Linkage Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2011 (Variation 1)
Australian Research Council Act 2001
I, KIM CARR, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, having satisfied myself of the matters set out in section 59 of the Australian Research Council Act 2001, approve these Funding Rules under section 60 of that Act.
Dated 1 March 2011
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Table of Contents
Key Dates. 5
1...... Name of Funding Rules. 7
2...... Commencement 7
3...... Definitions. 7
4...... Introduction. 9
4.1 Overview and NCGP Objectives 9
4.2 Linkage Projects 10
4.3 Selection Criteria 11
4.4 Fellowships 12
4.5 Conflict of Interest 12
5...... Changes from Last Year. 12
6...... Funding. 13
6.1 Level of Funding 13
6.2 Period of Funding 13
6.3 Types of Research Supported 14
6.4 Restrictions on Budget Items 15
6.5 Areas of Investigation/Work Not Supported 15
6.6 Number of Proposals and Funded Projects 16
6.7 Duplication 17
7...... Organisational Types, Roles and Eligibility. 17
7.1 Eligible Organisations 17
7.2 Partner Organisations 18
8...... Roles and Eligibility for Researchers. 18
8.1 Researcher Roles and General Eligibility 18
8.2 Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators 19
8.3 Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators 20
8.4 General Eligibility Criteria for Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships (Industry) 20
8.5 General Eligibility Criteria for Linkage Industry Fellowships (LIFs) 22
9...... Cross-scheme Issues. 22
9.1 Cross-scheme Eligibility 22
9.2 Non-duplication and Cross-scheme Funding 23
9.3 Researchers from Commonwealth-funded Research Centres 23
9.4 Funding of Medical and Dental Research 23
10.... Application Process. 24
10.1 Eligibility Exemption 24
10.2 Proposals 24
11.... Submission of Proposals. 24
11.1 Submission of Proposals 24
11.2 Proposal Content 24
11.3 Format 25
11.4 How to Complete and Submit a Proposal 25
11.5 Closing Time for Proposals 26
11.6 Certification 26
12.... Selection and Approval Process. 26
12.1 Assessment and Selection Process 26
12.2 Rejoinder 27
12.3 Recommendations and Offer of Funding 28
12.4 Exclusion of Proposals 28
13.... Appeals Process. 30
Appendix A – Fundamental Principles and Requirements. 31
A1 Ethics and Research Practices 31
A2 Acknowledging ARC Support 31
A3 Dissemination of Research Outputs 31
A4 Applicable Law 32
A5 Confidentiality 32
A6 Project Description 32
A7 Intellectual Property 33
A8 Incomplete or Misleading Information 33
A9 Insurance and Liabilities 34
Appendix B – Administration of Funding. 35
B1 Funding Agreement 35
B2 Varying the Funding Agreement 35
B3 Varying the funding approval 35
B4 Reports 35
Appendix C – Eligible Organisations. 36
C1 Higher Education Organisations Eligible to Submit Proposals 36
C2 Other Organisation Eligible to Submit Proposals 37
Appendix D – Notional APDI Fellowship salary and PhD stipend. 38
D1 APDI Fellowship Salary 38
D2 Notional Teaching Relief Contribution (if approved) 38
D3 APAI Stipend 38
Appendix E – Partner Organisations. 39
E1 General Eligibility 39
E2 Overseas Partner Organisation 40
E3 Partner Organisation Contributions Requirements 40
E4 Offer of Funding 41
E5 Eligibility for Concessional Treatment 41
Appendix F – Guidelines for the Evaluation of the Adequacy of Partner Organisation In-kind Contributions. 42
F1 Underlying Principles and Practical Considerations 42
F2 Guidelines for Recognising In-kind Budget Items in Partner Organisation Contributions 42
The following acronyms are used in ARC Funding Rules*.
Australian Eastern Daylight Saving (Summer) Time
Australian Eastern Standard Time
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry)
Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry)
Australian Research Council
Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee
ARC Centres of Excellence and ARC Centres
ARC College of Experts
Cooperative Research Centre
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
ARC Discovery Projects
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Goods and Services Tax
Higher Education Contribution Scheme
Higher Education Loan Programme
Indigenous Researcher Fellowship
ARC Linkage Industry Fellowship
ARC Linkage Projects
National Competitive Grants Program
National Health and Medical Research Council
Portable Document Format
Universal Resource Locator
*Italics signify ARC Grants Schemes
Closing time for Eligibility Exemption Requests
5.00 pm (AEDT)
Wednesday 31 March 2010
Closing time for submission of Proposals
5.00 pm (AEST)
Wednesday 12 May 2010
Deadline for letters requesting non-use of an assessor
5.00 pm (AEST)
Wednesday 12 May 2010
Closing time for Eligibility Exemption Requests
5.00 pm (AEST)
Wednesday 29 September 2010
Closing time for submission of Proposals
5.00 pm (AEDT)
Wednesday 17 November 2010
Deadline for letters requesting non-use of an assessor
5.00 pm (AEDT)
Wednesday 17 November 2010
Dates for the award of a PhD (or having achieved equivalent status) to be eligible for a Linkage Projects APDI Fellowship:
On or after 12 May 2007
On or after 17 November 2007
The ARC deals with thousands of Proposals each year. Researchers should, therefore, direct requests for information to the Research Office within their organisation.
