-year Future Fellowships may be awarded each year.

Funding period

Funding level per year

Four years (may be undertaken on a part-time basis not exceeding eight consecutive years)

$157,863 to $224,332 salary (including 30 per cent
on-costs) plus up to $60,000 project costs

 

 Future Fellows—success rates, 2009–2019

Future Fellowships scheme, showing participation and success rates 2009–2019.

 Future Fellowships, 2009–2019

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Future Fellowships 2009–2019.

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

Future Fellowships 2019, participation and success rate by gender and career age*

* Career age is calculated as years since PhD.

Source: FT 2019 Selection Report

 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, 2012–2019

Chart showing Australian Laureate Fellowships participation and success rates 2012–2019

Australian Laureate Fellowships, 2012–2019

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Australian Laureate Fellowships 2012–2019.

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 promotes national, and international, collaboration and research partnerships between key stakeholders in research and innovation including higher education institutions, government, business, industry and end-users.

The 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.

The Linkage Projects scheme opened for continuous submission and assessment of applications on 1 July 2016.

 Linkage Projects

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.

Funding period

Funding level per year

Partner Organisation requirements

Cash contribution requirements

Two to five years

$50,000–$300,000

Must include at least one Partner Organisation

Must demonstrate that the combined Partner Organisation eligible contributions for an application (i.e. the total of the cash and/or in-kind eligible contributions of Partner Organisations) must at least match the total funding requested from the ARC.

 Linkage Projects—return and success rates, 2010–2018

Chart showing Linkage Projects (LP) scheme participation rates, return and success rates 2010–2018.

Linkage Projects, 2012–2018

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

Data notes
Note 1: Includes CIs only.
Note 2: Excludes LP19
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)

Awarded annually, 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)

 

Funding period

Funding level per year

Partner Organisation requirements

Cash contribution requirements

Up to five

years

$150,000 +

No requirement to include a Partner Organisation

Organisational cash contributions for direct costs must make up a minimum of 25 per cent of the total direct cost of the research infrastructure.

 LIEF—return and success rates, 2009–2020

Chart showing Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme return and success rates 2009–2020.

 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities, 2012–2019 Participation and Success by Gender

Chart showing participation and success rates by gender of Chief Investigators on Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities 2009–2020.

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 Hubs (ITRH)

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

Funding period

Funding level per year

Partner Organisation requirements

Cash contribution requirements

Three to five years

$500,000–$1,000,000

Must include at least one Australian Partner Organisation

Combined Partner Organisation Cash Contribution must be at least 75 per cent of the total funding requested from the ARC, where any Partner Organisation has more than 100 employees. No minimum cash contribution where the Partner Organisation or the largest Partner Organisation in a consortium has 100 employees or less.

ITRP Research Hubs Success Rates, 2012–2019

Industrial Transformation Research Program Research Hubs Success Rates for 2012–2019 (all rounds).

 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.

Funding period

Funding level per year

Partner Organisation requirements

Cash contribution requirements

Four to five years

$650,000–$1,000,000 in first three years; $150,000–$1,000,000 in fourth year; up to $1,000,000 in fifth year

Must include at least one Australian Partner Organisation

Must demonstrate that the combined cash and in-kind contributions are sufficient to support all the research projects described in the application and particularly that of the Higher Degree by Research and postdoctoral researchers in the Training Centre.

Industrial Transformation Research Hubs opening around the Country

These are images showing recent (@November 2019) announcements from our ITRP Research Hubs.

ITRP Training Centres Success Rates, 2013–2019

Industrial Transformation Research Program Training Centres Success Rates for 2013–2019 (all rounds).

Industrial Transformation Training Centres opening around the Country

These are images showing recent (@November 2019) announcements from our ITTC Centres.

 ARC Centres of Excellence

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

 ARC Centres of Excellence

Funding period

Funding level per year

Partner Organisation requirements

Cash contribution requirements

Up to seven years

$1,000,000–$5,000,000

Must include at least one Partner Organisation

Partner Organisation contribution is not prescribed, but must demonstrate commitment to the proposed ARC Centre of Excellence through significant cash contributions and/or in-kind contributions and/or contributions of other material resources.

 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 2020: Numbers by Discipline Panel

BSB = Biological Sciences and Biotechnology; EIC = Engineering, Information and Computing Sciences; HCA = Humanities and Creative Arts; MPCE = Mathematics Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; SBE = Social, Behavioural and Economics Sciences

Centre of Excellence scheme success rate by discipline panel, 2020 round.

 Centre of Excellence Success Rates

Chart showing Centre of Excellence scheme success rates—EOI, Shortlist and Funded—for three rounds, CE14, CE17 and CE20. 

Centres of Excellence: funding by Field of Research 

Chart showing ARC Centre of Excellence scheme funding by Field of Research (2011-2020 rounds), with Engineering highlighted. Note Fields of Research which received no funding are not shown.

 Special Research Initiatives (SRIs)

Support high quality research which will assist in advancing Australia’s research excellence to be globally competitive and deliver benefits to the community.

Each round has objectives specific to the requirements of the individual Special Research Initiative.