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Australian Research Council


Linkage Program Grant Guidelines

(2024 edition):


Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities

Opening date:

Available on GrantConnect

Closing date and time:

Available on GrantConnect

Commonwealth policy entity:

Australian Research Council


Researchers are required to direct requests for information to the Research Office within the Administering Organisation.

ARC Contacts are on the ARC website.

Date guidelines released:

24 January 2024

Type of grant opportunity:

Restricted competitive


Australian Research Council Act 2001


I, Jason Clare, Minister for Education, having satisfied myself of the matters set out in section 59 of the Australian Research Council Act 2001, approve these grant guidelines under section 60 of that Act.


Dated 22 January 2024

Jason Clare

Minister for Education


1. Linkage Program: Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities processes

2. About the grant program

About the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant opportunity

3. Grant amount and grant period

4. Eligibility criteria

5. What grant money can be used for

What grant money can be used for

What grant money cannot be used for

6. The assessment criteria

7. How to apply

Application Process

National Interest Test

Timing of the grant opportunities

8. The grant selection process

Eligibility and assessment

Who will approve grants?

Requests not to assess process

Rejoinder process

9. Successful grant applications


Grant agreements


Specific research policies and practices

Monitoring and reporting

10. Probity

Appeals process

Conflict of interest

Privacy and protection of personal information

Confidential information

Freedom of information

Appendix A: Glossary



Appendix B: Eligible Organisations

  1. Linkage Program: Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities processes

The Linkage Program supports the Australian Government’s objectives for research and innovation.

This grant program contributes to the ARC’s Outcome 1, which is to grow knowledge and innovation through managing research grants, measuring research excellence and providing advice.

Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) is funded within the Linkage Program.

The grant opportunity opens.

We (the ARC) publish the grant guidelines and advertise on GrantConnect.

You (the Administering Organisation) complete and submit an application.

You work with other participating organisations (where relevant) to complete an application on the ARC’s Research Management System (RMS), addressing eligibility, the National Interest Test and the assessment criteria.

We manage the assessment of all applications.

We manage the assessment of applications against eligibility criteria and assessment criteria

Your application may be assigned to Detailed Assessors to undertake in-depth assessments. You will have an opportunity to respond to any Detailed Assessors’ written comments through a rejoinder.

Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) members will then assess Your application, consider the Detailed Assessors’ ratings and comments and Your rejoinder and assign a final score.

We make grant recommendations.

The SAC considers applications and recommends those to be funded, and the level and duration of funding for each project, to the ARC Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The CEO then makes an assessment and a recommendation to the Minister.

In making recommendations to the Minister, the CEO considers the SAC’s advice, risks related to foreign interference, and alignment with Australian Government priorities. The CEO may consider advice from other Commonwealth agencies.

Grant decisions are made.

The Minister decides which applications are approved, and the level of funding and duration of funding for each approved project. Should the Minister decide not to fund a project based on national security concerns, the Minister may advise the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

We notify You of the outcome.

We advise You if Your application was successful or not through RMS.

We enter into a grant agreement with You.

We will enter into a grant agreement with You through RMS, if You are successful.

Delivery of the grant.

You undertake the grant activity and report to Us as set out in Your grant agreement.
We manage the grant, monitor Your progress and make payments.



Evaluation of the grant opportunity.

We evaluate the specific grant activity and the grant opportunity as a whole.
We will use information You provide to Us through Your reports to inform evaluations.

2.                     About the grant program

2.1.                  The Linkage Program is one of two Programs under the ARC National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP). Information about the Linkage Program is available on the ARC website.

About the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant opportunity

2.2.                  The Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme is funded under the Linkage Program.

2.3.                  The LIEF scheme provides funding for research infrastructure, equipment and facilities to Eligible Organisations, where there is a demonstrated need due to lack of existing infrastructure, lack of access to existing infrastructure, or existing ageing infrastructure which requires replacement or upgrade. It enables researchers to participate in cooperative initiatives so that expensive research infrastructure, equipment and facilities can be shared between higher education organisations and also with industry. The scheme also fosters collaboration through its support of the cooperative use of international or national research facilities.

2.4.                  The LIEF scheme objectives are to:

  1. support excellent pure basic, strategic basic and applied research and research training, across all disciplines excluding clinical and other medical research, through the acquisition (purchase, upgrade, construction, transportation, installation, and/or maintenance) of research equipment and infrastructure and access to national and international research facilities;
  2. encourage Eligible Organisations to develop collaborative arrangements with other Eligible Organisations and/or Partner Organisations for the acquisition and use of research equipment and infrastructure or access to national and international facilities;
  3. enhance the scale and focus of research in areas of existing and/or emerging research strength; and
  4. expand the availability of research infrastructure for the broader research community.

2.5.                  The grant commencement dates and active project assessment dates for each LIEF grant opportunity will be available on the ARC website.

