Peer review is central to the assessment of Applications for ARC grants. The ARC engages both General and Detailed Assessors to peer review Applications.

General Assessors

Each grant scheme round has a Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) comprised of General Assessors. General Assessors are commonly distinguished academic researchers drawn from the ARC College of Experts (CoE). For some grant schemes the SAC will include members from end-user communities.

General Assessors utilise knowledge of their disciplinary areas and a broad understanding of intellectual and methodological issues and good research planning.
Each Application has a lead General Assessor (known as Carriage 1) who is typically close to the academic field of the Application, and one or more General Assessors (known as Other Carriages) with supplementary expertise.

Selection Advisory Committee structure

SACs recommend to the ARC CEO which Applications should be funded and how much funding successful Applications should receive.

The size and structure of the SAC is influenced by the nature of the grant scheme and the volume of Applications expected. For most schemes, the SAC will be divided into three, four or five broad disciplinary Panels.

For specialist and highly prestigious schemes such as Australian Laureate Fellowships, Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities, Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) and Centres of Excellence, the SAC consists of a single interdisciplinary panel.

Detailed Assessors

Detailed Assessors are drawn from the ARC Assessor Community and are assigned Applications  for their specific expertise in a field of research.  Information enabling Detailed Assessors to be matched and aligned with Applications is held within their RMS profiles.

Detailed Assessors provide a written assessment and ratings against the scheme selection criteria for each Application to which they are assigned. These assessments are central to the considerations of the General Assessors in determining which Applications to support for funding.  

Peer review flow chart


1.    Step 1: General Assessors are assigned to Applications.
2.    Step 2: Detailed Assessors assigned to Applications by Carriage 1 General Assessors (or by ARC Executive Directors in some schemes).
3.    Step 3: Detailed Assessors provide detailed assessment with scores and written analysis against selection criteria.
4.    Step 4: Applicants have opportunity to submit a rejoinder to assessment text provided by Detailed Assessors.
5.    Step 5: General Assessors review Applications, detailed assessments and rejoinders and confer with co-carriages before providing assessment scores for each Application.
6.    Step 6: General Assessors convene at Selection Meeting to discuss and determine funding recommendations.
7.    Step 7: CEO makes funding recommendations to the Minister. Minister gives final approval.