Enquiries must be addressed and sent:
by mail to:
by courier to:
Linkage Projects Coordinator
Australian Research Council
GPO Box 2702
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Linkage Projects Coordinator
Australian Research Council
1st Floor, 8 Brindabella Circuit
CANBERRA AIRPORT ACT 2609
Phone: 02 6287 6600
Fax: 02 6287 6638
Requests not to assess must be lodged by email at:
Appeals must be addressed and sent:
by mail to:
by courier to:
The Appeals Officer
Australian Research Council
GPO Box 2702
CANBERRA ACT 2601
The Appeals Officer
Australian Research Council
1st Floor, 8 Brindabella Circuit
CANBERRA AIRPORT ACT 2609
User IDs for the ARC online application system
RMS Helpdesk: +61 2 6287 6789
1. Name of Funding Rules
These Funding Rules are the Australian Research Council Linkage Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2011 (Variation 1).
The 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.
Administering Organisation means an Eligible Organisation which submits a Proposal for funding under Linkage Projects and which will be responsible for the administration of the funding if the proposed project is approved for funding.
Applicant means the Administering Organisation. Funding under Linkage Projects is provided to Administering Organisations, not to individual researchers.
ARC means the Australian Research Council, as established under the ARC Act.
ARC Act means the Australian Research Council Act 2001.
ARC Centre means a research centre wholly or partly funded by the ARC and includes ARC Centres of Excellence, ARC Centres, ARC Special Research Centres and ARC co-funded Centres.
ARC Fellowship means a position held by a researcher where the salary is funded wholly or partly by the ARC and where the researcher has been nominated in a Proposal to hold a Fellowship. An ARC Fellowship may be awarded at a number of levels and in various ARC schemes. ARC Fellowship includes Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (APD), Australian Research Fellowship (ARF), Australian Research Fellowship – Indigenous (ARF-I), Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (QEII), Australian Professorial Fellowship (APF), Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry) (APDI Fellowship), Linkage Industry Fellowship (LIF), ARC Centre Fellowship, Federation Fellowship, Future Fellowship, Australian Laureate Fellowship, Indigenous Researcher Fellowship (IRF) and Super Science Fellowship (SSF).
ARC Linkage Projects Executive Director means the occupant, from time to time, of the position of Scheme Coordinator (ARC Linkage Projects) in the ARC, or any other person to whom the administration of the ARC Linkage Projects scheme may be allocated.
ARC website is www.arc.gov.au
Australian Partner Organisation means a Partner Organisation, or part of such an organisation, that is incorporated under Australian law and is operating in Australia.
Australian Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry) (APDI Fellow) means a researcher whose salary is wholly or partly funded under an APDI Fellowship (under the Linkage Projects scheme).
Centre Director means the person appointed to direct the programs of a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre.
Chief Investigator (CI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a Chief Investigator.
Collaborating Organisation means any organisation which is identified in the Proposal as a contributor to the project.
Commonwealth means the Commonwealth of Australia.
Commonwealth-funded Research Centre means a research centre substantially funded from Commonwealth competitive research funding sources and includes ARC Centres, Cooperative Research Centres and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program Grants and Centres of Clinical Research Excellence. It does not include Research Networks funded by the ARC.
Conflict of Interest means an actual or perceived conflict between a person’s public duty and their private or personal interest.
Consultancy means the provision of specialist advice, analysis, assistance, services or products to another organisation(s), generally where the consultancy services are for the sole or preferred use of that other organisation(s).
Earnings means the amount paid directly or indirectly as remuneration for work a person undertakes or services he/she performs. It includes amounts paid under employment and/or consultancy arrangements.
Eligible Organisation means an organisation that satisfies the eligibility requirements for an Eligible Organisation.
Eligibility Exemption Request means a request submitted by an Applicant to the ARC for a relaxation of the eligibility requirements stipulated in the Funding Rules.
Funding Agreement means the agreement entered into between the ARC and the Administering Organisation if the Administering Organisation’s Proposal is approved for funding. This Agreement sets out the terms and conditions under which the Commonwealth is to provide funding and the Administering Organisation is to be responsible for administration of the funding and the conduct of the project.
Funding Rules means this document.
GST has the meaning as given in section 195-1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.
Host Organisation means an organisation at which a Fellow or Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) candidate undertakes her/his research.
Indigenous Researcher Fellow (IRF) means a researcher whose salary is wholly or partly funded under an Indigenous Researcher Fellowship (under the Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development scheme).
Linkage Industry Fellow (LIF) means a researcher whose salary is wholly or partly funded under an ARC Linkage Industry Fellowship (under the ARC Linkage Projects scheme).
Medical and Dental Research means research and/or training which, in the opinion of the ARC, has a significant focus on near-term clinical medical (including dental) outcomes as defined on the ARC website.
Minister means the Minister from time to time responsible for the administration of the ARC Act, or the Minister’s delegate.
National Innovation Priority means a national innovation priority as detailed on the ARC website.
National Research Priority means a national research priority detailed on the ARC website.
Partner Investigator (PI) means a researcher who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a Partner Investigator.
Partner Organisation means an organisation, other than an Eligible Organisation, which is to be a contributor to the project and satisfies the eligibility requirements for a Partner Organisation.
Partner Organisation Cash Contribution means the cash funding from a Partner Organisation(s) which is provided to the Administering Organisation to administer.
Project Leader means the first-named researcher nominated on a Proposal who is a CI or ARC Fellow.
Proposal means a request to the ARC for the provision of financial assistance for a research project which is submitted in accordance with Funding Rules approved by the Minister.
Research Office means a business unit within an organisation that is responsible for administrative contact with the ARC regarding Proposals and research projects.
Special Condition means a special condition specified in a Funding Agreement which governs the use of the funding provided by the ARC.
4.1 Overview and NCGP Objectives
4.1.1 This document sets out the Funding Rules for Linkage Projects, a scheme funded under the ARC National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), which comply with the requirements of the ARC Act.
4.1.2 All parties involved in Proposals should read and understand the Funding Rules and the ARC draft Funding Agreement (which is available at the ARC website) before submitting a Proposal to the ARC. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their Proposals are complete and accurate.
