Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Rules/Other as made
These funding rules relate to Discovery Projects, a scheme funded under the Australian Research Council’s National Competitive Grants Program. The scheme recognises the importance of fundamental research to the national innovation system through supporting research undertaken by individual researchers or research teams.
Administered by: Education, Skills and Employment
Registered 01 Jun 2012
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR18-Jun-2012
Tabled Senate18-Jun-2012
Table of contents.













Discovery Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2013


Australian Research Council Act 2001


I, KIM CARR, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, having satisfied myself of the matters set out in section 59 of the Australian Research Council Act 2001, approve these Funding Rules under section 60 of that Act.





Dated                                                                             8 December 2011





Kim Carr

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Table of Contents


Key Dates. 4

Contacts. 4

1...... Name of Funding Rules. 5

2...... Commencement 5

3...... Definitions. 5

4...... Introduction. 7

4.1...... Overview   7

4.2...... Discovery Projects  7

4.3...... Selection Criteria  8

5...... Funding. 8

5.1...... Level and Period of Funding  8

5.2...... Budget Items Supported  9

5.3...... Budget Items Not Supported  10

5.4...... Research / Activities Not Supported  10

6...... Organisational Types, Roles and Eligibility. 11

6.1...... Eligible Organisations  11

6.2...... Other Organisations  11

7...... Roles and Eligibility for Researchers. 11

7.1...... Researcher Roles and General Eligibility  11

7.2...... Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators  11

7.3...... Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators 12

8...... Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award. 12

8.1...... Eligibility for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) 12

8.2...... Level and Period of Funding for a DORA   13

9...... Number of Proposals, Funded Projects and Cross-Scheme Eligibility. 13

9.1...... Number of Proposals and Funded Projects  13

9.2...... Duplication  14

9.3...... Proposal Eligibility  14

10.... Submission of Proposals. 135

10.1.... Proposals  15

10.2.... Submission of Proposals in the RMS  15

10.3.... Closing Time for Proposals  15

10.4.... Certification in the RMS  15

10.5.... Conflict of Interest 15

11.... Selection and Approval Process. 16

11.1.... Assessment and Selection Process  16

11.2.... Rejoinder 16

11.3.... Request Not to Assess  16

11.4.... Recommendations and Offer of Funding  16

12.... Appeals Process. 17

13.... Reporting Requirements. 17

13.1.... Progress Reports  17

13.2.... End of Year Reports  17

13.3.... Final Report 17

13.4.... Audited Financial Statement 18

14.... Fundamental Principles of Conducting Research. 18

14.1.... Ethics and Research Practices  18

14.2.... Applicable Law   18

14.3.... Confidentiality  18

14.4.... Intellectual Property  19

14.5.... Incomplete or Misleading Information  19

Appendix A.. 21

Eligible Organisations  21

Key Dates

Closing time for submission of Proposals

5.00 pm (AEDT)

Thursday 1 March 2012

Deadline for Requests not to Assess

5.00 pm (AEDT)

Thursday 16 February 2012



Researchers should direct requests for information to the Research Office within their organisation.


ARC Contacts:

by mail to:

by courier to:

Discovery Projects Coordinator

Australian Research Council

GPO Box 2702


Discovery Projects Coordinator

Australian Research Council

Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place, Majura Park


Email:  ARC-DiscoveryProjects@arc.gov.au

Phone: 02 6287 6600

Fax:     02 6287 6638

Web:    www.arc.gov.au


Appeals must be addressed and sent:

by mail to:


by courier to:

The Appeals Officer

Australian Research Council

GPO Box 2702



Or by email to:





The Appeals Officer

Australian Research Council

Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place,

Majura Park



RMS User IDs:

Email: rms@arc.gov.au





1.           Name of Funding Rules

These Funding Rules are the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2013.

2.           Commencement

These Funding Rules shall take effect upon registration on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

3.           Definitions

In these Funding Rules, unless the contrary intention appears:


Adjunct or Emeritus Appointment or equivalent means that an Eligible Organisation has a formal agreement with a researcher which establishes an ongoing association with the Eligible Organisation, of the nature of an Emeritus or honorary academic or visiting fellow. The ARC may seek documentary evidence of such an association if it is considered necessary.


