Discovery Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2014
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 14 December 2012
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
Table of Contents
Key Dates. 4
1...... Name of Funding Rules. 5
2...... Commencement 5
3...... Definitions. 5
4...... Introduction. 7
4.1...... Overview 7
4.2...... Discovery Projects 8
4.3...... Selection Criteria 8
4.4...... Organisational Statement in respect to the Research Environment 9
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 and Eligibility. 11
6.1...... Eligible Organisations 11
6.2...... Other Organisations 12
7...... Roles and Eligibility for Researchers. 12
7.1...... Researcher Roles and General Eligibility 12
7.2...... Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators (CI) 12
7.3...... Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators (PI) 13
8...... Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award. 13
8.1...... Eligibility Criteria for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) 13
8.2...... Level and Period of Funding for a DORA 14
9...... Number of Proposals, Funded Projects and Cross-Scheme Eligibility. 14
9.1...... Number of Proposals and Funded Projects 14
9.2...... Duplication 16
9.3...... Proposal Eligibility 16
10.... Submission of Proposals. 16
10.1.... Proposals 16
10.2.... Submission of Proposals in the RMS 16
10.3.... Closing Time for Proposals 16
10.4.... Certification in the RMS 17
10.5.... Conflict of Interest 17
11.... Selection and Approval Process. 17
11.1.... Assessment and Selection Process 17
11.2.... Rejoinder 18
11.3.... Request Not to Assess 18
11.4.... Recommendations and Offer of Funding 18
12.... Appeals Process. 18
13.... Reporting Requirements. 19
13.1.... Progress Reports 19
13.2.... End of Year Reports 19
13.3.... Final Report 19
13.4.... Audited Financial Statement 19
14.... Fundamental Principles of Conducting Research. 20
14.1.... Ethics and Research Practices 20
14.2.... Applicable Law 20
14.3.... Confidentiality 20
14.4.... Intellectual Property 21
14.5.... Incomplete or Misleading Information 21
14.6 ... Publication and Dissemination of Research Outputs 21
Appendix A Eligible Organisations. 23
Please refer to the Important Dates page on the ARC website for key dates and updates relevant to these Funding Rules - www.arc.gov.au/media/important_dates.htm.
Researchers should direct requests for information to the Research Office within their organisation.
by mail to:
by courier to:
Discovery Projects Coordinator
Australian Research Council
GPO Box 2702
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Discovery Projects Coordinator
Australian Research Council
Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place, Majura Park
CANBERRA ACT 2609
Phone: 02 6287 6600
Fax: 02 6287 6638
Appeals must be addressed and sent:
by mail to:
by courier to:
The Appeals Officer
Australian Research Council
GPO Box 2702
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Or by email to: email@example.com
The Appeals Officer
Australian Research Council
Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place,
CANBERRA ACT 2609
RMS Support Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-award enquiries: ARCemail@example.com
1. Name of Funding Rules
These Funding Rules are the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2014.
These Funding Rules shall take effect upon registration on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.
In these Funding Rules, unless the contrary intention appears:
Adjunct or Emeritus Appointment or equivalent means that an Eligible Organisation has a formal agreement with a researcher which establishes an ongoing association with the Eligible Organisation, of the nature of an Emeritus or honorary academic or visiting fellow. The ARC may seek documentary evidence of such an association if it is considered necessary.
Administering Organisation means an Eligible Organisation which submits a Proposal for funding under Discovery Projects and which will be responsible for the administration of the funding if the Project is approved for funding.
ARC means the Australian Research Council, as established under the ARC Act.
ARC Act means the Australian Research Council Act 2001.
ARC Award means a named Award within any ARC scheme where the salary is funded wholly or partly by the ARC, and includes Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award, Discovery Indigenous Award or Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.
ARC College means a body of scholars appointed to assist the ARC to identify research excellence, moderate external assessments and recommend fundable proposals.
ARC Fellowship means a named Fellowship position within any ARC scheme where the salary is funded wholly or partly by the ARC.
ARC Research Centres Program encompasses any research centre wholly or partly funded by the ARC and includes Centres of Excellence, Special Research Initiatives and Co-funded Centres.