4.1.3 Funding under Linkage Projects is provided to Administering Organisations, not to researchers. That is, the ARC will accept a Proposal only from an Eligible Organisation and not from any individual researcher or researchers.
4.1.4 These Funding Rules are current as at March 2010 and have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the ARC Act in force then. These Funding Rules are subject to change at any time, for reasons including any subsequent amendment to, replacement or supplementation of the ARC Act.
4.1.5 The ARC is an Australian Government statutory authority established under the ARC Act. The primary functions of the ARC, as specified by the ARC Act, are to make recommendations regarding the funding of research programs, to administer funding to support research programs, and to provide policy advice related to research, and to evaluate the quality of university research.
4.1.6 The ARC has established a range of competitive funding schemes for the support of research and research training under the framework of the NCGP. A list of current NCGP funding schemes is available on the ARC website.
4.1.7 By the operation of a range of funding schemes under the NCGP, the ARC aims to:
a. maintain and build on existing research and research training;
b. build the scale and focus of research and research training;
c. encourage cross-disciplinary approaches to research and research training;
d. facilitate collaborative approaches to research and research training;
e. support research and research training of national benefit, including in the following National Research Priorities (descriptions of these National Research Priorities and their associated Priority Goals can be found on the ARC website):
i. An Environmentally Sustainable Australia;
ii. Promoting and Maintaining Good Health;
iii Frontier Technologies for Building and Transforming Australian
iv. Safeguarding Australia; and
f. support the development of the National Innovation System by promoting the National Innovation Priorities relevant for NCGP. Descriptions of the National Innovation Priorities can be found on the ARC website.
4.2 Linkage Projects
4.2.1 Linkage Projects supports research and development projects which are collaborative between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system, which are undertaken to acquire new knowledge, and which involve risk or innovation.
4.2.2 The objectives of Linkage Projects are to:
a. encourage and develop long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations, including industry and end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, social or cultural benefits;
b. enhance the scale and focus of research in National Research Priorities;
c. foster opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to pursue internationally competitive research in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research;
d. provide outcome-oriented research training to prepare high-calibre postgraduate research students; and
e. produce a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system.
4.3 Selection Criteria
All Linkage Projects Proposals which meet the eligibility criteria will be assessed and merit ranked using the following selection criteria:
4.3.1 Investigator(s) (20%)
a. Research opportunity and performance evidence.
b. Capacity to undertake and manage the proposed research.
4.3.2 Proposed project content (55%) made up of
a. Significance and innovation (25%)
- does the research address an important problem?
- how will the anticipated outcomes advance the knowledge base?
- are the project aims and concepts novel and innovative?
- will new methods or technologies be developed?
b. Approach and Training (20%)
- are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate to the aims of the project?
- if the project involves an APAI stipend request, is the project suitable for research training?
- where relevant, is the intellectual content and scale of the work proposed appropriate to a research higher degree?
- how appropriate is the proposed budget?
c. National Benefit (10%)
- what is the potential of the research project to result in economic, environmental and/or social benefits for Australia from the expected results and outcomes of the project?
- what is the potential for the research to contribute to the National Research Priorities?
4.3.3 Nature of the alliance, commitment from Partner Organisation(s)
and Budget (25%)
a. Is there evidence that each of the Partner Organisation(s) is genuinely committed to, and prepared to collaborate in, the research project?
b. Will the proposed research encourage and develop strategic research alliances between the higher education organisation(s) and other organisation(s)?
c. Value for money and budget justification.
4.4.1 The recommending of Fellowships is at the discretion of the ARC, having regard to the excellence of the Fellowship candidate’s research opportunity and performance evidence and the excellence of the research project.
4.5 Conflict of Interest
4.5.1 All parties involved in or associated with Proposals and ARC-funded research projects are required to disclose to the ARC, and the other parties involved in the Proposal/project (including all Collaborating Organisations), any Conflict of Interest which has the potential to influence, or appear to influence, the request for funding, or the research and activities, publications and media reports related to the Proposal/project.
4.5.2 If, in the opinion of the ARC, any party involved in or associated with a Proposal has failed to disclose any such Conflict of Interest, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend for approval any or all Proposals involving that party.
4.5.3 If a Conflict of Interest exists or arises, the Administering Organisation must have processes in place and documented 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 Practice (2007) and any relevant successor document. In the event of any inconsistency between the original and any successor document, the latter document is to apply.
5. Changes from Last Year
5.1 A number of clarifications and revisions have been made in these Funding Rules. Significant changes from the Linkage Projects Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2010 include:
a. The sections on applying for Eligibility Exemption Advice Requests have been deleted;
b. The definition of Medical and Dental Research has been clarified;
c. The Administering Organisation is required to assess the Proposal as to whether it
is near-term clinical medical (including dental) research, as defined on the ARC
website. By submitting the Proposal through the relevant Research Office, the
Administering Organisation certifies that the Proposal is not Medical and Dental
d. The Administering Organisation is required to certify that the research does not overlap with research funded by a Commonwealth funded Research Centre (Section 9.3 and 11.6.3). A letter of certification from the Centre Director is no longer required;
e. Track Record has been replaced by research opportunity and performance evidence (subsection 4.3.1);
f. Applications for Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) (APAI) stipends can now be made under personnel in the budget instead of requesting a specific APAI as a remunerated participant.
g. The rules around Partner Organisation contributions for APAI only Proposals no longer apply.
h. Funding of additional expenses for APAI candidates will be the responsibility of the Host Organisation (for example extension, relocation and thesis allowance).
i. The minimum request from the ARC has been raised from $20,000 to $30,000 per year.