3.                     Grant amount and grant period

3.1.                  For each LIEF grant opportunity, applications for the levels of funding listed in Table 1 will be considered.

3.2.                  Table 1: LIEF funding and grant duration.



LIEF funding level

Minimum $150,000 per year.

Maximum 75% of the total direct cost of the eligible budget items.

LIEF funding duration

One year; or

One to five years if the application is for leasing infrastructure, equipment or facilities, the construction of research infrastructure, or subscription or coordinated access to international facilities and major national facilities.

4.                     Eligibility criteria

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

4.1.                  We will only accept applications from the Eligible Organisations as identified in Appendix B.

4.2.                  The Eligible Organisation that submits the application will be the ‘Administering Organisation’ and is referred to as ‘You’. All Other Eligible Organisations named on the application will be an ‘Other Eligible Organisation’.

What are the eligibility requirements for applications?

4.3.                  Organisation roles available under the LIEF grant opportunity are:

  1. Administering Organisation;
  2. Other Eligible Organisation;
  3. Partner Organisation; and
  4. Other Organisation.

4.4.                  Your application must:

  1. nominate at least one Chief Investigator (CI);

b.              nominate no more than 15 CIs and Partner Investigators (PI) in total;

c.              nominate no more than five CIs from any one Eligible Organisation;

d.              nominate no more than five PIs from any one Partner Organisation; and

e.              have a duration of a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years. Applications with a duration of more than one year will only be considered for:

-            the construction of research infrastructure, which may include (for example) building equipment or facilities, or the development of an online archive;

-            subscription or coordinated access to international facilities and major national facilities; or

-            leasing equipment or infrastructure where that would be more cost effective than purchasing the item/s.

4.5.                  You and each Other Eligible Organisation and Partner Organisation must commit a significant contribution of cash and/or in-kind and/or other material resources to the application having regard to the total cost of the proposed LIEF project and the relative contribution of named participants at the organisation.

4.6.                  You and each of the Other Eligible Organisation(s) on an application must make a cash contribution.

4.7.                  Organisational cash contributions for direct costs must make up a minimum of 25% of the total direct cost of the research infrastructure. Cash contributions from You, Other Eligible Organisation(s), Partner Organisation(s) and Other Organisation(s) are all eligible to make up this minimum of 25%. The cash contributions should be a demonstration of significant commitment to the project.

4.8.                  Organisational cash contributions for indirect costs are not eligible to make up part of the minimum of 25% of the total direct cost of the research infrastructure.

4.9.                  You can only submit one application for the same project in any grant opportunity. This includes applications which fundamentally have the same research intent, approach and outcomes, regardless of any variations in the research, the named participants and/or organisations.

4.10.              You must ensure that any additional certification requirements, applied by the ARC as a result of findings of breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, are provided at the grant opportunity closing date for any named participant on an application. 

4.11.              Your application must not include medical research as detailed in the ARC Medical Research Policy on the ARC website.

Who is eligible to be a Partner Organisation?

4.12.              A Partner Organisation is an Australian or overseas organisation, other than an Eligible Organisation, which satisfies the eligibility requirements for a Partner Organisation in 4.13-4.15.

4.13.              Each Partner Organisation must:

  1. participate in the project for the project activity period unless otherwise approved by Us; and
  2. make a contribution of cash and/or in-kind and/or other material resources that is specific to the project, and having regard to the total cost of the project and not be part of a broader contribution to Your organisation or an Other Eligible Organisation;

4.14.              A Partner Organisation cannot be:

  1. included on the National Redress Scheme’s website on the list of ‘Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme’ (;

b.              an Eligible Organisation;

c.              a controlled entity of any Eligible Organisation; or

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

4.15.              Partner Organisation cash contributions cannot be:

  1. sourced from funds awarded or appropriated by the Commonwealth or an Australian State or Territory Government for the purposes of the same research infrastructure as the application, nor from funds previously used to leverage government research or research infrastructure funding; or
  2. a contribution to salaries for CIs and/or PIs on the application.

Who is eligible to be an Other Organisation?

4.16.              Organisations that are not Eligible Organisations and not Partner Organisations but that are named as participating organisations on an application will be Other Organisations.

4.17.              Other Organisations are not required to make a cash or in-kind contribution to the project, but must be relevant to and involved with the project.

4.18.              An Other Organisation cannot be included on the National Redress Scheme’s website on the list of ‘Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme’ (

Who is eligible to be a named participant?

4.19.              Roles that named participants may be nominated for under the LIEF scheme are:

  1. Chief Investigators (CIs); and
  2. Partner Investigators (PIs).

4.20.              A project cannot commence until all named participants meet the eligibility criteria in these grant guidelines for the selected role they are to perform.

