Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Rules/Other as made
These rules fund research hubs and research training centres and support Higher Degree by Research students and postdoctoral researchers in gaining real-world practical skills and experience through placement in industry.
Administered by: Education, Skills and Employment
Registered 08 Nov 2012
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled Senate19-Nov-2012
Tabled HR26-Nov-2012
Table of contents.






Industrial Transformation Research Hubs Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2012


Australian Research Council Act 2001

I, CHRIS EVANS, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, 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  16 October 2012        




Chris Evans

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, 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...... Industrial Transformation Research Hubs  7

4.3...... Selection Criteria  8

5.      Funding    9

5.1...... Level and Period of Funding  9

5.2...... Budget Items Supported  9

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

5.4...... Research/Activities Not Supported  11

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

6.1...... Eligible Organisations General Requirements  11

6.2...... Partner Organisation General Requirements  11

6.3...... Partner Organisation Contributions  12

6.4...... Eligibility for Concessional Treatment 13

6.5...... Other Organisations  13

7.        Roles and Eligibility for Researchers. 13

7.1...... Researcher Roles and General Eligibility  13

7.2...... Eligibility Criteria for a Hub Director 14

7.3...... Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators (CI) 15

7.4...... Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators (PI) 15

8.        Proposals   16

8.1...... Number of Proposals and Cross-Scheme Eligibility  16

8.2...... Proposal Eligibility and Duplication  16

9.        Submission of Proposals. 16

9.1...... Proposals  16

9.2...... Submission of Proposals in the RMS  17

9.3...... Closing Time for Proposals  17

9.4...... Certification in the RMS  17

9.5...... Conflict of Interest 17

10.     Selection and Approval Process. 17

10.1.... Assessment and Selection Process for Proposals  17

10.2.... Rejoinder 18

10.3.... Request Not to Assess  18

10.4.... Recommendations and Offer of Funding  18

11.     Appeals Process. 18

12.     Reporting Requirements. 19

12.1.... Progress Reports  19

12.2.... End of Year Reports  19

12.3.... Final Report 19

12.4.... Audited Financial Statement 20

13.     Fundamental Principles of Conducting Research. 20

13.1.... Ethics and Research Practices  20

13.2.... Applicable Law   20

13.3.... Confidentiality  20

13.4.... Intellectual Property  21

13.5.... Incomplete or Misleading Information  21

Appendix A         Eligible Organisations. 23




Key Dates

It is anticipated that up to four (4) Selection Meetings will be held per year. Please refer to the Important Dates page on the ARC website for updates on the closing time for submission of Proposals at www.arc.gov.au/media/important_dates.htm.


In the first instance, participants should direct all queries regarding ARC funding schemes to their Administering Organisation’s Research Office or equivalent.


ARC Contacts:

by mail to:

by courier to:

Industrial Transformation Research Hubs Coordinator

Australian Research Council

GPO Box 2702




Industrial Transformation Research Hubs Coordinator

Australian Research Council

Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place, Majura Park


Email:  ITRH@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


Post-award enquiries and report submission:

Email: ARC-postaward@arc.gov.au




1.                     Name of Funding Rules

These Funding Rules are the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hubs Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2012.

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

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

Cash Contribution means the cash funding from an organisation which is transferred to and managed by the Administering Organisation.

Chief Investigator (CI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a CI under these Funding Rules.

Commonwealth means the Commonwealth of Australia.

Commonwealth Fellowship means a position held by a researcher where the salary is funded wholly or partly by the Commonwealth and where the researcher in that position was a named participant in a Proposal.

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.

Consultancy means the provision of specialist advice, analysis, assistance, services or products to another organisation(s), generally where the consultancy services are for the sole or preferred use of that other organisation(s).

Eligible Organisation means an organisation listed in Appendix A.

Funding Agreement means the agreement entered into by the ARC and the 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.

Hub Director means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a Hub Director under these Funding Rules.

Hub Manager means a person with relevant industrial skills and experience who is able to manage and facilitate the day-to-day cooperation between Eligible and Partner Organisations.

Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) means a group of experts appointed to assist the ARC to identify and evaluate excellence in industry-relevant research.

Industrial Transformation Priorities means priority research areas identified by the ARC and updated from time-to-time on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au.

In-kind Contributions means a contribution of goods, services, materials or time to the Project from an individual, business or organisation. These are calculated based on the current market rates/valuations/rentals/charges (that is in the financial year of the date of the Proposal’s submission) of the costs of labour, work spaces, equipment and databases. The calculations covering time and costs should be documented by the Administering Organisation in the Proposal. The ARC may require these calculations to be audited from time-to-time.

Medical and Dental Research means research and/or training primarily and substantially aimed at understanding or treating a human disease or health condition, and as defined on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/applicants/md_research.htm.

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

NCGP means the National Competitive Grants Program.

Other Eligible Organisation means an Eligible Organisation listed on the Proposal which is not the Administering Organisation.

Other Organisation means an organisation which is listed in an Industrial Transformation Research Hubs Proposal and is not an Eligible Organisation or a Partner Organisation.

Partner Investigator (PI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a PI under these Funding Rules.

Partner Organisation means a national or international organisation, other than an Eligible Organisation, which satisfies the eligibility requirements for a Partner Organisation and is to be a cash and/or in-kind contributor to the Project.

Project means a Proposal approved by the Minister to receive funding from the ARC in accordance with these Funding Rules.

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 an Administering Organisation, Other Eligible Organisation or Partner Organisation where research will be undertaken.

Research Hubs means the specific activity or Project to be implemented under the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme.

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

RMS means the ARC’s online Research Management System.

4.                     Introduction

4.1                   Overview

4.1.1             These Funding Rules are current as at October 2012 and have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the ARC Act in force then.

4.1.2             The Industrial Transformation Research Program includes several elements; these Funding Rules specifically address one element, the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs, a scheme that will engage Australia’s best researchers in issues facing the new industrial economies and training the future workforce. This scheme will support collaborative research activity between the Australian higher education sector and industry designed to focus on strategic outcomes not independently realisable.

4.1.3             The Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme will provide funding to Eligible Organisations to engage in cutting edge research on new technologies and economic and social transformation and support the development of research in the Industrial Transformation Priorities. A strong collaboration and commitment of resources from innovative national and international industries is required; in turn the ARC will provide up to $1 million per annum funding for each Research Hub for a maximum of five (5) consecutive years. 

4.1.4             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) as comprising ‘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                   Industrial Transformation Research Hubs

4.2.1             The objectives of the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme are to:

a.         encourage collaborative R&D projects to address challenging industry issues solved through innovative research relevant to the Industrial Transformation Priorities;

b.        attract investment from the global and international business community by underpinning internationally-recognised excellence of Australian universities and their industry partners; and

c.         leverage private and international investment in targeted industry sectors.

4.3                   Selection Criteria

4.3.1             All Proposals that meet the eligibility criteria will be assessed and merit ranked using the following selection criteria:

a.         Proposed Project                                                                                           (30%)

-       Does the research address a nominated research priority area?

-       Does the project involve high quality innovative national and international partnership(s)?

-       Does the method and approach proposed address the objectives of the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme?

-       Is the conceptual/theoretical framework, genuinely broad, cross-disciplinary, innovative and original?

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

b.        Feasibility and Benefit                                                                                  (30%)

-       Is the design of the Project and the expertise of the participants sufficient to ensure the Project can be completed with the proposed budget and timeframe?

-       Does the Project have a wide level of collaboration, including the development of national and international networks and linkages?

-       Does the Research Environment provide high-quality intellectual support for the Project?

-       Will the Project build research capacity in the Partner Organisation(s)?

-       Are the necessary facilities to complete the Project available?

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

c.         Capacity and Commitment from Partner Organisation(s)                            (20%)

-       Is there evidence that each of the Partner Organisation(s) is genuinely committed to, and prepared to collaborate in, the Project?