5.2 The list of changes above is not comprehensive. Applicants and other parties involved in Proposals should read and understand the entire Funding Rules and standard Funding Agreement before a Proposal is submitted to the ARC.
6.1 Level of Funding
6.1.1 All amounts referred to in these Funding Rules are to be read as exclusive of GST (if any), unless expressly stated otherwise.
6.1.2 The minimum level of funding which may be provided by the ARC for a project under these Funding Rules is $30,000 per year and the maximum is up to $500,000 per year. In exceptional circumstances, the ARC is prepared to consider higher funding levels of up to $2,000,000 per year, where an outstanding case is made, and where there is clear evidence of a very high level of commitment by, and significant cash contributions from, the Partner Organisation(s).
6.1.3 If an APDI Fellowship is requested, the Proposal should include a request for the Fellowship salary and on-costs in the budget. APDI Fellowships are funded at levels outlined in Appendix D.
6.1.4 The ARC reserves the right to recommend funding for a project at levels which may differ from those requested in the Proposal.
6.1.5 The amount of funding sought in a Linkage Projects Proposal will depend on the Applicant demonstrating the capacity to obtain the required contribution from its Partner Organisation(s), as described in Appendix E.
6.2 Period of Funding
6.2.1 Funding may be payable under these Funding Rules for Linkage Projects in respect of the financial year 2010-11 (for Round 1 Proposals) and 2011-12 (for Round 2 Proposals) and any subsequent years to which the ARC Act applies. Funding for approved projects will commence with effect 1 January 2011 (for Round 1 Proposals) and 1 July 2011 (for Round 2 Proposals), unless other arrangements are approved by the ARC.
6.2.2 Projects may be funded for one to five years, subject to sufficient funding being available for Linkage Projects, the provisions of the ARC Act, and continued satisfactory progress of the project.
6.2.3 APDI Fellowships may be awarded funding for three years. The ARC may award an APDI Fellowship with a duration of less than three years where justified to the satisfaction of the ARC. (Further details regarding APDI Fellowships are provided in subsection 8.4.)
6.2.4 For the purposes of these Funding Rules, the term of a Fellowship is based on the date on which the researcher commenced the Fellowship. In the case of Fellowships awarded under these Funding Rules, the commencement date will be 1 January 2011 (for Round 1 Proposals) and 1 July 2011 (for Round 2 Proposals) unless otherwise approved by the ARC.
6.2.5 The ARC may recommend funding for a project for a duration different from that requested in the Proposal.
6.2.6 Funding under Linkage Projects will be made available in two rounds. Applicants are able to apply in the first round by 5:00 pm (AEST) 12 May 2010 for funding to commence in January 2011 (Round 1 Proposals), or in the second round by 5:00 pm (AEDT) 17 November 2010 for funding to commence in July 2011 (Round 2 Proposals). The ARC will allocate funds between the two rounds as it determines necessary and appropriate.
6.3 Types of Research Supported
6.3.1 Subject to Sections 4.2, 6.4 and 6.5, Linkage Projects supports all types of research, including:
a. pure basic research which is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge;
b. strategic basic research which is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas that are expected to lead to useful discoveries. Such research provides the broad base of knowledge necessary to solve recognised practical problems; and
c. applied research which is original work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. Such research is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives.
6.3.2 The following project costs may be supported under Linkage Projects:
a. personnel (salaries and on-costs), including:
i. APDI Fellowships as outlined in Section 8.4 and Appendix D;
ii. research associates, technicians and laboratory attendants;
iii. APAI stipends for PhD and Masters by research candidates (entitlements are outlined in Appendix D, section D3);
iv. LIFs – salary support associated with short-term transfers for CIs or PIs from one Eligible or Partner Organisation to one of the other Eligible or Partner organisations participating on that Proposal/project, or vice versa, where, in the opinion of the ARC, an outstanding case is made (Section 8.5);
but excluding those items not permitted pursuant to subsections 6.3.2.b
b. teaching and/or teaching relief to allow CIs to interact with the Partner Organisation(s) only if specifically approved for that purpose and will be listed as a Special Condition. Teaching relief may be funded for up to half the duration of the project. If approved, the funding contribution will be in accordance with Appendix D subsection D2;
e. access to workshop services linked to and justified explicitly against the project (e.g. machine tools and qualified technicians available to each member of staff, according to need, for research); and
f. domestic and international travel costs for CIs, PIs, APDI Fellows and research support personnel. Funding is permitted for domestic and international travel associated with the project, including to foster and strengthen collaborations between researchers in Australia and overseas.
6.4 Restrictions on Budget Items
6.4.1 Linkage Projects funds only costs which directly support a research project. The ARC may in its absolute discretion determine whether any proposed costs meet this requirement.
6.4.2 Linkage Projects has restrictions on the following budget items:
a. Capital works and general infrastructure costs are not funded by the ARC, in whole or in part, under Linkage Projects. In addition, they must not be included in the required matching contributions made by Partner Organisations. This does not, however, preclude Partner Organisations from contributing to capital works and general infrastructure costs if the contribution is over and above the required matching contribution.
b. The Commonwealth will not provide support, in whole or in part, to meet the salaries of CIs or PIs under Linkage Projects apart from the possibility of support for salary-related costs associated with a LIF (Section 8.5). If a Proposal requests salary funding for a CI or PI, the Proposal will not be recommended or approved for funding.
c. Funds are not provided for travel or related expenses for researchers when on a Special Studies Program.
d. Funds are not provided to pay the fees of international students or the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) liabilities for students.
e. Research support for PIs. Funds are not provided for PIs, apart from:
i. short-term project support for investigators visiting from overseas;
ii. domestic and international travel associated with a project; and
iii. salary funding for approved LIF Fellows.
f. The Administering Organisation must agree to provide the following basic facilities (where relevant to the Proposal), which will not be funded under Linkage Projects:
i. accommodation (e.g. laboratory and office, suitably equipped and furnished in standard ways);
ii. access to film or music editing facilities;
iii. access to a basic library collection;
iv. standard reference materials or funds for abstracting services;
v. provision of computers, including laptops (excluding access to high-performance computers or other specialised applications that are justified against the Proposal) and basic computing facilities such as printers, word processing and other standard software; and
vi. use of photocopiers, telephones, mail, fax, email and internet services.
g. Costs not directly related to a project will not be funded, for example, costs of a personal nature.