4.21.              As at the grant commencement date or, if successful, at any time during the project activity period, named participants:

  1. who meet the eligibility criteria to be a CI, must be a CI and cannot opt to be a PI;
  2. who do not meet the eligibility criteria to be a CI, must be a PI.

4.22.              All named participants in an application must have met their obligations regarding previously funded projects, including submission of satisfactory final reports to the ARC at the grant opportunity closing date.

4.23.              Every CI and PI (and/or their research group) must be a significant and regular user of the research infrastructure.

Chief Investigators

4.24.              CIs must meet at least one of the following criteria as at the grant commencement date, and, if successful, for the project activity period:

  1. be an employee for at least 0.2 FTE at an Eligible Organisation; or
  2. be a holder of an honorary academic appointment (as defined in the Glossary) at an Eligible Organisation.

4.25.              CIs must reside in Australia for more than 50% of the project activity period. Any significant absences including fieldwork or study leave directly related to the project must have approval from You and must not total more than half the project activity period. In extraordinary circumstances, a change may be approved by Us via a formal Variation request.

4.26.              CIs must not undertake a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) during the project activity period.

4.27.              The first named CI will be the Project Leader.

What are the limits on the number of applications and projects per named participant?

4.28.              These limits only apply to CIs.

4.29.              The limits are designed to ensure that named participants have the capacity to undertake each project.

4.30.              A named participant can apply for and be concurrently funded for a maximum of two LIEF projects as a CI.

4.31.              At the grant opportunity closing time we will count:

  1. the number of LIEF CI roles that the named participant will hold as active projects as at the active project assessment date; and

b.              the number of LIEF applications We are currently assessing which include that named participant as a CI.

4.32.              If a role or Project must be relinquished to meet the limits, We must approve the Variation before the grant opportunity closing date. Any relinquishment Variation submitted or approved after the grant opportunity closing date will not be taken into account when counting the number of projects under Section 4.31.

4.33.              It is Your responsibility to determine if applying for, or holding, a project under these guidelines will affect an individual researcher’s eligibility for other ARC grant opportunities as other ARC grant opportunities may have different project limits.
We reserve the right to change project and application limits in future grant opportunities.

5.                     What grant money can be used for

What grant money can be used for

5.1.                  The LIEF scheme supports research activities that meet the definition of ‘research infrastructure’ in the Glossary.

5.2.                  You can only spend the grant on eligible expenditure items that directly support the project and in accordance with any additional special conditions in the grant agreement.

5.3.                  Eligible expenditure items may include:

  1. purchase, upgrade, transportation of, installation of, and/or maintenance of research infrastructure, and/or management of access to that research infrastructure, including costs such as import taxes (and other similar expenses) for purchasing equipment;
  2. construction of research infrastructure (which may, for example, include building equipment or facilities, or the development of an online archive), for up to five years;
  3. salary support at an appropriate salary level, including 30% on-costs, at the employing organisation, directly associated with 5.3.a and b above only;
  4. leasing of infrastructure, equipment or facilities for up to five years;
  5. integrated research facilities consisting of multiple components which can be used either simultaneously or serially for research projects (where each of these research projects is integrated by having a single research aim or theme). However multiple components that are not genuinely integrated, cannot be requested solely to reach the minimum level of funding required for a grant application to be considered eligible;
  6. subscription or coordinated access to international facilities and major national facilities, for up to five years, enabled under a written agreement between the Administering Organisation and the relevant international or national facility. As per Section 5.5d below, the management of access to existing infrastructure, equipment or facilities is not supported;
  7. specialised computing facilities and software essential to the project; and
  8. compilations, catalogues, clearing houses or bibliographies that build on and develop other current or recently competitively funded projects/programs.

5.4.                  Any salary costs requested require thorough justification.

What grant money cannot be used for

5.5.                  You cannot request or use grant funds for the following activities:

a.               research activities, infrastructure or project previously funded or currently being funded through any other Commonwealth grant;

b.              activities involving medical research as detailed in the ARC Medical Research Policy on the ARC website;

c.              activities leading solely to the creation or performance of a work of art, including visual art, musical compositions, drama, dance, film, broadcasts, designs and literary works, unless those works are directly related to the project activities and demonstrably research based;

d.              management of access to existing infrastructure, equipment or facilities, including those already funded by the Commonwealth;

e.              basic facilities including:

  1. bench fees or similar laboratory access fees;
  2. standard refurbishment costs of a laboratory;
  3. access to a basic library collection;
  4. access to film or music editing facilities;
  5. work accommodation (for example, laboratory and office space, suitably equipped and furnished);
  6. basic computer facilities such as desktop computers, portable computer devices, printers, word processing, and other standard software; and
  7. standard reference materials or funds for abstracting services.