Administering Organisation means an Eligible Organisation which submits a Proposal for funding under Discovery Projects and which will be responsible for the administration of the funding if the Project is approved for funding.


ARC means the Australian Research Council, as established under the ARC Act.


ARC Act means the Australian Research Council Act 2001.


ARC College means a body of scholars appointed to assist the ARC to identify research excellence, moderate external assessments and recommend fundable proposals.


ARC Fellowship means a named Fellowship position within any ARC scheme where the salary is funded wholly or partly by the ARC.


ARC Research Centres Program encompasses any research centre wholly or partly funded by the ARC and includes Centres of Excellence, Special Research Centres and Co-funded Centres.


Australian Laureate Fellow means a researcher who receives funding under the ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme.


Award means Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award, Discovery Indigenous Award or Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.


Centre Personnel means the Centre Director, Research Director, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Investigators or Specified Personnel in the ARC Research Centres Program.


Chief Investigator (CI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a Chief Investigator.


Collaborating Organisation means any Eligible Organisation which is identified in the Proposal as a contributor to the project but is not the Administering Organisation.


Commonwealth means the Commonwealth of Australia.


Commonwealth-funded Research Centre means a research centre established under a competitive Commonwealth scheme and includes Cooperative Research Centres and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grants and Centres of Clinical Research Excellence.


Conflict of Interest means any conflict of interest, any risk of a conflict of interest and any apparent conflict of interest arising through a party engaging in any activity, participating in any association, holding any membership or obtaining any interest that is likely to conflict with or restrict that party participating in the Project.

Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) means an Award available in conjunction with Discovery Projects that funds a CI salary.


Eligible Organisation means an organisation listed in Appendix A.


Federation Fellow means a researcher who receives funding under the ARC Federation Fellowships scheme.


Future Fellow means a researcher who receives funding under the ARC Future Fellowships scheme.


Funding Agreement means the agreement entered into by the ARC and an Administering Organisation when a Proposal from that organisation is approved for funding.


GST has the meaning as given in section 195-1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.


International Collaboration Award (ICA) means the Award available to fund international travel under conditions specified in these Funding Rules.


Medical and Dental Research means research and/or training primarily and substantially aimed at understanding or treating a human disease or health condition.


Minister means the Minister from time to time responsible for the administration of the ARC Act, or the Minister’s delegate.


NCGP means the National Competitive Grants Program.


Other Organisation means any organisation which is identified in the Proposal as a contributor to the project but is not an Eligible Organisation.


Partner Investigator (PI) means a researcher named in the Proposal who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a Partner Investigator.


Project means a proposal approved by the Minister to receive funding from the ARC.


Project Leader means the first-named CI on a Proposal.


Proposal means a request to the ARC for the provision of funding which is submitted in accordance with the Funding Rules.


Research Environment means the laboratory, department, school, centre or institute within the Administering Organisation where the majority of the research will be undertaken.


Research Office means a business unit within an Eligible Organisation that is responsible for administrative contact with the ARC.


RMS means the ARC’s online Research Management System.


Special Condition means a special condition specified in a Funding Agreement which governs the use of the funding provided by the ARC.

4.           Introduction

4.1             Overview

4.1.1           These Funding Rules are current as at December 2011 and have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the ARC Act in force then.

4.1.2           The Discovery Projects scheme provides funding to Eligible Organisations to support research programs.

4.1.3           For the purposes of these Funding Rules, research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

                   This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) comprising of “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man [human kind], culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”[1].

4.2             Discovery Projects

The objectives of the Discovery Projects scheme are to:

a.    support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams;

b.    enhance the scale and focus of research in the National Research Priorities;

c.    expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability;

d.   encourage research and research training in high-quality research environments;

e.    enhance international collaboration in research; and

f.     foster the international competitiveness of Australian research.