Australian Laureate Fellow means a researcher who receives funding under the ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme.
Centre Personnel means the Centre Director, Research Director, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Investigators or Specified Personnel in the ARC Research Centres Program.
Chief Investigator (CI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a CI under these Funding Rules.
Commonwealth means the Commonwealth of Australia.
Commonwealth-funded Research Centre means a research centre established under a competitive Commonwealth scheme and includes Cooperative Research Centres and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grants and Centres of Clinical Research Excellence.
Conflict of Interest means any conflict of interest, any risk of a conflict of interest and any apparent conflict of interest arising through a party engaging in any activity, participating in any association, holding any membership or obtaining any interest that is likely to conflict with or restrict that party participating in the Project.
Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) means an Award available in conjunction with Discovery Projects that funds a CI salary.
Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award Candidate or DORA Candidate means a Chief Investigator nominated in a Proposal for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award.
Eligible Organisation means an organisation listed in Appendix A.
Federation Fellow means a researcher who receives funding under the ARC Federation Fellowships scheme.
Funding Agreement means the agreement entered into by the ARC and an Administering Organisation when a Proposal from that organisation is approved for funding.
Future Fellow means a researcher who receives funding under the ARC Future Fellowships scheme.
GST has the meaning as given in section 195-1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.
International Collaboration Award (ICA) means the Award available to fund international travel under conditions specified in these Funding Rules.
Medical and Dental Research means research and/or training primarily and substantially aimed at understanding or treating a human disease or health condition, and as defined on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/applicants/md_research.htm.
Minister means the Minister from time to time responsible for the administration of the ARC Act, or the Minister’s delegate.
National Research Priorities means priority research areas identified by the ARC and advertised on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au and updated from time to time.
NCGP means the National Competitive Grants Program.
Other Eligible Organisation means any Eligible Organisation which is identified in the Proposal as a contributor to the Project but is not the Administering Organisation.
Other Organisation means any organisation which is identified in the Proposal as a contributor to the Project but is not an Eligible Organisation.
Partner Investigator (PI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a PI under these Funding Rules.
Project means a proposal approved by the Minister to receive funding from the ARC.
Project Leader means the first-named CI on a Proposal.
Proposal means a request to the ARC for the provision of funding which is submitted in accordance with the Funding Rules.
Research Environment means the laboratory, department, school, centre or institute within the Administering Organisation where research will be undertaken.
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.
Special Condition means a special condition specified in a Funding Agreement which governs the use of the funding provided by the ARC.
4.1.1 These Funding Rules are current as at the date of signing and have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the ARC Act in force then.
4.1.2 The Discovery Projects scheme is funded under the Discovery Program of the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program.
4.1.3 The Discovery Projects scheme provides funding to Administering Organisations to support research programs.
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) comprising “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man [humankind], culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”.
4.1.5 The ARC undertakes periodic evaluations of the performance and administration of the schemes under the National Competitive Grants Program.
4.2 Discovery Projects
The objectives of the Discovery Projects scheme are to:
a. support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams;
b. enhance the scale and focus of research in the National Research Priorities;
c. expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability;
d. encourage research and research training in high-quality research environments;
e. enhance international collaboration in research; and
f. foster the international competitiveness of Australian research.
4.3 Selection Criteria
Proposals will be assessed and ranked using the following selection criteria:
a. Investigator(s) 40%
- Research opportunity and performance evidence (ROPE); and
- Time and capacity to undertake the proposed research.
b. Project Quality and Innovation 25%
- Does the research address a significant problem?
- Is the conceptual/theoretical framework innovative and original?
- Will the aims, concepts, methods and results advance knowledge?
c. Feasibility and Benefit 20%
- Do the Project’s design, participants and requested budget create confidence in the timely and successful completion of the Project?
- Will the completed Project produce innovative economic, environmental, social and/or cultural benefit to the Australian and international community?
- Will the proposed research be value for money?
d. Research Environment 15%
- Is there an existing, or developing, supportive and high quality research environment for this Project?
- Are the necessary facilities to complete the Project available?
- Are there adequate strategies to encourage dissemination, commercialisation, if appropriate; and promotion of research outcomes?
