1. When did the current Policy (v2020.1) take effect?

From 1 January 2021. 

2. How has the Policy changed from the previous ARC Medical Research Policy?

The revised Policy remains substantively the same as the previous version.

Clarifications to the Policy have been made to reflect the inclusion of ‘Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals’ as an Industrial Transformation Priority under the Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP). A number of other modifications were also made to clarify research that is eligible/ineligible for ARC support.

3. Is the ARC able to tell me in advance of submitting my application, whether it is eligible under the ARC Medical Research Policy?

No. It is important that you take responsibility to ensure the research application is eligible under this current Policy.

4. Can the new Policy be applied retrospectively (i.e. to applications submitted before 1 January 2021)?

No. 

5. Will the new Policy apply to applications submitted after 1 January 2021?

Yes, where the ARC Medical Research Policy applies under the relevant scheme grant guidelines.

6. If my application was previously submitted to the NHMRC but not funded, is it automatically eligible for ARC funding?

No. Each application submitted to the ARC is assessed for eligibility under the relevant scheme grant guidelines including where the ARC Medical Research Policy applies under the relevant scheme grant guidelines.

7. Will the ARC consider my application even if evidence suggests that it will not be considered by the NHMRC?

Yes. Each application submitted to the ARC is assessed for eligibility under the relevant scheme grant guidelines including where the ARC Medical Research Policy applies under the relevant scheme grant guidelines.

8. If my application is deemed ineligible by the ARC, will the ARC automatically refer it to the NHMRC for their consideration for funding?

No. There is no referral mechanism between the ARC and the NHMRC. 

9. If I am unsure about whether to submit my application to the ARC or the NHMRC, can I submit it to both agencies?

There is nothing to prevent you from doing this. The parallel application would need to be disclosed in the relevant section of the ARC application form. If both applications are successful, only one grant offer can be accepted for funding (to avoid duplication of Commonwealth funding). Note that the ARC would see a parallel bid to the NHMRC as evidence of a potential significant health and medical focus which may render it ineligible for ARC funding

10. My application includes a small component of research that may be ineligible under the new Policy but the application predominantly comprises eligible research. Can I submit it to the ARC?

Yes, but the scale and significance of the component will be assessed by the ARC and the application may be found ineligible.

11. My Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities application includes a piece of equipment that potentially has medical applications, but the project does not have any aims or methodology relating to health or medicine. Is it eligible for ARC funding?

Yes. Applications must take the ARC Medical Research Policy into consideration and the predominant use of the proposed infrastructure, equipment and/or facilities must not be in breach of the Policy. While there may be some incidental use of the infrastructure, equipment and/or facilities in other research areas, this cannot be the focus of the application and the main aim of the research to be supported must not be to understand the causes, treatment and/or prevention of human diseases and/or the maintenance of human health.

12. If my application contains an intervention that does not relate to health or medical conditions (e.g. aiming to decrease truancy rates; change motorists’ behaviour; affect criminal recidivism), is it eligible for ARC funding?

Yes, with regard to the ARC Medical Research Policy, but all other eligibility requirements must also be met as per the relevant scheme grant guidelines.

13. If an application aims to study an animal health condition, but the goal is not to better understand, diagnose, manage, develop a treatment for or applications for use in, a human health condition or disease, is it eligible for ARC funding?

Yes, with regard to the ARC Medical Research Policy, but all other eligibility requirements must also be met as per the relevant scheme grant guidelines.

14. Are studies of fundamental human biological processes eligible for ARC funding?

Yes. Applications must take the ARC Medical Research Policy into consideration and the main aim of the research to be supported must not be to understand the causes, treatment and/or prevention of human diseases and/or the maintenance of human health.

15. Are complementary and alternative therapists and/or allied health professionals considered “health services” under this Policy?

Yes. For the purposes of the ARC Medical Research Policy, the definition of medical and health research includes laboratory-based studies, clinical studies and group/community-based studies that aim to understand the causes, treatment and/or prevention of human diseases and/or the maintenance of human health. The ARC does not normally fund research with these aims.

16. Are epidemiological studies eligible?

Yes, provided the goals are not on the understanding, aetiology, diagnosis, monitoring, management or treatment of physical or mental disease or other medical and/or human health conditions.

17. Are studies examining the evolution of viruses eligible?

Yes, provided the goals are not on the understanding, aetiology, diagnosis, monitoring, management or treatment of physical or mental disease or other medical and/or human health conditions.

18. Is research on human ageing eligible?

Yes, provided the goals are not on the understanding, aetiology, diagnosis, monitoring, management or treatment of physical or mental disease or other medical and/or human health conditions.

19. Is bioinformatics considered a knowledge and/or technology platform under the Policy?

Yes. Applications must take the ARC Medical Research Policy into consideration and the main aim of the research to be supported must not be to understand the causes, treatment and/or prevention of human diseases and/or the maintenance of human health.

20. Are studies on early childhood, for example learning, eligible for ARC funding?

Yes, provided the goals are not on the understanding, aetiology, diagnosis, monitoring, management or treatment of physical or mental disease or other medical and/or human health conditions.

21. My application addresses a medical research-related priority, under the Industrial Transformation Research Program. Can I still submit it to the ARC? 

The application may still be submitted, provided it clearly addresses the objectives of the Industrial Transformation Research Program. The main aim of the application must not be to understand the causes, treatment and/or prevention of human diseases and/or the maintenance of human health. The ARC will not consider any application that utilises ARC funds for clinical trials.