4.3             Selection Criteria

                   Proposals will be assessed and ranked using the following selection criteria:

a.     Investigator(s)                                                                         40%

-       research opportunity and performance evidence (ROPE); and

-       capacity to undertake the proposed research.

b.    Project Quality and Innovation                                              25%

-        Does the research address a significant problem?

-        Is the conceptual/theoretical framework innovative and original?

-        Will the aims, concepts, methods and results advance knowledge?

c.     Feasibility and Benefit                                                            20%    

-       Do the Project’s design, participants and requested budget create confidence in the timely and successful completion of the Project?

-       Will the completed Project produce innovative economic, environmental, social and/or cultural benefit to the Australian and international community?

d.    Research Environment                                                            15%

-       Is there an existing, or developing, supportive and high quality research environment for this Project?

-       Are the necessary facilities to complete the Project available?

-       Are there adequate strategies to encourage dissemination, commercialisation, if appropriate; and promotion of research outcomes?

5.           Funding

5.1             Level and Period of Funding

5.1.1           All amounts referred to in these Funding Rules are to be read as exclusive of GST (if any), unless expressly stated otherwise.

5.1.2           The minimum level of funding provided by the ARC under Discovery Projects is $30,000 per year of funding and the maximum is $500,000 per year of funding.

5.1.3           A Project may be applied for and awarded funding for up to three consecutive years.

5.1.4           Funding for approved projects will commence effective 1 January 2013, unless other arrangements are approved by the Minister.


Budget Items Supported

5.2.1           Budget items which directly support a research program may be funded, including:

a.    access to national and international research and infrastructure facilities including specialist archives, collections and databases;

b.    access to workshop services linked to and justified explicitly against the Project (for example, machine tools and qualified technicians);

c.    equipment;

d.   personnel: for example research associates and assistants, technicians and laboratory attendants. Salary support must be requested at an appropriate salary level for the Administering Organisation, including 28 per cent on-costs.

e.    PhD stipends, at a minimum of $23,728 (2012$);

f.     maintenance;

g.    specialised computer equipment and software essential to the Project;

h.    teaching relief up to a total value of $40,000 per year;

i.      travel costs essential to the Project, including economy travel costs for domestic and/or international travel and not exceeding $50,000, over the life of the Project. Funding is permitted for CIs, PIs and research support personnel.

5.2.2          Publication and dissemination of Project outputs and outreach activity costs may be supported at up to two (2) per cent of total ARC funding awarded to the Project, and no prior approval is required; nor does this need to be separately itemised at time of application. This excludes fees for patent application and holding. The ARC strongly encourages publication in publicly accessible outlets and the depositing of data and any publications arising from a Project in an appropriate subject and/or institutional repository.

5.2.3          International Collaboration Awards may be requested:

a.    for up to two researchers either CIs or PIs, per Proposal. Preference will be given for funding overseas PIs;

b.   for up to six months, per Award, over the life of the Project;

c.    for a CI to work overseas on the Project with an overseas based PI and/or PI based overseas to work in Australia on the Project. ICAs do not fund travel to Australia by PIs located at an overseas campus of an Australian Eligible Organisation.  

d.   up to a maximum amount of $20,000 for six (6) months per CI or PI, or pro rata for a lesser period, as a Special Condition;

e.    to fund the following items: travel on international return economy class airfares, reasonable local travel, a living allowance and consumables. The living allowance should be based on standard institutional rates for academic visitors.

5.3             Budget Items Not Supported

5.3.1          Budget items which will not be supported by ARC funding are:

a.    salaries and/or on costs, in whole or in part, for CIs or PIs, excluding DORA recipients;

b.    capital works and general infrastructure costs;

c.    fees for international students or the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) liabilities for students;

d.   costs not directly related to research, for example, professional membership fees, fees for patent application and holding, visas, relocation, costs of dependants, insurance, and mobile phones (purchase or call charges); and

e.    bench fees or similar laboratory access fees.