4.4 Organisational Statement in respect to the Research Environment
For all Proposals requesting a DORA, the Administering Organisation must provide a statement in relation to the Research Environment, approved by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Chief Executive Officer or equivalent, within the Proposal outlining the:
a. extent to which the proposed Project and the DORA Candidate aligns with the existing and/or emerging research strengths of the Administering Organisation; and
b. arrangements under which the proposed Project, the DORA Candidate, and other investigators will be hosted in a collaborative research environment.
5.1 Level and Period of Funding
5.1.1 All amounts referred to in these Funding Rules are to be read as exclusive of GST (if any), unless expressly stated otherwise.
5.1.2 The minimum level of funding provided by the ARC under Discovery Projects is $30,000 per year of funding and the maximum is $500,000 per year of funding per Project.
5.1.3 A Proposal cannot request funding for a DORA only.
5.1.4 A Project may be applied for and awarded funding for up to three consecutive years.
5.1.5 The ARC reserves the right to recommend levels of funding for a Project at levels that may differ from those requested in the Proposal.
5.1.6 Funding for approved projects will commence effective 1 January 2014, unless other arrangements are approved by the Minister.
5.2 Budget Items Supported
5.2.1 Budget items which directly support a research program may be funded, including:
a. access to national and international research and infrastructure facilities including specialist archives, collections and databases;
b. access to workshop services linked to and justified explicitly against the Project (for example, machine tools and qualified technicians);
d. expenditure on fieldwork essential to the project, including technical and logistical support, and travel and accommodation costs;
f. personnel: for example research associates and assistants, technicians and laboratory attendants. Salary support must be requested at an appropriate salary level for the Administering Organisation, including 28 per cent on-costs;
g. PhD stipends, at a minimum of $24,653 (2013$) per year;
h. specialised computer equipment and software essential to the Project;
i. teaching relief up to a total of $40,000 per year; and
j. travel costs essential to the Project, including economy travel costs for domestic and/or international travel and not exceeding $50,000, over the life of the Project. Funding is permitted for CIs, PIs and research support personnel. Travel costs related to carrying out field research are not included.
5.2.2 International Collaboration Awards (ICAs) may be requested:
a. for up to two researchers either CIs or PIs, per Proposal. Preference will be given for funding overseas PIs;
b. for up to six (6) months, per Award, over the life of the Project;
c. for a CI to work overseas on the Project with an overseas based PI and/or PI based overseas to work in Australia on the Project. ICAs do not fund travel to Australia by PIs located at an overseas campus of an Australian Eligible Organisation;
d. up to a maximum amount of $20,000 for six (6) months per CI or PI, or pro rata for a lesser period, as a Special Condition; and
e. to fund the following items: travel on international return economy class airfares, reasonable local travel, a living allowance and consumables. The living allowance should be based on standard institutional rates for academic visitors.
5.2.3 All eligible requested funding must be justified in the Proposal to the satisfaction of the ARC.
5.3 Budget Items Not Supported
5.3.1 Budget items which will not be supported by ARC funding and should not be requested in the budget include:
a. bench fees or similar laboratory access fees;
b. capital works and general infrastructure costs;
c. costs not directly related to research, for example, professional membership fees, fees for patent application and holding, visas, relocation costs, costs of dependants, insurance, and mobile phones (purchase or call charges);
d. fees for international students or the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) liabilities for students; and
e. salaries and/or on-costs, in whole or in part, for CIs or PIs, excluding DORA recipients.
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, 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. web hosting and web development.
5.4 Research / Activities Not Supported
5.4.1 Except where such activities meet the definition of research at 4.1.4, the Discovery Projects scheme does not support production of:
a. compilation of data, computer programs, research aids and tools;
b. descriptive data compilations, catalogues or bibliographies; or
c. teaching materials.
5.4.2 The Discovery Projects scheme does not support medical and dental research, defined as research and/or training primarily and substantially aimed at understanding or treating a human disease or human health condition. This includes, but is not limited to, Projects that involve any of the following:
a. late pre-clinical or early human trials of a human therapeutic agent, material or diagnostic test or device; or other interventional research involving humans;
b. using material collected from human subjects for the primary purpose of studying the underlying causes, prevalence, epidemiology or mode of inheritance of a disease or human condition; or
c. using established animal models or established cell lines for the purpose of studying the underlying causes, prevalence, epidemiology or mode of inheritance of a human disease or human health condition.