6.5 Areas of Investigation/Work Not Supported
6.5.1 Linkage Projects does not support:
a. Medical and Dental Research, as detailed on the ARC website (Section 9.4);
b. 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;
c. projects such as uncritical compilations and purely descriptive catalogues or editions that do not involve original research;
d. production of teaching materials, even though some research may be involved in their production;
e. compilation of data, unless this is an integral part of the project which is judged to be necessary, in which case the Proposal must include a detailed basis for, and statement indicating, the research objectives to which the data would contribute, and provide the specific research questions to be addressed based on their significance and academic argument;
f. development of research aids and tools (including computer programs), unless they form an integral part of the Proposal, in which case the Proposal must include a detailed basis for, and statement indicating, the specific research questions to be addressed based on their significance and academic argument;
g. projects where, in the ARC’s opinion, one or more Partner Organisation is seeking expert external assistance, not available within their own organisation, in order to develop specific applications or outputs which:
i. involve little innovation or are low risk; and /or
ii. are, in the opinion of the ARC, mainly for the benefit, and align with the priorities or objectives, of the Partner Organisation; and
iii. the ARC deems to be contracted research or a Consultancy arrangement; and
h. projects that, in the opinion of the ARC, do not significantly enhance links with organisations outside the publicly funded research and higher education sectors.
6.5.2 If the ARC considers that a Proposal seeks funding for any of the items not permitted under Sections 6.4 or 6.5, then to that extent, part, or all, of the Proposal will not be recommended or approved for funding. However, if the ARC considers that other parts of the proposed project remain worthy of support, the ARC may recommend that a reduced amount of funding be approved for the Proposal.
6.6 Number of Proposals and Funded Projects
6.6.1 Proposals may be submitted only to the extent that, if all were successful, the researchers nominated on those Proposals would not be involved in more than the maximum numbers of projects permitted in 2011 (see subsection 6.6.2). For the purposes of applying these limits, the number of Proposals and ongoing research projects are evaluated as at the closing time of submission of Proposals. This timing is regardless of any subsequent change in, or withdrawal of, Proposals. Submitting Proposals that exceed any or all of these limits may result in all Proposals involving the relevant researcher(s) not being recommended or approved for funding.
6.6.2 Specific limits on number of projects funded for 2011:
a. CI and APDI Fellow limit
CIs and APDI Fellows may participate at any point in time in up to four funded Linkage Projects which have ARC funding for project costs and/or APDI Fellowships.
CIs may also at any point in time participate in up to four funded Linkage Projects which have ARC funding only for APAIs.
b. PI limit
There is no limit on the number of concurrent projects for PIs.
c. Number of APDI Fellowship nominations
A researcher may be nominated for a maximum of one APDI Fellowship per Linkage Projects funding round.
6.6.3 For the purposes of the limits applying in these Funding Rules, a project for which funding was/is to be carried over, or deferred, into the next year is considered to be funded for the years notified in the letter of offer of funding provided by the ARC. For example, if a project was originally funded for four years and funding is subsequently carried over to a fifth year, the project will still be considered for these purposes as funded for the original four years.
6.7.1 Only one Proposal may be submitted to Linkage Projects in respect of a particular project in the same funding round, regardless of any variation in the listed researchers and/or Administering Organisation. Otherwise, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend for approval any or all of those Proposals, or recommend that a reduced amount of funding be provided for that or any similar Proposal. The ARC reserves the right to determine whether Proposals are duplicates or sufficiently similar to warrant one or more Proposals being not recommended for approval.
6.7.2 Linkage Project Proposals must contain all components in a single Proposal. For example, separate Proposals cannot be submitted seeking project funding for APDI Fellowships for essentially the same project. If the ARC considers that separate Proposals are submitted in the same funding round seeking funding for separate components for essentially the same project the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Proposals for approval.
6.7.3 A Proposal may not be submitted if it is essentially the same as an eligible Proposal submitted in the previous Linkage Projects funding round. If the ARC considers that a Proposal in a round is for essentially the same project as a Proposal submitted in the previous round, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the later Proposal for approval. However, if a Linkage Projects Proposal was not funded in a previous round because the ARC considered it as ineligible for funding because it did not meet the eligibility criteria or accountability requirements, a similar Proposal which meets the eligibility and accountability requirements may be submitted in the immediately following round.
7. Organisational Types, Roles and Eligibility
7.1 Eligible Organisations
7.1.1 A Proposal may be submitted only by an Eligible Organisation. Appendix C specifies Eligible Organisations for Linkage Projects.
7.1.2 APDI Fellowships offered under Linkage Projects may be undertaken at Eligible Organisations specified in Appendix C.
7.1.3 More than one Eligible Organisation may be involved in a single Proposal – such organisations are generally identified by virtue of the organisational affiliations of the Chief Investigator (CI) listed on the Proposal. However, each Proposal must specify a single Eligible Organisation (the Administering Organisation) which submits the Proposal and which will receive and administer ARC financial assistance if the Proposal is successful.