f.               costs of accommodation associated with the use of the proposed research infrastructure;

g.              maintenance costs of the proposed research infrastructure after the first year of the project, including for multi-year projects;

h.              operational costs;

i.                costs not directly related to the project, including but not limited to professional membership fees, professional development courses, fees for patent application and maintenance, equipment for live music or drama performances, visas, relocation costs, entertainment costs, purchase of alcohol, insurance, mobile phones (purchase or call charges) and other indirect costs. Professional membership fees may be allowable if related to the subscription or coordinated access to international facilities and major national facilities;

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

k.              salaries and/or on-costs, in whole or in part, for CIs or PIs;

l.                salaries and/or on costs, in whole or in part, for personnel using the facility
(for example, for research support personnel);

m.            teaching and/or teaching relief;

n.              research infrastructure for the production of teaching materials, except where such activities meet the definition of ‘research’;

o.              travel costs associated with use of the proposed research infrastructure; and

p.              fee-for-service costs where the application does not lead to capability building or development of the research infrastructure.

6.                     The assessment criteria

6.1.                  You must address all of the relevant assessment criteria in Your application. We will assess your application based on the weighting given to each criterion.

6.2.                  The LIEF assessment criteria are:

  1. Project quality and innovation 30%

          significance of the research that will be supported by the proposed research infrastructure;

          capacity to enhance the scale and focus of research in areas of existing and/or emerging research strength;

          effectiveness of collaborative arrangements for the management and sharing of the proposed research infrastructure or access to national or international facilities; and

          extent to which the project represents value for money, including consideration of the relationship to similar research infrastructure at organisational, regional, national and/or international level.

If the project involves Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander research infrastructure, additional criteria include:

          the project’s level of collaboration, engagement, relationship building and benefit sharing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and First Nations Organisations and Communities;

          the project’s strategy and mechanisms for Indigenous research capacity building within the project; the project’s level of internal leadership of Indigenous research;

          the project’s adherence to the Australian Indigenous Data Sovereignty Principles; and

          the project’s understanding of, and proposed strategies to adhere to, the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research and NHMRC’s guidelines on Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities.

b.             Strategic alignment 20%

          relevance and necessity of the proposed research infrastructure to the research program and/or research projects of the named participants on the application;

          relevance of the proposed research infrastructure to the strategic priorities of the participating organisations; and

          extent to which the project aligns with Australian Government priority areas.



c.              Feasibility 25%

          demonstrated capability of Investigator(s) to manage the purchase, design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and coordination of access to the proposed research infrastructure.

          viability of the plan to use the research infrastructure and arrangements for ongoing operational expenditure where applicable; and

          evidence of commitment to collaboration by each participating organisation on the project.

d.             Benefit  25%

          level of demand and likely measurable impact of the proposed research infrastructure, including beyond the project activity period;

          importance of equipment for the training of research students;

          benefit of the proposed research infrastructure to the broader research community, including proposed arrangements for broader access; and

          potential to contribute to economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia.

7.                     How to apply

Application Process

7.1.                  Instructions to Applicants will be issued on GrantConnect on the opening of the grant opportunity and applicants must follow the processes described in those Instructions.

7.2.                  You must also consult the LIEF Register to prevent the unnecessary duplication of research infrastructure, equipment and facilities. This register is available on the ARC website.

7.3.                  Your application must be completed in RMS.

7.4.                  Where Your application is for subscription or coordinated access to international facilities and major national facilities, You must have commenced discussions and negotiations with the specific international facility prior to the submission of the application and provide evidence of this.

7.5.                  Your application must identify where the research infrastructure will be located. The expectation is that it will be located at Your institution, and be listed on Your assets register. If this is not the case and You request that the research infrastructure be located in more than one organisation, you must demonstrate clearly in Your application that:

          the facilities are genuinely integrated and collaborative;

          the items of research infrastructure are complementary; and

          the overall research outcomes will be enhanced by this arrangement.

7.6.                  You cannot change Your application after the grant opportunity closing date and time, unless invited by the ARC.

7.7.                  We reserve the right to seek evidence to support the certification of applications at any point.

7.8.                  Questions during the application period should be directed to the Administering Organisation’s Research Office. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions will be posted on GrantConnect.

7.9.                  If You wish to withdraw Your application, You must inform Us in writing.

National Interest Test

7.10.              Applicants must provide a National Interest Test statement: a brief response that articulates the benefits of the proposed research in plain English in general terms beyond the period of the grant.

Timing of the grant opportunities

7.11.              LIEF grant applications are accepted once a year.

7.12.              You must submit Your application to Us between the grant opportunity opening and closing date and time specified on GrantConnect.

8.                     The grant selection process


Eligibility and assessment

8.1.                  We will review Your application against the eligibility criteria. If ineligible, We must not recommend the application for funding.

8.2.                  All applications will be considered through a competitive peer review process, based on:

  1. how well it meets the assessment criteria;
  2. how it is ranked against other applications; and
  3. whether it provides value for money (as defined in the Glossary).