6. Organisational Types, Roles and Eligibility
6.1 Eligible Organisations
6.1.1 A Proposal may only be submitted by an Eligible Organisation listed at Appendix A.
6.1.2 The Eligible Organisation that submits the Proposal will be the Administering Organisation and all other Eligible Organisations listed on the Proposal will be Other Eligible Organisations.
6.2 Other Organisations
6.2.1 Organisations which are not Eligible Organisations but which are listed on the Proposal will be Other Organisations.
7. Roles and Eligibility for Researchers
7.1 Researcher Roles and General Eligibility
7.1.1 Roles that may be undertaken by researchers are:
a. Chief Investigator (CI); or
b. Partner Investigator (PI).
7.1.2 A Proposal must nominate at least one CI; the first named CI will be the Project Leader. If the Proposal includes a CI requesting a DORA, that CI must be the Project Leader (as per 8.1.5).
7.1.3 At the time of the submission of a Proposal, all obligations regarding previously funded Projects involving the nominated CIs on the Proposal must have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the ARC. Such obligations include the provision of satisfactory Progress and Final Reports.
7.2 Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators (CI)
7.2.1 A researcher nominated on a Proposal as a CI must meet at least one of the following criteria as at 1 January 2014, 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 and not be employed more than half-time (50 per cent of Full Time Equivalent) at another organisation that:
i. is outside the higher education sector, and
ii. engages in research funded predominantly from state/territory or Commonwealth Government funding sources; or
c. be an employee for at least 0.2 FTE (20 per cent of Full Time Equivalent) at one Eligible Organisation and hold a paid position at a museum or herbarium. The museum or herbarium must be a state/territory or Commonwealth Government funded organisation not predominantly funded to carry out research, but with research-related purposes and objectives; or
d. be a Federation Fellow; or
e. be an Australian Laureate Fellow.
7.2.2 A CI must take significant intellectual responsibility for the conduct of the Project and for any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results. A CI must have the capacity to make a serious commitment to carrying out the Project and cannot assume the role of a supplier of resources for work that will largely be placed in the hands of others.
7.2.3 A CI must reside predominantly in Australia for the life of the Project. A 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.
7.2.4 Notwithstanding the eligibility under the criteria above or below in this Section, researchers cannot be eligible to be CIs if:
a. undertaking undergraduate studies; or
b. undertaking a higher degree by research.
7.2.5 If a Proposal has been approved for funding and a CI is, at any time, no longer able to work as proposed on the Project, the Project may be continued provided that the Project still includes at least one CI who was named on the Proposal and any replacement CI is approved by the ARC and meets the CI eligibility criteria.
7.2.6 If a Proposal has been approved for funding and the sole CI is, at any time, no longer able to work as proposed on the Project, the Project must be terminated.
7.3 Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators (PI)
7.3.1 A researcher nominated as a PI on a Proposal:
a. a PI must take significant intellectual responsibility for the conduct of the Project and for any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results. The PI must have the capacity to make a serious commitment to carrying out the Project and cannot assume the role of a supplier of resources for work that will largely be placed in the hands of others;
b. must not meet the eligibility criteria for CI; and
c. must secure cash, or in-kind contribution or other resources from their own organisation for the Project (having regard to the total cost of the project and the relative contribution of other investigators).
7.3.2 A researcher who is an employee of an Eligible Organisation listed in Appendix A who does not reside predominantly in Australia may be a PI.
8. Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award
8.1 Eligibility Criteria for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA)
8.1.1 A DORA candidate must satisfy the eligibility criteria for a CI at 7.2.
8.1.2 A CI cannot hold concurrent DORAs.
8.1.3 Only one DORA may be requested per Proposal.
8.1.4 A CI can only request one DORA in the current Discovery Projects round.
8.1.5 A CI requesting a DORA must be the Proposal Leader.
8.1.6 A DORA candidate is expected to demonstrate the ways in which the Project quality will be enhanced by their contribution and leadership. Leadership may be reflected in various ways such as in making conceptual breakthroughs through methodological innovation, through mentoring other researchers, and through high quality outreach, dissemination and translation of research results. The DORA candidate is also expected to play an integral role in driving the Project to successful completion.