-       Is there evidence that the Partner Organisation(s) have the capacity to support the Project?

-       Does the proposed Project represent value for money and is the budget justification of their Cash and In-kind Contributions adequate?

d.        Investigator(s)                                                                                               (20%)

-       Research opportunity and performance evidence (ROPE).

-       Experience in management of collaborative industrial and end-user focussed research.

-       Time and capacity to undertake and manage the proposed research in collaboration with the Partner Organisation(s).

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             Total funding provided by the ARC under the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme is a minimum of $500,000 per year to a maximum $1 million per year.

5.1.3             A Project may be applied for and awarded funding for a minimum of one (1) to a maximum of five (5) consecutive years.

5.1.4             The ARC reserves the right to recommend levels of funding for a Project at levels that may differ from those requested in the Proposal.

5.1.5             Funding for approved Projects will commence after Ministerial announcement or other arrangements that are approved by the Minister. Any funding awarded will be subject to sufficient funds being available for the Project, the provisions of the
ARC Act, and continued satisfactory progress of the Project.

5.2                   Budget Items Supported

5.2.1             Budget items that directly support a research Project may be funded, including:

a.         Domestic and international travel costs (economy) for Chief Investigators (CIs) and Partner Investigators (PIs), including fostering and strengthening collaborations between researchers in Australia and overseas, not exceeding a total of $50,000 over the life of the Project.

b.        Expert services of a third party if the services are deemed to be directly related to and necessary for the proposed Project. Such services include, but are not limited to:

i.          translation services, transcriptions services;

ii.        workshop services, data collection and analysis services; and

iii.      purchase of bibliographical or archival material (electronic or hard copy).

c.         Field or survey research expenses (including travel) for CIs, PIs and research support personnel.

d.        Maintenance and access to infrastructure and equipment required for the Project. Funding will not be provided for infrastructure or equipment that is deemed to be for broad general use.

e.         Personnel:

i.         salary support for a Hub Manager, research associates and assistants, technicians and laboratory attendants at an appropriate salary level, including 28 per cent on-costs, for the Administering Organisation; and

ii.       stipends for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students, in whole or in part, at an appropriate level for the Administering Organisation or the relevant industry.

f.         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 excludes fees for patent application and holding. This does not need to be requested as an individual budget item. The ARC 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.

g.        Specialised computer equipment and software essential to the Project.

h.        Teaching relief for CIs up to a total value of $50,000 per year where it is demonstrated that it will enhance engagement with the Partner Organisation(s).

5.2.2             All eligible direct costs must be justified in the Proposal to the satisfaction of the ARC.

5.3                   Budget Items Not Supported

5.3.1             Budget items that will not be supported by ARC funding and should not be requested in the budget include:

a.         ‘bench fees’ or similar laboratory access fees levied by the institution;

b.        capital works and general infrastructure costs, in whole or in part;

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

d.        fees for international students or Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) liabilities for students; and

e.         salaries and/or on-costs, in whole or in part, for the Hub Director, CIs or PIs.

5.3.2             The following basic facilities must be provided and funded 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 space, 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;

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

g.        website hosting.

5.3.3             The Administering Organisation must ensure that any organisational In-kind Contributions in the budget section of the Proposal do not include basic salary for any Commonwealth Fellowships, unless it is salary over and above the Commonwealth component supported.


5.4                   Research/Activities Not Supported

5.4.1             Except where such activities meet the definition of research in subsection 4.1.4, the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs 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 Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme does not support:

a.         Projects where one or more Partner Organisation is seeking expert external assistance, not available within their own organisation, in order to develop specific applications or outputs which:

i.          involve little innovation or are low risk; and/or

ii.        the ARC deems to be essentially contracted research or a Consultancy arrangement.

b.        Projects that do not significantly enhance links with organisations outside the Australian publicly funded research and higher education sectors.

c.         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. Where a proposal satisfies all other eligibility requirements set out in the Funding Rules, the ARC may support Projects where the primary aim is a commercial outcome in addition to R&D and the Project does not include clinical trials.