7.2 Partner Organisations
7.2.1 Each Proposal must identify at least one Partner Organisation which will be involved in the project. Partner Organisation(s) must satisfy the requirements in Appendix E. Partner Organisation participation is required for the whole period of the project.
7.2.2 Information about the eligibility of Partner Organisations is set out in Appendix E, together with information about the required contributions and possible tax incentives for Partner Organisations.
7.2.3 Each Proposal must indicate agreed contributions from the Partner Organisation(s), and these contributions must meet the requirements specified in Appendix E. Applicants determine, in collaboration with the Partner Organisation(s), which types of resources are appropriate and necessary for the project they wish to undertake. Contributions from the Partner Organisation(s) must be specific to the project and must not be part of a broader contribution to an Eligible Organisation.
7.2.4 The Proposal should include a detailed description of the collaborative arrangements proposed. Details of the nature of the collaboration should be presented in both descriptive terms and in numbers. Proposals should make clear how each Partner Organisation is involved in the project, how the project fits into each Partner Organisation’s overall strategic plan and how the project is of value to each of the Partner Organisations involved.
7.2.5 The Proposal must include a letter of support (of no more than two A4 pages) from each Partner Organisation on its letterhead, including a brief profile of the Partner Organisation and details of the cash and in-kind support that will be provided.
7.2.6 Each Partner Organisation must certify within the Proposal:
a. that no part of its cash contribution is drawn from funds previously appropriated from government sources for the purposes of research, research evaluation and/or Consultancy activity; and
b. that the Partner Organisation has read and understood the requirements in the standard Funding Agreement about Partner Organisation agreements, including the requirement to enter into arrangements regarding intellectual property.
7.2.7 Proposals which fail to meet any of the requirements specified in Section 7.2 will not be recommended or approved for funding.
8. Roles and Eligibility for Researchers
8.1 Researcher Roles and General Eligibility
8.1.1 Roles that may be undertaken by researchers under Linkage Projects are:
a. Chief Investigator (CI);
b. Partner Investigator (PI); or
c. Australian Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry) (APDI Fellow).
8.1.2 A Proposal must nominate at least one of the following: a CI or APDI Fellow.
8.1.3 All CIs, PIs and APDI Fellows nominated on a Proposal must satisfy the eligibility criteria for the role they are to perform, as specified in Section 8, or the Proposal will not be recommended for funding.
8.1.4 The first-named researcher nominated on a Proposal who is a CI or APDI Fellow on a Proposal will be considered the ‘Project Leader’.
8.1.5 A researcher nominated as a CI, PI or APDI Fellow must take significant intellectual responsibility for the conduct of the proposed project and for any strategic decisions called for in its pursuit and the communication of results. The researcher must have the capacity to make a serious commitment to 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. The ARC reserves the right to determine whether a person has the requisite capacity to perform the role.
8.1.6 At the time of the submission of a Proposal, all obligations regarding previously funded projects involving the nominated CIs and APDI Fellows on the Proposal must have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the ARC. Such obligations include the provision of satisfactory progress and final reports.
8.1.7 Subject to subsection 8.1.8 – 8.1.9, a CI or APDI Fellow must not be nominated in a Proposal, or involved in the project if successful, if her/his involvement would generate or represent a Conflict of Interest. A Conflict of Interest includes, among other things, a researcher:
a. having a substantial direct or indirect financial interest in any of the proposed Partner Organisations for the project; or
b. holding a position of Director, Board member, or other paid or unpaid senior management position in any of the proposed Partner Organisations for the project.
8.1.8 If a Conflict of Interest exists which can be managed effectively and proactively, and would not be likely to compromise the integrity, management or outcomes of the project this should be described within the Proposal. The ARC will consider whether a relaxation of the criteria in 8.1.7 is appropriate as part of the assessment process.
8.1.9 If the ARC considers that a researcher nominated in a Proposal as a CI, PI or APDI Fellow does not meet the eligibility criteria in Section 8.1 or Sections 8.2, 8.3 or 8.4 for the role which that researcher is to perform, the Proposal will not be recommended or approved for funding.
8.2 Eligibility Criteria for Chief Investigators
8.2.1 A researcher nominated on a Proposal as a CI must meet at least one of the following criteria as at 1 January 2011,(for Round 1 Proposals), or as at 1 July 2011, (for Round 2 Proposals), and for the full term of her/his participation in the project:
a. be an employee of an Eligible Organisation listed in Appendix C for at least 50 per cent (0.5 Full Time Equivalent) of his/her time; or
b. be a holder of an Emeritus, Adjunct or equivalent appointment at an Eligible Organisation listed in Appendix C and not have a substantive position or paid appointment elsewhere.
8.2.2 He/she must reside predominantly in Australia for the full term of her/his participation in the project. If the person does not have permanent resident status he/she must obtain temporary or permanent resident status from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship before he/she may commence on the project.
8.2.3 A CI must not receive any Earnings from ARC funding for the project (subject to Section 8.5).
8.2.4 Notwithstanding a researcher’s eligibility under the criteria in Section 8.2, a researcher undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate studies is not eligible to be a CI, unless the researcher’s undergraduate or postgraduate studies lie outside the scope and area of the research proposed in the Proposal.
8.2.5 If a Proposal has been approved for funding and a CI is at any time during the project no longer able to work as proposed on the project, the project may be continued under a replacement CI provided that:
a. approval is obtained from the Minister for the change in CI;
b. where the CI was the Project Leader, another investigator who was an original CI on the Proposal may become the Project Leader;
c. the project still includes at least one other investigator who was an original CI on the Proposal and the replacement CI is first approved by the ARC; and
d. the replacement CI(s) must meet the eligibility criteria specified in Section 8.2 and subsections 8.1.5, 8.1.6 and 8.1.7 at the time of his/her nomination and for the full term of his/her participation in the project.