8.3.                  Recommendations will be made to the ARC CEO from a Selection Advisory Committee.

8.4.                  In Our absolute discretion, We may recommend an application not be approved if we consider it (a) incomplete, (b) inaccurate or contains false or misleading information, or (c) is otherwise in breach of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

8.5.                  We may seek advice on security or other matters from Commonwealth agencies at any time during the process. We may seek information from You about activities and protections in line with that advice.

8.6.                  During the assessment process, We may request additional information, which does not change the nature of Your application.

Who will approve grants?

8.7.                  Our CEO will make recommendations for funding to the Minister, after considering the advice from peer review, national security considerations, and alignment with Australian Government priorities.

8.8.                  The Minister will decide which grants to fund. The Minister’s decision is final in all matters.  

8.9.                  The outcome of all applications will be published in RMS.

Requests not to assess process

8.10.              You may name up to three persons whom You do not wish to assess an application by submitting a Request Not to Assess (RNTA) form in RMS as detailed on GrantConnect and the ARC website.

8.11.              The RNTA form must be received by Us two weeks prior to the grant opportunity closing date.

8.12.              Only one request containing the names of up to three individual assessors may be submitted per application.

8.13.              If a request includes the name of a current ARC College of Experts member, as listed on the ARC website or in RMS at the time of submitting the RNTA form, the request must be accompanied by comprehensive evidence justifying the request for the ARC College of Experts member or members named. If We consider the evidence is not sufficient for the named ARC College of Experts member or members, We will reject part, or all, of the request.

8.14.              We will have discretion about whether We accept or refuse a RNTA.  We will not notify You of the outcome.

Rejoinder process

8.15.              You will be given the opportunity to respond to any Detailed Assessors’ written comments through a rejoinder. Names of assessors will not be provided. Further information on the rejoinder process is available on the ARC website.

9.                     Successful grant applications


9.1.                  If successful, Your grant will be listed on GrantConnect no more than 21 calendar days after the date of effect.

9.2.                  We will publicise and report offers and grants awarded, including the following information about the project:

  1. Your name and any other parties involved in or associated with the project;

b.              named participants and their organisations;

c.              the project description (the title and summary descriptions);

d.              Your response to the National Interest Test;

e.              classifications and international collaboration country names; and

f.               the ARC grant funding amount.

9.3.                  You should ensure that information contained in the project title and summary descriptions will not compromise Your requirements for confidentiality (such as protection of intellectual property).

9.4.                  We may use a project description, including title and summary, which differs from that provided in the application.

9.5.                  We will also list the research infrastructure in the LIEF Register on the ARC website under the Administering Organisations.

Grant agreements

9.6.                  You must enter into a grant agreement with Us to receive a grant.

9.7.                  We use the ARC Linkage Program LIEF grant agreement which contains standard terms and conditions that cannot be changed. A sample grant agreement is available on GrantConnect. Any special conditions attached to the grant will be identified in the grant offer.

9.8.                  You will have 30 calendar days from the date of offer to execute the grant agreement.

9.9.                  We must execute a grant agreement with You before We can make any payment. We are not responsible for any of Your project expenditure until a grant agreement is executed.

How We pay the grant

9.10.              Payments will be made as set out in the grant agreement. Grant funding will typically be paid annually through Our payment system to You.

9.11.              The grant offer will specify the approved grant amount. We will not pay more than the approved grant amount under any circumstances. If you incur extra costs, You must meet them.

9.12.              All amounts referred to in these grant guidelines are exclusive of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), unless expressly stated otherwise.

9.13.              You are responsible for any and all financial and taxation implications associated with receiving funds.

9.14.              Funding for a project may only be carried forward for a maximum of two years from the grant commencement date, except under exceptional circumstances and only with
Our approval.

9.15.              Variations must be submitted where there are changes to the duration of the project, changes to the participating organisations, changes to contributions by the participating organisations, change of named participants or if changes to the project result in it no longer aligning with the project description. Further information can be found in the Grant Agreement.


9.16.              All named participants in an application must:

  1. take significant intellectual responsibility for the conception and conduct of the project and for any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results; and

b.              take responsibility for the authorship and intellectual content of the application, appropriately citing sources and acknowledging all significant contributions, including from third parties.

9.17.              CIs must:

  1. ensure effective supervision, support and mentoring at all times of research personnel, including Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates and postdoctoral researchers for whom they are responsible; and

b.              make a commitment to carrying out the project and not assume the role of a supplier of resources for work that will largely be undertaken by others.

9.18.              Participating organisations will be required to certify to the Administering Organisation their commitment to the successful completion of the project, including any financial contributions they will make and that they have appropriate governance arrangements in place.

Specific research policies and practices

9.19.              You and each participant are required to be compliant with all relevant laws, regulations and have regard to any relevant guidelines.

