Introduction

On 13 October 2020 the Office of National Intelligence and the Department of Defence announced the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program.  

The NISDRG program supports excellent research that deepens understanding of emerging science and technology and addresses intelligence and national security interests. The grant program will facilitate innovation and develop national security and intelligence capacity. It will also enable Australia’s National Intelligence and Security Communities to systematically engage with Australia’s research and technology community.  

The NISDRG program provides support to research that aligns with the priority research areas identified by the Australian Government. These research areas are outlined in the Intelligence Challenges and the National Security Challenges developed under the broad National Security Science and Technology Priorities. More information on the Intelligence Challenges and National Security Challenges are available here.

Current Round  

Priorities for National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) Program  

The Intelligence Challenges and the National Security Challenges have been developed under the broad National Security Science and Technology Priorities. The Challenges are priority research areas which will be updated from round to round.  

The Intelligence Challenges for the NISDRG program for funding commencing in 2021 are:  

  • Covert collection challenges  
  • Space-based challenges  
  • Identity management challenges 
  • Emerging biological and material science exploitation challenges 
  • Cyber security, protective security and offensive cyber challenges  
  • Human behaviour and influence challenges  
  • Data-driven and real-time analytical challenges  
  • Situation awareness and multi-source assessment  

The National Security Challenges for the NISDRG program for funding commencing in 2021 are:  

  • Influence in the Pacific  
  • Resilient Supply Chains 
  • Disinformation Detection and Counter Narratives 
  • Detection for 2040  
  • Human Identification and Vulnerability Assessments  
  • Analysis and decision support for 2040  
  • AI/ML for Investigative Support and Forensics Science  
  • Robust Consequence management improving Australia’s responses to, and recovery from, disasters and emergencies  

Funding for NISDRG Program 

NISDRG provides project funding of between $400,000 and $600,000 per project for up to three years. 

It is a requirement that all named investigators and personnel that receive salary support or stipends be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand Special Category Visa Holders. 

Please refer to the Grant Guidelines for more information on what project funding may be used for. 

Applicants must read the Grant Guidelines for National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants program.

Key Dates for NISDRG Program 

  • Release of Grant Guidelines: 13 October 2020 
  • Applications Open: 27 October 2020 
  • Request Not to Assess Close: 2 December 2020 
  • Applications Close: 16 December 2020 
  • Rejoinders: 4 February 2021 to 17 February 2021 
  • Anticipated Announcement: Mid 2021 

NISDRG for funding commencing in 2021

Funding for the NISDRG program commencing in 2021 is offered under two Grant Opportunities: 

Each Grant Opportunity will be managed through an individual dedicated version of the Research Management System (RMS). 

RGS Update

Contact Information 

Further details will be provided on this webpage and GrantConnect over the next few weeks. 

For further information please contact nisdrg@arc.gov.au