8.2 Level and Period of Funding for a DORA
8.2.1 A DORA can only be awarded for the same duration as the Project.
8.2.2 A CI awarded a DORA will not be awarded Teaching Relief.
8.2.3 A DORA recipient cannot commence another ARC Fellowship or Award until after the entire DORA component has been expended. A DORA recipient can only hold one more DORA.
8.2.4 DORA funding may be used for other purposes to support the Project in changed circumstances with the approval of the ARC, without extension to the life of the Project. The use of DORA funding for other purposes does not confer an exemption from 8.2.3.
8.2.5 DORA funding may be requested at one of three salary levels (2013$), which is either equivalent to or higher than the salary level of the CI as at the closing date for submission.
DORA Level 1
DORA Level 2
DORA Level 3
8.2.6 The Administering Organisation must ensure a CI awarded a DORA is entitled to up to 14 weeks paid maternity leave during the duration of the Award. The ARC will provide up to 14 weeks funding for this purpose. The Administering Organisation must seek ARC approval for any extension to the life of the Project exceeding the 14 weeks paid maternity leave.
8.2.7 The Administering Organisation must ensure a CI awarded a DORA is entitled to take up to two (2) weeks paid partner/parental leave at the time of birth or adoption to the partner/parent who is not identified as the primary caregiver during the duration of the Award. The ARC will provide up to two weeks funding for this purpose and the Project period will be extended for a period equivalent to the duration of the paid partner/parental leave.
9. Number of Proposals, Funded Projects and Cross-Scheme Eligibility
9.1 Number of Proposals and Funded Projects
9.1.1 A CI receiving funding under the Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development or Discovery Indigenous schemes, or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program may only be funded concurrently for a maximum of two Projects under these Schemes and Program combined. If both Projects are funded under the Discovery Projects scheme only one can be as sole CI.
9.1.2 A Fellow receiving funding under the Future Fellowships scheme may only be funded concurrently for a maximum of two Projects under the following Schemes and Program combined: Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development, Discovery Indigenous or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program.
9.1.3 A Discovery Early Career Researcher Award recipient may only be funded concurrently for one Project under the following Schemes and Program combined: Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development, Discovery Indigenous or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program.
9.1.4 A Fellow receiving funding under the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme may be funded concurrently for only one Discovery Projects Project.
9.1.5 Notwithstanding 9.1.4, a researcher intending to apply for funding under the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme in 2013 may be funded concurrently for a maximum of two Projects under the following Schemes and Program combined: Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development, Discovery Indigenous or Centre Personnel receiving funding under the ARC Research Centres Program. If successful in being awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship, the researcher must comply with 9.1.4 and will be able to retain only one concurrent Discovery Projects Project.
9.1.6 Researchers will not be permitted to relinquish a CI, ARC Fellowship, ARC Award or Centre Personnel role or existing ARC grants held on 1 January 2013, to circumvent the limits in 9.1.1, 9.1.2, 9.1.3, 9.1.4, 9.1.5 and 9.1.11.
9.1.7 A researcher cannot be involved in more than the maximum number of Projects (including Awards and Fellowships) permitted in 2014. This number is calculated at the closing time of submission of Proposals by totalling the number of Projects receiving funding in 2014 and the number of Proposals submitted for funding commencing in 2014. A Project is considered to be funded for the years set out in the Funding Agreement.
9.1.8 An ARC Fellow or Award recipient cannot concurrently hold more than one ARC Fellowship or Award. An ARC Fellow or Award recipient may only apply for another ARC Fellowship or Award in the final year of that Fellowship or Award. Some schemes have restrictions on the number of times applications can be submitted.
9.1.9 An applicant for a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2014 cannot apply for another ARC Fellowship or Award commencing in 2014.