9.20.              All applications and ARC-funded research projects must comply with the requirements for responsible and ethical research practice specified in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and the codes, guidelines, practices and policies on the ARC website, including the ARC Conflict of Interest Policy and any actions that have been applied under the ARC Research Integrity Policy.

9.21.              An ethics plan must be in place before commencement of the project.

9.22.              Intellectual Property arrangements should be negotiated between You, the Partner Organisations and Other Organisations as relevant. We do not claim ownership of any IP arising from the project.

9.23.              All research projects must comply with the ARC Open Access Policy on the dissemination of findings on the ARC website.

9.24.              A data management plan must be in place before the project commences, in line with the grant agreement, and ARC expectations on the ARC website.

9.25.              All named participants applying for grants are strongly encouraged to have a persistent digital identifier such as an Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) in their RMS Profile.

Monitoring and reporting

9.26.              You must inform Us of any changes to Your:

  1. name;

b.              address(es);

c.              nominated contact details; and

d.              bank account details.

9.27.              You must submit reports in line with the grant agreement. Reports must be submitted through RMS, unless otherwise advised by Us. Reporting may include:

  1. End of year reports;

b.              Final reports; and

c.              Post-project reporting.

9.28.              We will monitor progress by assessing Your reports and may conduct site visits or request records to confirm details of Your reports if necessary. We may re-examine claims, seek further information or request an independent audit of claims and payments.

9.29.              We may evaluate the project to measure how well the outcomes and objectives were achieved. We may use information from Your application and reports or may contact You after grant completion to assist evaluation.

10.               Probity

10.1.              The Australian Government will make sure that the grant opportunity process is fair, according to the published guidelines, incorporates appropriate safeguards against fraud, unlawful activities and other inappropriate conduct and is consistent with the CGRGs and the ARC Act.

Appeals process

10.2.              We will only consider appeals against the NCGP administrative process and not against committee decisions, assessor ratings and comments or the assessment outcome. Appellants must identify the specific guideline/legislative instrument clause, policy or procedure which they believe has been incorrectly applied.

10.3.              You must submit an appeal using the Form on the ARC website and have it authorised by the Administering Organisation’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or equivalent.

10.4.              The Appeals process is set out on the ARC website.

Conflict of interest

10.5.              You will be asked to certify, as part of Your application, any perceived, potential or existing conflicts of interests have been declared to You or that, to the best of Your knowledge, there is no conflict of interest in Your application. Each named individual or organisation must make this declaration about any aspect of the application or project to You at the date of submission.

10.6.              If a conflict of interest exists or arises, You must have documented processes in place to manage the conflict of interest for the duration of the project. Processes must comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018), the ARC Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy and any relevant successor documents.

10.7.              We will handle any conflicts of interest as set out in Australian Government policies and procedures. Refer to the ARC Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy on the ARC website.

Privacy and protection of personal information

10.8.              We treat your personal information according to the Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act 1988.

10.9.              You are required, as part of Your application, to certify Your compliance with the Privacy Act 1988, including the Australian Privacy Principles and impose the same privacy obligations on any subcontractors You engage. You must ask for Our consent in writing before disclosing confidential information.

10.10.          Information about privacy and personal information is set out on the ARC website.

Confidential information

10.11.          The Australian Government may use and disclose confidential information about grant applicants and grant recipients to any other Australian Government business or function.

10.12.          We will treat the information You give Us as confidential if:

  1. You clearly identify the information as confidential and explain why We should treat it as confidential;
  2. the information is commercial in confidence;
  3. revealing the information would cause unreasonable harm to You or someone else; or
  4. You provide the information with an understanding that it will stay confidential.

Freedom of information

10.13.          All documents in the possession of the Australian Government, including those about the Program, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

10.14.          The Freedom of Information process is set out on the ARC website.

Appendix A: Glossary








Australian Research Council



Higher Degree by Research


Australian Research Council Act 2001



Higher Education Contribution Scheme


Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines



Higher Education Loan Program


Chief Investigator



Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier


Freedom of Information



Partner Investigator


Full Time Equivalent



Research Management System


Goods and Services Tax



Selection Advisory Committee




Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person

a person of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person and is accepted as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person by the community in which they live or have lived.

active project

a project that is receiving funding according to the terms of an existing Funding Agreement or grant agreement, or has any carryover funds approved by the ARC, or an approved variation to the project end date.

active project assessment date

the date on which active project eligibility will be considered for project and application limits per named participant.

Administering Organisation

an Eligible Organisation which submits an application for a grant and which will be responsible for the administration of the grant if the application is approved for funding.


the Administering Organisation.


a request for funding submitted through RMS by an Administering Organisation seeking grant funding under an ARC grant program. It includes the specifics of a proposed grant activity as well as the administrative information required to determine the eligibility of the application.

applied research

original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific, practical aim or objective.