8.2.6 The Project must be terminated where there are no other investigators who were original CIs remaining on the Proposal. Sole CI projects cannot be continued under replacement CIs.
8.3 Eligibility Criteria for Partner Investigators
8.3.1 To be eligible to be nominated as a PI on a Proposal, a researcher must:
a. not meet the eligibility criteria specified in Section 8.2 for a CI;
b. secure a significant contribution of cash, or in-kind or other resources from the researcher’s organisation for the project (having regard to the total cost of the project and the relative contribution of other investigators);
c. not receive salary support from ARC funding for the project, unless approved as a Linkage Industry Fellow (see Section 8.5); and
d. take significant intellectual responsibility as outlined in subsection 8.1.5.
8.3.2 If a Proposal has been approved for funding and any or all PIs are at any time during the project no longer able to work as proposed on the project, the project may be continued with a replacement PI(s) provided that:
a. approval is obtained from the Minister for the change in PI; and
b. the replacement PI(s) must meet the eligibility criteria specified in subsection 8.3.1 at the time of her/his nomination and for the full term of her/his participation in the project.
A researcher who is an employee of an Eligible Organisation listed in Appendix C who does not reside predominantly in Australia may be a PI.
8.4 General Eligibility Criteria for Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships (Industry)
8.4.1 A successful APDI Fellow would be appointed by the Host Organisation for up to three years to work full-time on the approved project.
8.4.2 APDI Fellowship candidates must meet the criteria for CIs in subsections 8.2.1 and 8.2.2, plus the eligibility criteria for APDI Fellows specified in subsections 8.1.5, 8.1.6, and 8.1.7.
8.4.3 APDI Fellowship candidates must:
a. have been awarded a PhD not more than three years before the closing time for submission of Proposals for the relevant round; or
b. expect to submit a PhD thesis and confirm that the thesis has been submitted by 31 December 2010 (for Round 1 Proposals) and 30 June 2011 (for Round 2 Proposals). An APDI Fellowship cannot be commenced until formal advice is received by the ARC that the PhD has been awarded within a maximum time limit of six months of the thesis submission date. If these conditions have not been satisfied, the offer of funding for the Proposal may be withdrawn and the Funding Agreement may be terminated; or
c. have obtained approval from the ARC, via the submission of an Eligibility Exemption Request as outlined in Section 10.1, for the:
i. recognition of an equivalent research degree or experience; and/or
ii. relaxation of the qualification and/or timing requirements.
8.4.4 The Eligibility Exemption Request must contain all supporting information justifying the Fellowship candidate’s special circumstances for an eligibility exemption, including information indicating that the candidate’s research degree/experience is equivalent to a PhD obtained within the time limits specified and/or a case justifying the relaxation of the timing requirements in terms of issues such as, but not limited to, research career interruption, non-research employment, misadventure or carer responsibilities. Exemptions may be given by the ARC only if the exemption has been sought in accordance with the process described in Section 10.1.
8.4.5 The ARC may, in its absolute discretion, determine the validity and date of effect for the attainment of PhD-equivalent status for researchers for the purpose of determining the eligibility of Fellowship candidates and whether to relax the timing requirements.
8.4.6 In addition, APDI Fellowship candidates must:
a. not have previously been awarded any other ARC Fellowship, with the exception of an Indigenous Researcher Fellowship (subject to 8.4.7);
b. make a full-time commitment to ARC-funded projects, other than circumstances where these Funding Rules (e.g. Section 6.6) or other ARC funding rules make provision for an APDI Fellow to participate in additional ARC-funded projects; and
c. ensure that their involvement in the proposed project does not generate or represent a Conflict of Interest (see subsections 8.1.7 - 8.1.9 regarding the circumstances where conflicts may arise and the potential for exemptions/relaxation of this requirement to be granted by the ARC).
8.4.7 A researcher who has held an Indigenous Researcher Fellowship (IRF) may be nominated for an APDI Fellowship only during or after the final year of her/his IRF.
8.4.8 If the ARC considers the proposed APDI Fellow to be critical to the success of the project and if the proposed APDI Fellow cannot take up the Fellowship, the offer of funding for the project involving the proposed APDI Fellow may be withdrawn or the Funding Agreement may be terminated.
8.4.9 Unless otherwise specified in these Funding Rules, Proposals requesting a Fellowship must be made on the basis that the Fellow’s research will be carried out on a full-time basis only. Nevertheless, if a Fellowship Proposal is successful the Fellow may, during the term of the Fellowship, and subject to the agreement of the Partner Organisations, request approval from the ARC for conversion of the Fellowship to part-time status for periods of time. The ARC may, in its absolute discretion, approve the conversion of the Fellowship to part-time status for one or more periods of time.
8.4.10 Funding for Fellows undertaking research which forms a part of a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre’s research activities will be limited to the provision of support for salary plus on-costs as specified in Appendix D, Section D1. Project costs must be paid for by the centre.
8.4.11 Proposals involving existing and proposed Fellowships at a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre should have regard to Section 9.3.
8.5 General Eligibility Criteria for Linkage Industry Fellowships (LIFs)
8.5.1 Linkage Projects offers the opportunity to request a LIF, which provides support for salary-related costs involved in a temporary transfer of a researcher from one of the Eligible Organisations participating on the Proposal/project to one of the other Eligible or Partner Organisations participating on that Proposal/project, or vice versa.