9.1.10 An ARC Fellow or Award recipient cannot concurrently hold a Fellowship from another Commonwealth funding agency. Commencement of ARC Fellowships and Awards cannot be deferred to allow the completion of another Commonwealth funded fellowship. The ARC will not accept applications for Fellowships or Awards where the candidate has applied, or intends to apply, for another Commonwealth-funded fellowship within the six months before or after the ARC closing date for proposals.
9.1.11 A CI on a Program Grant, Project Grant or Centre of Research Excellence awarded funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council for 2014 may only apply for or hold a maximum of one Discovery Project to receive funding in 2014.
9.2.1 A Proposal may only be submitted once in the same funding round to Discovery Projects regardless of any variation in the proposed research, the listed researchers and/or Administering Organisation.
9.2.2 The ARC will not duplicate funding for research, including infrastructure, funded as at 1 January 2014 by the Commonwealth.
9.2.3 The Proposal must list all current funding and requested funding for each CI and PI under any ARC scheme or any other Commonwealth funding scheme.
9.3 Proposal Eligibility
9.3.1 The ARC will assess whether a Proposal meets the eligibility requirements in these Funding Rules and may recommend that a Proposal that does not meet the requirements be deemed ineligible.
9.3.2 A decision under clause 9.3.1 may be made by the ARC at any stage during assessment of the Proposal and may result in non-progression of the Proposal to the next level of assessment.
10. Submission of Proposals
10.1.1 The Proposal must contain all the information necessary for its assessment without the need for further written or oral explanation, or reference to additional documentation, unless requested by the ARC.
10.1.2 All details in the Proposal must be current at the time of submission.
10.2 Submission of Proposals in the RMS
10.2.1 Administering Organisations must submit Proposals through the RMS unless otherwise advised by the ARC.
10.2.2 All Proposals must meet the format and content requirements, including certification, as set out in the RMS form and the Instructions to Applicants.
10.3 Closing Time for Proposals
10.3.1 The online form completed within the RMS must be submitted by the closing date on the Important Dates page on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/media/important_dates.htm.
10.3.2 Additions, deletions and modifications will not be accepted after submission, unless invited by the ARC.
10.3.3 Upon receipt of a written request from the Administering Organisation the ARC may approve the withdrawal of a Proposal. The ARC will consider the request to withdraw a Proposal but may choose not to give effect to such a request.
10.4 Certification in the RMS
10.4.1 The Administering Organisation must certify a Proposal online in the RMS. Research Offices should ensure that the Research Office delegate role is authorised in the RMS to certify and submit Proposals.
10.4.2 The ARC reserves the right at any point in the process to seek evidence from the Administering Organisation to support the certification of Proposals.
10.5 Conflict of Interest
10.5.1 All parties involved in or associated with a Proposal must disclose at the date of submission any Conflict of Interest that exists or is likely to arise in relation to any aspect of the Proposal.
10.5.2 The ARC’s Conflict of Interest policy and management practices are available on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au.
10.5.3 All Proposals must include a declaration of any Conflicts of Interest with members of the ARC College. A list of ARC College members is available on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au.
10.5.4 If a Conflict of Interest exists or arises, the Administering Organisation must have documented processes in place for managing the Conflict of Interest for the duration of the project. Such processes must comply with the NHMRC/ARC/UA Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) and any relevant successor document.
11. Selection and Approval Process
11.1 Assessment and Selection Process
11.1.1 Assessment of Proposals is undertaken by the ARC, which has the right to make recommendations for funding to the Minister, based on any number of assessments or solely on the basis of its expertise.
11.1.2 All Proposals will be considered against eligibility criteria and compliance with these Funding Rules.
11.1.3 All Proposals may be:
a. assigned to independent assessors, from a range of organisations, who will assess and report, which may include written comments, on the Proposal against the selection criteria; and
b. ranked and allocated a budget, relative to other Proposals, by the ARC College on the basis of the Proposal, any assessors’ reports and any rejoinder.
11.1.4 Following the recommendations of the ARC College or other Selection Advisory Committee, the CEO must make recommendations to the Minister in relation to what Proposals should be approved and at what level of funding, and what Proposals should not be approved.