5.3.2           The following basic facilities must be provided by the Administering Organisation:

a.    access to a basic library collection;

b.    access to film or music editing facilities;

c.    accommodation (for example, laboratory and office, suitably equipped and furnished);

d.   provision of basic computer facilities such as desktop computers, portable computer devices, printers, word processing and other standard software;

e.    standard reference materials or funds for abstracting services; and

f.     use of photocopiers, telephones, mail, fax, email and internet services.

5.4             Research / Activities Not Supported

5.4.1           Except where such activities meet the definition of research at 4.1.3, the Discovery Projects scheme does not support production of:

a.    descriptive data compilations, catalogues or bibliographies;

b.    teaching materials; or

c.    compilation of data, computer programs, research aids and tools.

5.4.2           The Discovery Projects scheme does not support medical and dental research, defined as research and/or training primarily and substantially aimed at understanding or treating a human disease or human health condition. This includes, but is not limited to, Projects that involve any of the following:

a.    late pre-clinical or early human trials of a human therapeutic agent, material or diagnostic test or device; or other interventional research involving humans;

b.   using material collected from human subjects for the primary purpose of studying the underlying causes, prevalence, epidemiology or mode of inheritance of a disease or human condition; or

c.    using established animal models or established cell lines for the purpose of studying the underlying causes, prevalence, epidemiology or mode of inheritance of a human disease or human health condition.

6.                Organisational Types, Roles and Eligibility

6.1              Eligible Organisations

6.1.1           A Proposal may only be submitted by an Eligible Organisation listed at Appendix A.

6.1.2           The Eligible Organisation which submits the Proposal will be the Administering Organisation and all other Eligible Organisations listed on the Proposal will be Collaborating Organisations.

6.2             Other Organisations

6.2.1           Organisations which are not Eligible Organisations but which are listed on the Proposal will be Other Organisations.

7.           Roles and Eligibility for Researchers

7.1             Researcher Roles and General Eligibility

7.1.1           Roles that may be undertaken by researchers are:

a.    Chief Investigator (CI); or

b.    Partner Investigator (PI).

7.1.2           A Proposal must nominate at least one CI; the first named CI will be the Project Leader.

7.1.3           At the time of the submission of a Proposal, all obligations regarding previously funded Projects involving the nominated CIs on the Proposal must have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the ARC. Such obligations include the provision of satisfactory Final Reports.

7.2             Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators

7.2.1           A researcher nominated on a Proposal as a CI must meet at least one of the following criteria as at 1 January 2013, and for the full term of her/his participation in the project:

a.    be an employee for at least half-time (50 per cent of  Full Time Equivalent) at one Eligible Organisation; or

b.    be a holder of an Emeritus, Adjunct or equivalent appointment at an Eligible Organisation and not be employed more than half-time (50 per cent of Full Time Equivalent) at another organisation that:

i.      is outside the higher education sector, and

ii.    engages in research funded predominantly from state/territory or Commonwealth Government funding sources; or

c.    be a Federation Fellow; or

d.   be an Australian Laureate Fellow.

7.2.2           A CI must take significant intellectual responsibility for the conduct of the Project and for any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results. The CI must have the capacity to make a serious commitment to carrying out the Project and cannot assume the role of a supplier of resources for work that will largely be placed in the hands of others.

7.2.3           The CI must reside predominantly in Australia for the life of the Project. The CI may seek approval from the Administering Organisation to undertake fieldwork, or study leave, directly related to the Project not exceeding 18 months over the life of the Project.

7.2.4           Notwithstanding the eligibility under the criteria above or below in this Section, researchers cannot be eligible to be CIs if:

a.    undertaking undergraduate studies; or

b.    undertaking a higher degree by research.

7.2.5           If a Proposal has been approved for funding and a CI is, at any time, no longer able to work as proposed on the Project, the Project may be continued provided that the Project still includes at least one CI who was named on the Proposal and any replacement CI is approved by the ARC and meets the CI eligibility criteria.

7.2.6           If a Proposal has been approved for funding and the sole CI is, at any time, no longer able to work as proposed on the Project, the Project must be terminated.