ARC College of Experts

the body of experts of international standing appointed to assist the ARC to identify research excellence, moderate external assessments and recommend applications for funding. Its members are specialist and generalist experts in their knowledge fields drawn from the Australian research community.

The ARC website provides information on who is a member of the College of Experts.

assessment criteria

the specified principles or standards, against which applications will be considered. These criteria are also used to assess the merits of applications and, in the case of a competitive grant opportunity, to determine application rankings.

Australian Government priority areas

Any areas identified by the Australian Government as priorities for research.

bench fees

fees that an organisation charges for an individual to use infrastructure which would normally be provided by the organisation for their employees. This infrastructure may vary and could include, for example, an office or laboratory space with appropriate equipment, or access to non-specialised equipment owned by the organisation.

cash contribution

the cash from an organisation, which is transferred to and managed by the Administering Organisation.

Chief Investigator

a named participant who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a CI under these grant guidelines.


for the purposes of the LIEF scheme, construction may include the building of equipment or facilities, or the development of an online archive, as well as salaries, including 30% on-costs, where these are directly associated with setting up the infrastructure to allow it to be used. Construction does not include activities such as creating guidelines and resources, training, and fundraising/promotion.

date of effect

the date on which a grant agreement is signed or a specified starting date.

Detailed Assessors

assessors who are assigned applications to review for their specific expertise in a field of research.

eligibility criteria

the mandatory criteria which must be met to qualify for a grant. Assessment criteria may apply in addition to eligibility criteria.

Eligible Organisation

an organisation listed in Appendix B of these grant guidelines.

grant activity

the project/tasks/services that the grantee is required to undertake. A project consists of a number of grant activities.

grant agreement

the agreement entered into by the ARC and an Administering Organisation when an application from that organisation is approved for grant funding. This was previously referred to as a ‘Funding Agreement’.

grant commencement date

the date on which grant funding may commence.

grant offer

the details listed in the ARC’s RMS under ‘Funding Offers’ showing the project details and grant amount.


the Australian Government’s whole-of-government grants information system, which centralises the publication and reporting of Commonwealth grants in accordance with the CGRGs.


the Administering Organisation which has been selected to receive a grant.

grant opportunity

the specific grant round or process where a Commonwealth grant is made available to potential grantees. Grant opportunities may be open or targeted, and will reflect the relevant grant selection process.

grant opportunity closing date

The last day on which applications for a grant opportunity will be accepted for consideration for a specific grant opportunity.

grant opportunity opening date

the first day on which applications for a grant opportunity will be accepted for consideration for a specific grant opportunity.

grant recipient

an individual or organisation who has received grant funding from the ARC.


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

Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

a ‘Research Doctorate or Research Masters program, for which at least two-thirds of the student load for the program is required as research work’ as defined by the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017.

honorary academic appointment

An honorary academic appointment for eligibility purposes means a position that gives full academic status to the researcher, as certified by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (or equivalent) in the application. The researcher must have access to research support comparable to employees e.g., an emeritus appointment. The researcher is not eligible to be a Chief Investigator using their honorary academic appointment if they are employed by an organisation other than an Eligible Organisation for more than 0.2 FTE.

in-kind contributions

a contribution of goods, services, materials and/or time to the project from an individual, business or organisation. Values should be calculated based on the most likely actual cost, for example, current market, preferred provider or internal provider rates/valuations/rentals/charges (that is in the financial year of the date of the application) of the costs of labour, work spaces, equipment and databases. The calculations covering time and costs should be documented by the Administering Organisation. We may require these calculations to be audited.

Instructions to Applicants

a set of instructions prepared by the ARC to assist applicants in completing the application form.

legislative instrument

a law on matters of detail made by a person or body authorised to do so by the relevant enabling legislation.


the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme.

medical research

medical research as defined in the ARC Medical Research Policy available on the ARC website.

named participants

individual researchers nominated for particular roles in an application.

ORCID Identifier

a persistent digital identifier for an individual researcher available on the ORCID website,

Other Eligible Organisation

an organisation listed in Appendix B of these grant guidelines which is not the Administering Organisation on an application.

other material resources

resources where a monetary value is not relevant or to which it is difficult to assign a monetary value, for example, access to restricted data, samples or documents.

Other Organisation

an organisation that is not an Eligible Organisation and not a Partner Organisation that contributes to the research project.


all named participants on an application (i.e. CIs and PIs); and all unnamed researchers such as postdoctoral research associates and postgraduate researchers working on a project.

participating organisation

an organisation on an application (i.e., Administering Organisation, Other Eligible Organisations, Partner Organisations and Other Organisations)

Partner Investigator

a named participant who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a PI under these grant guidelines.

Partner Organisation

an Australian or overseas 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 and/or other material resources contributor to the project.