11.1.5 The ARC has procedures in place for managing organisational and personal Conflicts of Interest for assessors, members of the ARC College, members of other ARC Committees and ARC staff.
The Administering Organisation may be given the opportunity for a rejoinder to Assessors’ written comments, and to provide any additional information requested by the ARC. Names of assessors will not be provided to the Administering Organisation.
11.3 Request Not to Assess
Administering Organisations may name any person or persons whom they do not wish to assess a Proposal by submitting a ‘Request Not to Assess’ form available on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/applicants/request_notassesform.htm. This form must be received by the ARC by the closing date and time on the Important Dates page on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/media/important_dates.htm. The ARC will consider the justification put forward to exclude any person as an assessor, but may choose not to give effect to such a request.
11.4 Recommendations and Offer of Funding
11.4.1 In accordance with the ARC Act, the ARC CEO will submit funding recommendations to the Minister for consideration. The Minister will determine which Proposals will be approved and the amount and timing of funding to be paid to Administering Organisations for approved Proposals.
11.4.2 Under the ARC Act, the Minister must not approve for funding any Proposal that fails to meet the eligibility criteria set out in these Funding Rules.
11.4.3 All Administering Organisations will be notified of the outcomes of their Proposals (including Proposals not recommended for funding).
11.4.4 Administering Organisations whose Proposals are approved will be notified in a letter of offer that will indicate the funding to be offered and provided with a copy of a Funding Agreement for signing. Outcomes of the selection process will also be made available on the ARC website.
11.4.5 The Minister may vary the funding approval if the ARC recommends that the particular circumstances of the Project warrant variation. Any variation or change will accord with the ARC Discovery Projects Funding Rules and Funding Agreement.
12. Appeals Process
12.1.1 Applicants for funding under the schemes of the NCGP are able to submit an appeal against administrative process issues. The appeals process is designed to ensure that the applicant has been treated fairly and consistently in the context of selection procedures.
12.1.2 Appeals will be considered only against administrative process issues and not against committee decisions, assessor ratings and comments or the assessment outcome.
12.1.3 Appeals must be submitted by the Administering Organisation on the ARC Appeals Form 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 (AEDT) on the Appeals submission due date.
12.1.4 Appeals must be addressed and sent to the Appeals address advised at the beginning of these Funding Rules. The ARC will accept both electronic and hard copy Appeal submissions.
12.1.5 Applicants for funding may at any time seek to appeal ARC decisions using available external appeal options.
13. Reporting Requirements
13.1 Progress Reports
13.1.1 Years 1 and 2: Report by Exception. A report must only be submitted if significant issues are affecting the progress of the Project. The report must specify the actions being taken to address the issues.
13.1.2 When required, Progress Reports must be submitted by 31 March in the year following each full calendar year for which the funding was awarded as directed by the ARC.
13.2 End of Year Reports
The Administering Organisation must submit an End of Year Report by 31 March in the year following each full calendar year for which the funding was awarded.
13.3 Final Report
13.3.1 A Final Report must be submitted for the Project within twelve (12) months of the final payment or within twelve (12) months of the final approved carryover of Funds.
13.3.2 The Final Report must justify why any publications arising from a Project have not been deposited in an open access institutional repository within twelve (12) months of publication. The Final Report must outline how data arising from the Project has been made publicly accessible where appropriate.
13.3.3 If any reports are not submitted or are not satisfactory to the ARC this will be noted against future Proposals submitted by the associated CIs with the Project.
13.3.4 The ARC may also seek additional information about subsequent publications after submission of the Final Report.
13.4 Audited Financial Statement
13.4.1 In accordance with section 58 of the ARC Act, the Administering Organisation must submit an Audited Financial Statement by 30 June for each year following each calendar year for which the Funding was awarded.
13.4.2 In completing the Audited Financial Statement, the Administering Organisation must ensure that the amount shown in that statement as ‘approved carry forward funds’ is the same as the amount (if any) for which approval was given by the ARC to carry over in the End of Year Report.
14. Fundamental Principles of Conducting Research
14.1 Ethics and Research Practices
14.1.1 All Proposals and ARC-funded research projects must conform to the principles outlined in the following and their successor documents:
a. NHMRC/ARC/UA Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007);
b. as applicable, the NHMRC/ARC/UA National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007); and
c. as applicable, codes on animal research promulgated by the NHMRC.
