The ARC acknowledges the significant issue of underrepresentation of women in the research sector in Australia. The ARC is committed to ensuring that all eligible researchers, irrespective of gender, have the opportunity to participate in National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) funding schemes.

The award of NCGP funding is predicated on research excellence determined through a rigorous peer review process. The ARC funds the best projects and research proposals submitted by eligible researchers, irrespective of gender, to support the highest quality Australian research and innovation. Achieving gender balance in the research workforce is critical to ensure that outstanding researchers have the opportunity to contribute to Australia’s research and innovation goals. 

ARC support 

In line with the principles outlined in the ARC Research Workforce Statement, in administering the NCGP, the ARC undertakes to:


  • support the highest quality eligible researchers, irrespective of gender 


  • ensure that all eligible researchers have a fair opportunity to access NCGP funding schemes 
  • ensure that all proposals are treated fairly and impartially in accordance with ARC grant guidelines and policies, and the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines  
  • ensure that any new funding schemes are designed and delivered to provide fair access to all eligible researchers


  • ensure that conditions of award are supportive of different career-life balance decisions

  • encourage, where appropriate, the mentoring of early-career researchers 

  • promote mentoring of women researchers, including through the ambassadorial role of the named Australian Laureate Fellowships.

The ARC also undertakes to:

  • engage with stakeholders to identify the most effective support mechanisms to encourage participation by women in the research workforce 
  • promote participation in ARC-funded research by all eligible researchers
  • monitor and evaluate outcomes
  • ensure that all NCGP information is non-discriminatory, promotes positive attitudes and meets the Australian Government’s requirements for accessibility.

Expectations of Administering Organisations

ARC funding is provided to Eligible Organisations not to individual researchers. In this context the ARC expects Eligible Organisations will:

  • meet any relevant legislative requirements in relation to gender
  • have policies and procedures in place to support the progression and retention of women in the research workforce.

Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012

Under ARC funding agreements, Administering Organisations must acknowledge that they may have obligations under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 and must comply with those obligations. The ARC encourages all eligible organisations to work towards achieving the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation or other best practice for gender equality programs.

Further information

Further supporting documentation can be found at on the Gender Equality in Research page of the ARC website and includes the ARC Gender Equality Action Plan, ARC Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence statement and ARC Research Workforce Statement.