6.                     Organisational Types, Roles, Eligibility and Contributions

6.1                   Eligible Organisations General Requirements

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

6.1.2             A Proposal may only be submitted where the research addresses one or more of the Industrial Transformation Priorities.

6.1.3             The Eligible Organisation that submits the Proposal will be the Administering Organisation and all other Eligible Organisations listed on the Proposal will be Other Eligible Organisations.

6.1.4             The Administering Organisation or Eligible Organisation(s) must demonstrate a significant contribution of cash, in-kind or other material resources, having regard to the total cost of the Project and the relative contribution of the Hub Director or each CI.

6.2                   Partner Organisation General Requirements

6.2.1             A Proposal must include at least one Australian Partner Organisation.

6.2.2             Partner Organisation participation is required for the duration of the Project.

6.2.3             To be eligible as a Partner Organisation, an organisation cannot be:

a.         an Eligible Organisation;

b.        a controlled entity of any Eligible Organisation; or

c.         an entity (for example a joint venture) where more than 50 per cent is owned by one or more Eligible Organisations.

6.2.4             For each Partner Organisation, three (3) conditions must be met. There must be:

a.         evidence of prior or on-going collaboration between the Partner Organisation and the Administering Organisation;

b.        no duplication of Commonwealth funding for the research and/or activities funded for the Project; and

c.         a contribution of cash and/or in-kind or other material resources from each Partner Organisation, having regard to the total cost of the Project and the relative contribution of each PI.

6.2.5             A Proposal should include details of the collaborative arrangements proposed, including how each Partner Organisation is involved in the Project, how the Project fits into each Partner Organisations’ overall strategic plan and how the Project is of value to each of the Partner Organisation(s) involved.

6.2.6             A Proposal submitted in RMS must include a letter of support (of no more than two A4 pages) from each Partner Organisation on its letterhead signed by the Chief Executive Officer, or delegate, including a brief profile of the organisation and details of the Cash and In-kind Contributions.

6.3                   Partner Organisation Contributions

6.3.1             Contributions from Partner Organisation(s), cash and in-kind, must be specific to the Project and must not be part of a broader contribution to an Administering Organisation.

6.3.2             The Proposal must demonstrate that the combined Partner Organisation(s) contributions (i.e. the total of the cash and in-kind contributions of the Partner Organisations) must at least match the total funding requested from the ARC.

6.3.3             Pursuant to subsection 6.3.2, a Proposal may seek a minimum of $500,000 and up to $1 million a year from the ARC.

6.3.4             The combined Partner Organisation(s) Cash Contribution where any Partner Organisations(s) has more than 100 employees must be at least 75 per cent of the total funding requested from the ARC. Where the Partner Organisation or the largest Partner Organisation in a consortium in the proposal has 100 employees or less, there is no minimum combined Partner Organisation(s) Cash Contribution.

6.3.5             Cash Contributions cannot be sourced from funds awarded or appropriated by the Commonwealth or an Australian State or Territory for the purposes of research nor from funds previously used to leverage government research funding.

6.3.6             There is no limit on the combined Partner Organisation(s) In-kind Contributions. 

6.3.7             The Partner Organisation Cash Contribution must not be a contribution to salaries for CIs and PIs on the Project.

6.3.8             Partner Organisation contributions must be specified in Australian dollars and, subject to these Funding Rules, contributed at the specified level regardless of currency fluctuations.

6.3.9             In-kind Contributions must be essential and central to the Project. It is the responsibility of the Administering Organisation to establish the merit of the case for recognition of In-kind Contributions.

6.3.10         The ARC reserves the right to determine the levels of Partner Organisation contributions and may determine contributions to be at levels that may differ from those submitted in a Proposal.