14.1.2 If there is any conflict between a successor document and its predecessor, then the successor document prevails to the extent of any inconsistency.
14.2 Applicable Law
The ARC is required to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
14.3.1 The ARC will treat information contained in a Proposal as confidential. However, the ARC may disclose information contained in a Proposal, or otherwise provided to the ARC, to the extent that the information is:
a. disclosed by the ARC to its advisers (including external assessors), officers, employees or other third parties in order to assess, evaluate or verify the accuracy or completeness of a Proposal;
b. disclosed to the ARC’s personnel to enable effective management or auditing of the ARC Discovery Projects scheme or any Funding Agreement;
c. disclosed by the ARC to the Minister;
d. shared by the ARC within the ARC’s organisation, or with another Commonwealth Department or agency, where this 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.
14.3.2 Where information contained in a Proposal is made available to third parties for evaluation or assessment purposes the ARC will require the third parties to maintain the confidentiality of the material.
14.3.3 Notwithstanding the above, and in addition to the exemptions listed at 14.3.1, the ARC may publicise and report offers or awards of funding, including information about the proposed research; the names of nominated CIs, PIs, DORA recipients 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 (including the national/community benefits that are expected to arise from the research); and the level and nature of financial assistance from the ARC. Administering Organisations should ensure that information contained in the Project title and summary would not, if released, compromise their own requirement for confidentiality (such as future protection of intellectual property).
14.3.4 In making public information about a Proposal which has been approved for funding, the ARC may use a Project description, including title and summary which may differ from that provided in the Proposal.
14.4 Intellectual Property
14.4.1 The ARC does not claim ownership of any intellectual property in a Proposal or in any research arising from a Project.
14.4.2 The Administering Organisation must adhere to an intellectual property policy, approved by the Administering Organisation’s governing body, which has as one of its aims the maximisation of benefits arising from research. Unless otherwise approved by the Commonwealth, the Administering Organisation’s Intellectual Property policy must comply with the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research as amended from time to time.
14.5 Incomplete or Misleading Information
14.5.1 It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to the Commonwealth.
14.5.2 If the ARC considers that a Proposal is incomplete, inaccurate or contains false or misleading information, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to recommend that the Proposal not be approved for funding.
14.5.3 A decision under subsection 14.5.2 may be made by the ARC at any stage during the assessment of the Proposal and may result in non-progression of the Proposal to the next level of assessment.
14.5.4 Examples of misleading information and misconduct include:
a. providing fictitious research opportunity and performance evidence;
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).
14.6 Publication and Dissemination of Research Outputs
14.6.1 Publication and dissemination of Project outputs and outreach activity costs may be supported at up to two (2) per cent of total non-salary ARC funding awarded to the Project, and no prior approval is required; nor does this need to be separately itemised at time of application. This excludes fees for patent application and holding.
14.6.2 All Proposals and ARC-funded research projects must comply with the ARC Open Access policy on the dissemination of research findings, which is available at: www.arc.gov.au. In accordance with this policy, the ARC requires that any publications arising from a Project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve month period from the date of publication. The ARC strongly encourages the depositing of data arising from a Project in an appropriate publicly accessible subject and/or institutional repository. See also clause 13.3.2.
Appendix A Eligible Organisations
The organisations listed below are eligible to apply for and receive funding under these Funding Rules.
New South Wales
Australian Catholic University
Charles Sturt 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
La Trobe University
MCD University of Divinity
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University)
Swinburne University of Technology
The University of Melbourne
University of Ballarat
Central Queensland University
James Cook University
Queensland University of Technology
The University of Queensland
The University of the Sunshine Coast
University of Southern Queensland
Curtin University of Technology
Edith Cowan University
The University of Notre Dame Australia
The University of Western Australia
The Flinders University of South Australia
The University of Adelaide
University of South Australia
University of Tasmania
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
Charles Darwin University
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
The Australian National University
University of Canberra
 OECD (2002), Frascati Manual: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, Paris (Page 30).