The National Security Challenges grant opportunities under the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program is are offered by the Department of Defence National Security Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC).  

This page provides advice on applying for the NISDRG National Security Challenges for funding commencing in 2021. For information about managing grants please see RGS Grants Management

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

  • 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  

Participants on applications for funding addressing the National Security Challenges must be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand Special Category Visa Holders, and organisations participating as Other Organisations must be Australian organisations.  

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the relevant Grant Guidelines and Grant Agreements. Grants from the Department of Defence are made to organisations, not individual researchers or research teams. The Grant Guidelines contain the list of Eligible Organisations.  

All accountable authorities and officials must use GrantConnect to publish all Grant Opportunities, all Grant Opportunity Guidelines and all addenda/alterations.  

The Grant Guidelines for the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants are now available on GrantConnect

While the Grant Guidelines are available to view, you will need to sign in or create a User Registration account  in GrantConnect to access all relevant documentation for Grant Opportunities. 

For further information on GrantConnect, please refer to the ARC GrantConnect information page or the GrantConnect website.  

Key Documents and Information for the NISDRG 

Key Dates for NISDRG 2021 

  • 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: 5 February 2021 to 18 February 2021 (previously 4 February 2021 to 17 February 2021)
  • Anticipated Announcement: Mid 2021 
  • Grant Funding Commencement: 1 July 2021
  • Final Project Start for Grant Opportunity: 30 December 2021

Preparing and Submitting an Application for the NISDRG (National Security Challenges) 

Applications for the National Security Challenges Grant Opportunity under the NISDRG program must be prepared and submitted through the dedicated version of  Research Management System (RMS) for the Department of Defence. 

For information on RMS please see the RMS information page.

Applications for the NISDRG Program are now open. 

More Information

More information about the NISDRG Program (National Security Challenges) as well as requirements for applicants, can be found in the following grant opportunity documents which are available on GrantConnect.
  • NISDRG Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • National Security Challenges
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • NS21R1 Information for Applicants

The Grant Agreement or Conditions of Grant is the Agreement between the Department of Defence and the administering organisation. Applicants are advised to be familiar with the sample NISDRG (Defence) Grant Agreement which is available on GrantConnect.

The NISDRG leverages several guidelines and policies used by the ARC. Other information with which applicants should be familiar includes:

If you cannot find the information you require on the ARC web pages or in the available documentation, please contact