7.3             Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators

7.3.1           A researcher nominated as a PI on a Proposal:

a.  a PI must take significant intellectual responsibility for the conduct of the Project and for any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results. The PI must have the capacity to make a serious commitment to carrying out the Project and cannot assume the role of a supplier of resources for work that will largely be placed in the hands of others;

b.  must not meet the eligibility criteria for CI; and

c.  must secure cash, or in-kind contribution or other resources from their own organisation for the Project (having regard to the total cost of the project and the relative contribution of other investigators).

7.3.2           A researcher who is an employee of an Eligible Organisation listed in Appendix A who does not reside predominantly in Australia may be a PI.

8.           Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award

8.1             Eligibility for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA)

8.1.1           A DORA candidate must satisfy the eligibility criteria for a CI at 7.2.

8.1.2               A CI cannot hold concurrent DORAs.

8.1.3               Only one DORA may be requested per Proposal.

8.1.4               A CI can only request one DORA in the current Discovery Projects round.

8.2              Level and Period of Funding for a DORA

8.2.1           A CI cannot apply for DORA funding only.     

8.2.2           A DORA can only be awarded for the same duration as the Project.   

8.2.3           A CI awarded a DORA will not be awarded Teaching Relief.

8.2.4           A DORA recipient cannot commence another ARC Fellowship or Award until after the entire DORA component has been expended. A DORA recipient can only hold one more DORA.

8.2.5           Notwithstanding 8.2.4, DORA funding may be used for other purposes to support the Project in exceptional or changed personal circumstances with the approval of the ARC, without extension to the life of the Project.

8.2.6           DORA funding may be requested at one of three salary levels (2012$), which is either equivalent to or higher than the salary level of the CI as at the closing date for submission. 


DORA Funding





DORA Step 1

(1.0 FTE)




DORA Step 2

(1.0 FTE)







DORA Step 3

(1.0 FTE)





8.2.7           The Administering Organisation must ensure a CI awarded a DORA is entitled to up to 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave during the duration of the award.  The ARC will provide up to 14 weeks funding for this purpose. The Administering Organisation must seek ARC approval for any extension to the life of the Project exceeding the 14 weeks paid maternity leave.  

9.            Number of Proposals, Funded Projects and Cross-Scheme Eligibility

9.1             Number of Proposals and Funded Projects

9.1.1           A CI receiving funding under the Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development or Discovery Indigenous schemes, or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program may only be funded concurrently for a maximum of two Projects under these Schemes and Program combined. If both Projects are funded under the Discovery Projects scheme only one can be as sole CI.

9.1.2           A Fellow receiving funding under the Future Fellowships or Australian Laureate Fellowships schemes may only be funded concurrently for a maximum of two Projects under the following Schemes and Program combined: Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development, Discovery Indigenous or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program.

9.1.3           A Discovery Early Career Researcher Award recipient may only be funded concurrently for one Project under the following Schemes and Program combined: Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development, Discovery Indigenous or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program.

9.1.4           Researchers will not be permitted to relinquish a CI, Fellow, Award or Centre Personnel role or existing ARC grants held on 1 January 2012, to circumvent the limits in 9.1.1, 9.1.2, and 9.1.3.

9.1.5           A researcher cannot be involved in more than the maximum number of Projects (including Awards and Fellowships) permitted in 2013. This number is calculated at the closing time of submission of Proposals by totalling the number of Projects receiving funding in 2013 and the number of Proposals submitted for funding commencing in 2013. A Project is considered to be funded for the years set out in the Funding Agreement.

9.1.6           An ARC Fellow or Award recipient cannot concurrently hold more than one ARC Fellowship or Award. An ARC Fellow or Award recipient may only apply for another ARC Fellowship or Award in the final year of that Fellowship or Award. Some schemes have restrictions on the number of times applications can be submitted.

9.1.7           An applicant for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2013 cannot apply for another ARC Award or Fellowship commencing in 2013.

9.1.8           An ARC Fellow or Award recipient cannot concurrently hold a Fellowship from another Commonwealth funding agency. Commencement of ARC Fellowships and Awards cannot be deferred to allow the completion of another Commonwealth funded fellowship. The ARC will not accept applications for Fellowships or Awards where the candidate has applied, or intends to apply, for another Commonwealth-funded fellowship within the six months before or after the ARC closing date for proposals.