6.3.11         Each Partner Organisation’s letter of support must:

a.         certify that no part of its Cash Contribution is drawn from funds previously appropriated or awarded from government sources for the purposes of research;

b.        demonstrate the source of its Cash Contribution; and

c.         certify that it will meet the requirements outlined in a standard Funding Agreement, including the requirement to enter into arrangements regarding intellectual property.

6.4                   Eligibility for Concessional Treatment

6.4.1             Partner Organisation contributions to the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs may be eligible for a R&D Tax Incentive to the extent that the expenditure is incurred by an eligible company in respect of eligible R&D activities and provided that all other relevant requirements are met.

6.4.2             Detailed information on the eligibility requirements for the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive can be found at www.ausindustry.gov.au.

6.5                   Other Organisations

6.5.1             Organisations that are not Eligible Organisations and not Partner Organisations but are listed on a 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 nominated in a Proposal are:

a.         Hub Director;

b.        Chief Investigator (CI); or

c.         Partner Investigator (PI).

7.1.2             The following roles must be nominated in a Proposal:

a.         at least two (2) CIs from the Administrating Organisation, where one (1) will be the Hub Director;

b.        at least one (1) CI from each Eligible Organisation; and

c.         at least one (1) PI from each Partner Organisation.

The Hub Director, CIs and PIs nominated in a Proposal must satisfy the eligibility criteria for the role they are to perform at the commencement of the Project and for the duration of the Project.

7.1.3             A researcher nominated as a Hub Director, CI or a PI must take significant intellectual responsibility for the proposed Research Hub, its conception, and any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results. The researcher must have the capacity to make a serious commitment to the Project. The ARC reserves the right to determine whether a person has the requisite capacity to perform the role.

7.1.4             A researcher undertaking undergraduate studies or higher degree by research is not eligible to be a Hub Director or CI on the Project.

7.1.5             If the ARC considers that a researcher nominated as a Hub Director, CI or PI does not meet the eligibility criteria for the role that researcher is to perform, the Proposal may be deemed ineligible.

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

7.1.7             A researcher cannot participate as a Hub Director or CI on a Proposal if they hold a position as a Director, Board Member or have a financial interest (salary, contract or equity) in a proposed Partner Organisation for a Project. This exclusion does not confer PI eligibility under 7.4.1.a.

7.2                   Eligibility Criteria for a Hub Director

7.2.1             The Hub Director must meet all the eligibility criteria for a CI and must be employed by the Administering Organisation at the commencement of the Project and for the duration of the Project.

7.2.2             The Hub Director will be responsible for implementing the strategies and managing the research Project in cooperation with the Hub Manager. The Hub Director must coordinate the research effort and reporting structures across the Eligible Organisation(s) and Partner Organisation(s).

7.2.3             The Hub Director is expected to demonstrate that they have the time and capacity to engage effectively in the activities of the Project. If a Hub Director is unable to meet this undertaking, the ARC may, in its absolute discretion, decide not to recommend the Proposal for funding.

7.2.4             If a Proposal has been approved for funding and the Hub Director is at any time during the Project no longer able to undertake this role, the Project may be continued under a replacement Hub Director provided that:

a.         approval is obtained from the ARC for the change in Hub Director;

b.        a replacement Hub Director meets the eligibility criteria for a Hub Director and those for a CI at the time of her/his nomination and for the full term of her/his participation in the Project, and the reasons for replacement justified to the satisfaction of the ARC; and

c.         the Administering Organisation has obtained approval from the Partner Organisation(s) for the change in Hub Director.

7.3                   Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators (CI)

7.3.1             A researcher nominated on a Proposal as a CI must meet at least one of the following criteria at the commencement of the Project and for the duration of 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 listed in Appendix A and not have a substantive paid position elsewhere.

7.3.2             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.

7.3.3             A CI must reside predominantly in Australia for the full life of the Project. The CI may seek approval from the Administering Organisation to undertake fieldwork, or study leave, directly related to the Project. Such absences must not total more than half the Project funding period.

7.3.4             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 any replacement CI is approved by the ARC and meets the CI eligibility criteria.

