The ARC is providing grants administration services to other Australian Government entities who are managing grant programs focused on the university and research sector. The eligibility process for the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program will be administered by the ARC on behalf of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and the Department of Defence (Defence). 

The Delegate of the relevant Australian Government entity must not approve for funding any application that fails to meet the eligibility criteria as set out in the relevant Grant Guidelines. 

The process outlined below is specific to the NISDRG program only and differs in some aspects to the process used for the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP).  

All applications are assessed against the eligibility requirements in the NISDRG Grant Guidelines. The ARC may recommend that an application that does not meet the requirements be deemed ineligible. 

It is the responsibility of all participants intending on applying for funding through the NISDRG program that they ensure they read and comply with the NISDRG Grant Guidelines which are available in the Forecast Opportunity for the relevant challenge on GrantConnect:


The application forms for the NISDRG program contain a number of eligibility validations reflecting the eligibility requirements outlined in the NISDRG Grant Guidelines. The eligibility validations in the forms will stop applicants from submitting an application which breaches eligibility requirements related to participants and organisations. 

The ARC, on behalf of ONI and Defence, will conduct a range of eligibility checks on submitted applications once the application period has closed. The eligibility checks will identify potential eligibility issues for which there is no forms validation. 

Administering Organisations will be contacted by email if an application is identified as having one or more potential eligibility issues. Administering Organisations may then choose to submit an appeal against the ineligibility ruling. 


The NISDRG grant guidelines make provision for an appeals process, whereby appeals will be considered against ARC administrative process issues. The appeals process has been designed to ensure that the applicant is being treated fairly and consistently in the context of the selection procedures.  

The ARC will only consider appeals against administrative process issues and not against committee decisions or assessor ratings and comments. 

An appeal against an application’s ineligible ruling must be submitted by an Administering Organisation on the ARC Appeals form - Word format - PDF Format.

Administering Organisations will have 30 days to submit an appeal from the date of the eligibility notification. Appeals must be submitted by email to

Applicants should provide the ARC with all the information necessary to enable the appeal to be considered without the need for further written or oral explanation or reference to additional material. Appeals against ineligibility rulings will be considered by the ARC and an RGS Appeals Committee on behalf of ONI and Defence. Administering Organisations will be advised of the outcome of an appeal. 

There will be no appeals process following the announcement of grant outcomes. 

While the ARC only accepts appeals against administrative process issues, at any time applicants may seek to appeal any ARC decision using an alternative external appeal mechanism. 

Potential external options for appeal include: 

  • Commonwealth Ombudsman 
  • Privacy Commissioner 
  • Australian Information Commissioner 
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
  • Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) (ADJR) 
  • Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (the CDDA Scheme). 

*Regarding available options for external appeal, the AAT does not have general power to review ARC decisions.