9.1.9           A CI on a Program or Project Grant or Centre of Research Excellence receiving funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2013 may only apply for a maximum of one Discovery Project for funding commencing in 2013.

9.2             Duplication

9.2.1           A Proposal may only be submitted once in the same funding round to Discovery Projects regardless of any variation in the proposed research, the listed researchers and/or Administering Organisation.

9.2.2           The ARC will not duplicate funding for research, including infrastructure, funded as at 1 January 2013 by the Commonwealth.

9.2.3           The Proposal must list all current funding and requested funding for each CI and PI under any ARC scheme or any other Commonwealth funding scheme.

9.3              Proposal Eligibility

9.3.1           The ARC will assess whether a Proposal meets the eligibility requirements in these Funding Rules and may recommend that a Proposal that does not meet the requirements be deemed ineligible. 

9.3.2           A decision under clause 9.3.1 may be made by the ARC at any stage during assessment of the proposal and may result in non-progression of the proposal to the next level of assessment.

10.             Submission of Proposals

10.1           Proposals

10.1.1         The Proposal must contain all the information necessary for its assessment without the need for further written or oral explanation, or reference to additional documentation, unless requested by the ARC.

10.1.2         All details in the Proposal must be current at the time of submission.

10.2           Submission of Proposals in the RMS

10.2.1         Administering Organisations must submit Proposals through the RMS unless otherwise advised by the ARC.

10.2.2         All Proposals must meet the format and content requirements, including certification, as set out in the RMS form and the Instructions to Applicants.

10.3           Closing Time for Proposals

10.3.1         The online form completed within the RMS must be submitted by 5.00 pm (AEST) Thursday, 1 March 2012.

10.3.2         Additions, deletions and modifications will not be accepted after submission, unless invited by the ARC.

10.3.3         Proposals may be withdrawn up until 5.00pm (AEDT) Thursday 31 May 2012 by the Administering Organisation by notice in writing to the ARC.

10.4           Certification in the RMS

10.4.1         The Administering Organisation must certify a Proposal online in the RMS. Research Offices should ensure that the Research Office delegate role is authorised in the RMS to certify and submit Proposals.

10.4.2         The ARC reserves the right at any point in the NCGP assessment process to seek evidence from the Administering Organisation to support the certification of Proposals.

10.5           Conflict of Interest

10.5.1         All parties involved in or associated with a Proposal must disclose at the date of submission any conflict of interest that exists or is likely to arise in relation to any aspect of the Proposal.

10.5.2         If a conflict of interest exists or arises, the Administering Organisation must have documented processes in place for managing the conflict of interest for the duration of the project. Such processes must comply with the NHMRC/ARC/UA Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) and any relevant successor document.

11.         Selection and Approval Process

11.1           Assessment and Selection Process

11.1.1        Assessment of Proposals is undertaken by the ARC, which has the right to make recommendations for funding to the Minister, based on any number of assessments or solely on the basis of its expertise.

11.1.2        All Proposals will be considered against eligibility criteria and compliance with these Funding Rules.

11.1.3         Proposals may be:


a.       assigned to independent assessors, from a range of organisations, who will assess and report, which may include written comments, on the Proposal against the selection criteria;

b.      ranked and allocated a budget, relative to other Proposals, by the ARC College on the basis of the Proposal, any assessors’ reports and any rejoinder.

11.1.4        The ARC has procedures in place for managing organisational and personal Conflicts of Interest for assessors, members of the ARC College, members of other ARC Committees and ARC staff.

11.2           Rejoinder

The Administering Organisation may be given the opportunity for a rejoinder to Assessors’ written comments, and to provide any additional information requested by the ARC. Names of assessors will not be provided to the Administering Organisation.