7.4                   Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators (PI)

7.4.1             A participant nominated as a PI on a Proposal must not:

a.         meet the eligibility criteria for a CI; or

b.        be an employee of an Eligible Organisation.

7.4.2             Notwithstanding 7.4.1b, 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.

7.4.3             A PI must:

a.         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;

b.        have the experience and capacity to provide effective supervision, support and mentoring of research personnel associated with the Project; and/or

c.         have the relevant skills and experiences to effectively manage a similar scale research Project.

A PI must have the capacity to make a 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.

7.4.4             If a Proposal has been approved for funding and a PI is, at any time, no longer able to work as proposed on the Project, the Project may be continued provided any replacement PI is approved by the ARC and meets the PI eligibility criteria.

8.                     Proposals

8.1                   Number of Proposals and Cross-Scheme Eligibility

8.1.1             A CI may submit and/or be funded concurrently for a maximum of two (2) Projects under the Industrial Transformation Research Program.

8.1.2             A Hub Director may submit and/or be funded concurrently for a maximum of one (1) Project under the Industrial Transformation Research Program.

8.1.3             A CI or Hub Director cannot be involved in more than the maximum number of Projects permitted. This number is calculated at the closing time of submission of Proposals by totalling the number of Projects receiving funding and the number of Proposals submitted for funding. A Project is considered to be funded for the years set out in the Funding Agreement.

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

8.1.5             A Proposal that is deemed relevant to the scheme, but unsuccessful in one round may be submitted as a revised Proposal within a six (6) month period after announcement of outcomes. A summary of the assessors’ comments will be provided to those Proposals.

8.1.6             Applicants should note the eligibility criteria for access to other funding schemes, as expressed in the Funding Rules for those schemes. The ARC reserves the right to change these criteria in future funding rounds. Funding Rules for all ARC schemes may be found on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au.

8.2                   Proposal Eligibility and Duplication

8.2.1             The ARC will not duplicate funding for research, including infrastructure funded by the Commonwealth as at 1 July 2012.

8.2.2             The Proposal must list all current funding and requested funding for the Hub Director, CIs and PIs under any ARC schemes, including Projects, Awards and Fellowships, or any other Commonwealth funding scheme.

8.2.3             The Proposal cannot be the same or similar (in whole or in part) to a project described in another current ARC-submitted Proposal.

8.2.4             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.

8.2.5             A decision under subsection 8.2.4 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.

9.                     Submission of Proposals

9.1                   Proposals

9.1.1             The Proposal must be submitted as a mature research plan presenting the proposed Research Hub ready for implementation and 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.

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

9.2                   Submission of Proposals in the RMS

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

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

9.3                   Closing Time for Proposals

9.3.1             The online form completed within the RMS must be submitted by the closing date on the Important Dates page on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/media/important_dates.htm.

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

9.3.3             Proposals may be withdrawn by the Administering Organisation by notice in writing to the ARC.

9.4                   Certification in the RMS

9.4.1             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.

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

9.5                   Conflict of Interest

9.5.1             Each party involved in a Proposal must declare at the date of submission and describe in the application any Conflict of Interest that exists or is likely to arise in relation to any aspect of the Proposal.

9.5.2             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 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) and any relevant successor document.

10.               Selection and Approval Process

10.1               Assessment and Selection Process for Proposals

10.1.1         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.

10.1.2         All Proposals will be considered against eligibility criteria and compliance with the Funding Rules.

10.1.3         All Proposals may be:

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

b.        ranked and allocated a budget, relative to other Proposals, by a committee drawn from the Industry Advisory Panel (IAP), on the basis of the Proposal and any assessors’ reports.

10.1.4         The ARC has procedures in place for managing organisational and personal Conflicts of Interest for assessors, members of the IAP, members of other ARC committees and ARC staff. Details of these procedures are available on the ARC website at http://www.arc.gov.au/about_arc/coe_guidelines.htm#conflict.

10.2               Rejoinder

10.2.1         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 or to investigators.