Preprint or comparable resource

A preprint or comparable resource is a scholarly output that is uploaded by the authors to a recognised publicly accessible archive, repository, or pre-print service (such as, but not limited to, arXiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, ChemRxiv, Peer J Preprints, Zenodo, GitHub, PsyArXiv and publicly available university or government repositories etc.). This will include a range of materials that have been subjected to varying degrees of peer review from none to light and full review. Ideally, a preprint or comparable resource should have a unique identifier or a DOI (digital object identifier). Any citation of a preprint or comparable resource should be explicitly identified as such and listed in the references with a DOI, URL or equivalent, version number and/or date of access, as applicable.


an application approved by the Minister to receive funding from the ARC through an application.

project activity period

the period during which a project is receiving funding according to the original grant offer, or has any carryover funds approved by the ARC, or an approved variation to the project’s end date. During this period, the project is known as an active project.

project end date

the expected date that the project activity is completed and by which all grant funding will be spent.

Project Leader

means the named participant from the Administering Organisation who is the first-named CI on an application.

pure basic research

basic research carried out for the advancement of knowledge, without seeking long-term economic or social benefits or making any effort to apply the results to practical problems or to transfer the results to sectors responsible for their application.


for the purposes of these grant guidelines, 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, inventions 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 comprising “creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge”

OECD (2015), Frascati Manual 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development (p.378).

research infrastructure

the assets, facilities, services, and coordinated access to major national and/or international research facilities or consortia which directly support research in higher education organisations and more broadly, and which maintain the capacity of researchers to undertake excellent research and deliver innovative outcomes.

Research Office

a business unit within an Eligible Organisation that is responsible for contact with the ARC regarding applications and projects.

research output

all products (including preprints or comparable resources) of a research project that meet the definition of research.

Selection Advisory Committee (SAC)

a group of experts from academia and industry appointed to assist the ARC to assess applications and to provide a recommendation for funding to the CEO. A SAC may be drawn from the ARC College of Experts.

selection process

the method used to select potential grantees. This process may involve comparative assessment of applications or the assessment of applications against the eligibility criteria and/or the assessment criteria.

Special Condition

a condition specified in a grant offer which governs the use of the funding provided by the ARC.

strategic basic research

experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of practical discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution of recognised practical problems.

travel costs

the domestic and international economy travel costs associated with the project, including to foster and strengthen collaboration between researchers in Australia and overseas.

total direct cost

total amount that can be completely attributed to the eligible budget items (excluding indirect costs such as depreciation and administrative expenses).

value for money

‘value for money’ is a judgement based on the grant application representing an efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of public resources determined from a variety of considerations: merit of the application, risk, cost and expected contribution to outcome achievement.

Variation of grant Agreement (Variation)

a request submitted to the ARC in RMS to agree a change in the grant agreement.


the Australian Research Council (ARC). ‘Us’ and ‘Our’ are also used in this context.


the Eligible Organisation that submitted the application. ‘Your’ is also used in this context.

Appendix B: Eligible Organisations

Organisation Name

Organisation ABN


Organisation Name

Organisation ABN

Australian Catholic University

15 050 192 660


Swinburne University of Technology

13 628 586 699

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

62 020 533 641


The Australian National University

52 234 063 906

Avondale University

53 108 186 401


The University of Adelaide

61 249 878 937

Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

32 039 179 166


The University of Melbourne

84 002 705 224

Bond University

88 010 694 121


The University of New England

75 792 454 315

Central Queensland University

39 181 103 288


The University of New South Wales

57 195 873 179

Charles Darwin University

54 093 513 649


The University of Newcastle

15 736 576 735

Charles Sturt University

83 878 708 551


The University of Notre Dame Australia

69 330 643 210

Curtin University

99 143 842 569


The University of Queensland

63 942 912 684

Deakin University

56 721 584 203


The University of Sydney

15 211 513 464

Edith Cowan University

54 361 485 361


The University of Western Australia

37 882 817 280

Federation University Australia

51 818 692 256


Torrens University Australia

99 154 937 005

Flinders University

65 542 596 200


University of Canberra

81 633 873 422

Griffith University

78 106 094 461


University of Divinity

95 290 912 141

James Cook University

46 253 211 955


University of South Australia

37 191 313 308

La Trobe University

64 804 735 113


University of Southern Queensland

40 234 732 081

Macquarie University

90 952 801 237


University of Tasmania

30 764 374 782

Monash University

12 377 614 012


University of Technology Sydney

77 257 686 961

Murdoch University

61 616 369 313


University of the Sunshine Coast

28 441 859 157

Queensland University of Technology

83 791 724 622


University of Wollongong

61 060 567 686

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
(RMIT University)

49 781 030 034


Victoria University

83 776 954 731

Southern Cross University

41 995 651 524


Western Sydney University

53 014 069 881