11.3           Request Not to Assess

Administering Organisations may name any person or persons whom they do not wish to assess a Proposal on a ‘Request not to Assess’ form (available on the ARC website). The notification must be sent to the email address advised under ‘Contacts’ at the beginning of these Funding Rules and received by the ARC by the closing time for Proposals, 5:00 pm (AEST), Thursday, 16 February 2012. The ARC will consider the justification put forward to exclude any person as an assessor, but may choose not to give effect to such a request.

11.4           Recommendations and Offer of Funding

11.4.1         In accordance with the ARC Act, the CEO will submit funding recommendations to the Minister for consideration. The Minister will determine which Proposals will be approved and the amount and timing of funding to be paid to Administering Organisations for approved Proposals.

11.4.2         Under the ARC Act, the Minister must not approve for funding any Proposal that fails to meet the eligibility criteria set out in these Funding Rules.

11.4.3         Administering Organisations whose Proposals are approved will be notified in a letter of offer that will indicate the funding to be offered and provided with a copy of a Funding Agreement for signing.

11.4.4         The Minister may vary the funding approval if the ARC recommends that the particular circumstances of the Project warrant variation. Any variation or change will accord with the ARC Discovery Projects Funding Rules and Funding Agreement.

12.         Appeals Process

12.1.1         Applicants for funding under the schemes of the NCGP are able to submit an appeal against administrative process issues. The appeals process is designed to ensure that the applicant has been treated fairly and consistently in the context of selection procedures.

12.1.2         Appeals will be considered only against administrative process issues and not against committee decisions, assessor ratings and comments or the assessment outcome.

12.1.3         Appeals must be submitted by the Administering Organisation on the ARC Appeals Form (available on the ARC website), authorised by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Chief Executive Officer or equivalent. Appeals must be received within 28 days of the date of the notification to the Administering Organisation of the outcome of Proposals. The ARC will not accept appeals later than 5pm (AEST) of the date of submission of the appeal.

12.1.4         Appeals must be addressed and sent to the address advised under ‘Contacts’ at the beginning of these Funding Rules. The ARC will accept both electronic and hard copy appeal submissions.

12.1.5         Applicants for funding may at any time seek to appeal ARC decisions using available external appeal options.

13.         Reporting Requirements

13.1           Progress Reports

13.1.1        Years 1 and 2: Report by Exception. A report must only be submitted if significant issues are affecting the progress of the Project. The report must specify the actions being taken to address the issues.

13.1.2        When required, Progress Reports must be submitted by 31 March in the year following each full calendar year for which the funding was awarded as directed by the ARC.

13.2           End of Year Reports

                  The Administering Organisation must submit an End of Year Report by  31 March in the year following each full calendar year for which the funding was awarded.

13.3           Final Report

13.3.1        A Final Report must be submitted for the Project within twelve months of the final payment or within 12 months of the final approved carryover of Funds.

13.3.2        The Final Report must justify why any publications from a Project have not been deposited in appropriate repositories within 12 months of publication. The Final Report must outline how data arising from the Project has been made publicly accessible where appropriate.

13.3.3        If any reports are not submitted or are not satisfactory to the ARC this will be noted against future Proposals submitted by all participants.

13.3.4        The ARC may also seek additional information about subsequent publications after submission of the Final Report.

13.4           Audited Financial Statement

13.4.1        In accordance with section 58 of the ARC Act, the Administering Organisation must submit an Audited Financial Statement by 30 June for each year following each calendar year for which the Funding was awarded.

13.4.2        In completing the Audited Financial Statement, the Administering Organisation must ensure that the amount shown in that statement as ‘approved carry forward funds’ is the same as the amount (if any) for which approval was given by the ARC to carry over in the End of Year Report.

14.         Fundamental Principles of Conducting Research

14.1           Ethics and Research Practices

14.1.1         All Proposals and ARC-funded research projects must conform to the principles outlined in the following and their successor documents:

a.    NHMRC/ARC/UA Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007);

b.    as applicable, the NHMRC/ARC/AVCC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007); and

c.    as applicable, codes on animal research promulgated by the NHMRC.

14.1.2         If there is any conflict between a successor document and its predecessor, then the successor document prevails to the extent of any inconsistency.