10.3               Request Not to Assess

10.3.1         Administering Organisations may name any person or persons whom they do not wish to assess a Proposal by submitting a ‘Request Not to Assess’ form available on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/applicants/request_notassesform.htm by the closing time for Proposals. 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.

10.4               Recommendations and Offer of Funding

10.4.1         In accordance with the ARC Act, the ARC Chief Executive Officer 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.

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

10.4.3         Administering Organisations whose Proposals are approved will be notified in a letter of offer that will indicate the funding offered; and provided with a copy of a Funding Agreement for signing. Outcomes of the selection process are also made available on the ARC website.

10.4.4         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 Industrial Transformation Research Hubs Funding Rules and Funding Agreement.

10.4.5         If the ARC funding approved for a Project varies from the amount requested, pro rata adjustments may be made to the Partner Organisation contributions.

11.               Appeals Process

11.1.1         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 the selection procedures.

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

11.1.3         Appeals must be submitted by the Administering Organisation on the ARC Appeals Form on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/applicants/appeals.htm, 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 5.00 pm on the date of submission of the appeal.

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

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

12.               Reporting Requirements

12.1               Progress Reports

12.1.1         Administering Organisations must submit reports to the ARC concerning the Research Hubs in the format and by the due dates detailed in the Funding Agreement. Details of ARC reporting requirements can be found on the ARC website at http://www.arc.gov.au/applicants/reported_requirements.htm.

12.1.2         The Research Hubs will be required to report on a range of research objectives (and related indicators) to be developed by the ARC and as outlined in the Proposal every twelve (12) months after the commencement of the Project.

12.1.3         If the ARC is not satisfied with the progress of any Project, further payment of funds will not be made until satisfactory progress has been made on the Project. If satisfactory progress is still not achieved within a reasonable period of time, the funding may be terminated and all outstanding funding will be recovered by the ARC.

12.2               End of Year Reports

12.2.1         The Administering Organisation must submit an End of Year Report, including details of both the Partner Organisation Cash and In-kind Contributions, by 31 March in the year following each calendar year for which the funding was awarded in accordance with the instructions to be provided by the ARC each year, including.

12.3               Final Report

12.3.1         A Final Report must be submitted for the Project within six (6) months of the final payment or within six (6) months of the final approved carryover funds as directed by the ARC. Details of ARC reporting requirements can be found on the ARC website at http://www.arc.gov.au/applicants/reported_requirements.htm.

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

12.3.3         If any reports are not submitted or are not satisfactory to the ARC this will be noted against future Proposals submitted by the associated Hub Director and CIs with the Project.

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

12.4               Audited Financial Statement

12.4.1         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.

12.4.2         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 carryover in the End of Year Report.

13.               Fundamental Principles of Conducting Research

13.1               Ethics and Research Practices

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

a.         Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007);

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

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

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

13.2               Applicable Law

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

13.3               Confidentiality

13.3.1         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 ARC personnel to enable effective management or auditing of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme or any Funding Agreement;

c.         disclosed by the ARC to the Minister;

d.        shared by the ARC within the agency, or with another Commonwealth Department or agency, where this serves 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.

13.3.2         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.

13.3.3         Notwithstanding the above, and in addition to the exemptions listed at subsection 13.3.1, the ARC may publicise and report offers or awards of funding, including information about the proposed research; the name of nominated Hub Director, CIs or PIs and 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; and the level and nature of financial assistance from the ARC. Administering Organisations should ensure that information contained in the Project title and summaries would not, if released, compromise their own requirements for confidentiality (such as future protection of intellectual property).

13.3.4         In making public information about a Proposal that 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.

13.4               Intellectual Property

13.4.1         The ARC does not claim ownership of any intellectual property in a Proposal or in any research arising from a Project.

13.4.2         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.

13.5               Incomplete or Misleading Information

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

13.5.2         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.

13.5.3         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 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



Australian Catholic University

Deakin University

La Trobe University

MCD University 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)


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