14.2           Applicable Law

                   The ARC is required to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

14.3           Confidentiality

14.3.1         The ARC will treat information contained in a Proposal as confidential. However, the ARC may disclose information contained in a Proposal, or otherwise provided to the ARC, to the extent that the information is:

a.    disclosed by the ARC to its advisers (including external assessors), officers, employees or other third parties in order to assess, evaluate or verify the accuracy or completeness of a Proposal;

b.    disclosed to the ARC’s personnel to enable effective management or auditing of the ARC Discovery Projects scheme or any Funding Agreement;

c.    disclosed by the ARC to the Minister;

d.   shared by the ARC within the ARC’s organisation, or with another Commonwealth Department or agency, where this severs the Commonwealth’s legitimate interests;

e.    authorised or required by law to be disclosed;

f.     disclosed in accordance with any other provision of these Funding Rules or the Funding Agreement; or

g.    in the public domain.

14.3.2         Where information contained in a Proposal is made available to third parties for evaluation or assessment purposes the ARC will require the third parties to maintain the confidentiality of the material.

14.3.3         Notwithstanding the above, and in addition to the exemptions listed at 14.3.1, the ARC may publicise and report offers or awards of funding, including information about the proposed research; their organisations, the name of the Administering Organisation and any other parties involved in or associated with the project; the title and summary descriptions of the project and its intended outcomes (including the national/community benefits that are expected to arise from the research); and the level and nature of financial assistance from the ARC. Administering Organisations should ensure that information contained in the projects title and summaries would not, if release, compromise their own requirements for confidentiality (such as future protection of intellectual property).

14.3.4         In making public information about a Proposal which has been approved for funding, the ARC may use a project description, including title and summary which may differ from that provided in the Proposal.  

14.4     Intellectual Property


14.4.1         The ARC does not claim ownership of any intellectual property in a Proposal or in any research arising from an approved Proposal.

14.4.2         The Administering Organisation must adhere to an Intellectual Property policy, approved by the Administering Organisation’s governing body, which has as one of its aims the maximisation of benefits arising from research. Unless otherwise approved by the Commonwealth, the Administering Organisation’s Intellectual Property policy must comply with the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research as amended from time to time.

14.5     Incomplete or Misleading Information


14.5.1         It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to the Commonwealth.

14.5.2         If the ARC considers that a Proposal is incomplete, inaccurate or contains false or misleading information, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to recommend that the Proposal not be approved for funding.  

14.5.3         Examples of misleading information and misconduct include:

a.    providing fictitious research opportunity and performance evidence;

b.    plagiarism

c.    making false claims in publications records (such as describing a paper as accepted for publication when it has only been submitted);

d.   making false claims in relation to qualifications and/or appointments;

e.    making false certifications in the RMS certification; or

f.     failing to disclose to the ARC the existence, and nature, of actual or potential conflicts of interest of any of the parties involved in the Proposal/project (such as any affiliations or financial interest in any organisation that has a direct interest in the matter or outputs of the project).

Appendix A

Eligible Organisations

The organisations listed below are eligible to apply for and receive funding under these Funding Rules.


New South Wales

Charles Sturt University

Macquarie University

Southern Cross University

The University of New England

The University of New South Wales

The University of Newcastle

The University of Sydney

University of Technology, Sydney

University of Western Sydney

University of Wollongong



Deakin University

La Trobe University

Melbourne College of Divinity

Monash University

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University)

Swinburne University of Technology

The University of Melbourne

University of Ballarat

Victoria University



Bond University

Central Queensland University

Griffith University

James Cook University

Queensland University of Technology

The University of Queensland

The University of the Sunshine Coast

University of Southern Queensland


Western Australia

Curtin University of Technology

Edith Cowan University

Murdoch University

The University of Notre Dame Australia

The University of Western Australia


South Australia

The Flinders University of South Australia

The University of Adelaide

University of South Australia



University of Tasmania

Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University

Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education


Australian Capital Territory

The Australian National University

University of Canberra

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)




Australian Catholic University



[1] OECD (2002), Frascati Manual: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, Paris (Page 30).