8.5.2 Proposals may include a request for funding for salary and salary-related on-costs (at the rate of 28%) for a LIF, up to a maximum of $200,000 over the duration of the fellowship. A Proposal may not request more than one LIF. LIFs will be funded, if, in the opinion of the ARC, an outstanding case is made for the Fellowship. ARC funds may be used for a LIF only if specifically approved for that purpose via a Special Condition.
8.5.3 To request a LIF, a Proposal must:
a. identify the proposed LIF, who must be:
i. an eligible CI nominated on the Proposal; or
ii. an eligible PI nominated on the Proposal who is an employee of one of the Partner Organisations on the Proposal for at least 50 per cent (0.5 Full Time Equivalent) of her/his time;
b. identify and provide justification for the amount of salary-related support requested for the LIF (not more than $200,000) and the proposed duration and timing of the Fellowship and detail how the support requested will be used;
c. describe and justify the nature of the temporary transfer, which must include physical transfer of the LIF for the duration of the Fellowship; and
d. make a strong case for the LIF in terms of the benefits to the project and the contribution towards the objectives of Linkage Projects.
8.5.4 The ARC reserves the right to make a recommendation on the level of support for, and duration of, a LIF. The ARC may recommend a level and duration which differ from those requested.
9. Cross-scheme Issues
9.1 Cross-scheme Eligibility
9.1.1 Applicants should note the eligibility criteria for access to other ARC funding schemes, as expressed in the funding rules for those schemes. The ARC reserves the right to change these criteria in future funding rounds. Funding rules for all ARC schemes may be found on the ARC website.
9.1.2 If a researcher nominated as a CI, PI or APDI Fellow on a Proposal is named in a funding request for any proposed research project (including fellowship, salary or equipment) that has been submitted or approved under this or any other ARC scheme or to any other Commonwealth funding body, the Proposal must contain details of the request and summary details of all other funding. If these processes are not observed, or the ARC determines that incomplete, misleading or inaccurate details were included in the Proposal, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Linkage Projects Proposal for approval.
9.1.3 If a nominated researcher has been awarded, or is currently requesting, an ARC Fellowship under another ARC scheme, the Proposal must contain details of the project/Proposal/ARC Fellowship. If more than one of these Fellowship requests is approved for funding, only one Fellowship can be accepted.
9.1.4 The ARC may liaise with other funding agencies to discuss any overlap between proposed or existing research projects (including fellowships) in order to avoid duplication of funding. The ARC may for this purpose disclose to that agency any information in a Proposal.
9.2 Non-duplication and Cross-scheme Funding
The ARC will not duplicate financial assistance for research, including infrastructure, already funded by the Commonwealth or which is likely to be funded from other Commonwealth funding sources (including under other ARC funding schemes). The ARC reserves the right to determine if a Proposal duplicates or is likely to duplicate research being funded by another Commonwealth source. In such circumstances the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Proposal for approval. However, if the ARC considers that parts of the proposed project remain worthy of support, the ARC may assess the Proposal in the usual way and the ARC may instead recommend that a reduced amount of funding be approved for the Proposal.
9.3 Researchers from Commonwealth-funded Research Centres
9.3.1 Funding will not be provided for research already funded by a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre or which will be supported by the Centre given its research program and its level of funding. The proposed research must not duplicate work that, in the opinion of the ARC, is or will be undertaken by a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre.
9.3.2 The Administering Organisation must certify that the Proposal does not duplicate the work of a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre or will not be supported by the Centre given its research program and its level of funding.
9.3.3 If the ARC considers any information contained in the Linkage Projects Proposal, the certification, and/or the Centre Annual Report is incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading in a material respect, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Proposal for approval.
9.4 Funding of Medical and Dental Research
9.4.1 Pursuant to subsection 6.5.1.a and this Section 9.4, the ARC does not fund near-term clinical medical (including dental) outcomes as described on the ARC website.
9.4.2 The Administering Organisation must assess whether the Proposal constitutes near-term clinical medical (including dental) outcomes. If it does, the Proposal cannot be submitted to the ARC.
9.4.3 The Administering Organisation must certify that the Proposal does not constitute Medical and Dental Research as defined on the ARC website.
9.4.4 In all cases whether or not the above process is observed, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide whether a proposed project, or elements of a project, fall within the area of Medical and Dental Research.
10. Application Process
10.1 Eligibility Exemption
10.1.1 Subsections 8.4.3c, 8.4.4 and Appendix E, section E3.4 of these Funding Rules describe the defined situations where it is possible to submit an Eligibility Exemption Request for the purposes of obtaining an exemption from the ARC regarding a prospective Proposal. All such Requests must be submitted on the ARC Eligibility Exemption Request Form through the ARC online application system, and subject to subsection 10.1.2, be received by the ARC by:
For requests regarding Proposals in Round 1: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Wednesday 31 March 2010
For requests regarding Proposals in Round 2: 5:00pm (AEST)
Wednesday 29 September 2010
10.1.2 The ARC may, in its absolute discretion, and only in exceptional circumstances, accept late Eligibility Exemption Requests.
10.1.3 An exemption from the eligibility requirements may be granted only if an Eligibility Exemption Request has been submitted.
10.1.4 Eligibility Exemption Requests must include all relevant supporting documentation. The Research Office will be advised of the outcome of any such request as soon as possible. If an eligibility exemption is given, the ARC will provide an identifying number for the exemption which is to be quoted on the relevant Proposal.
10.2.1 A Proposal should be submitted as a mature research plan ready for implementation. 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, including its selection advisory committees. Additional information must not be submitted and may, at the absolute discretion of the ARC, result in the Proposal being ruled ineligible.
10.2.2 All details in the Proposal must be current at the time of submission.
10.2.3 In submitting a Proposal, the Administering Organisation and the CI, PI and APDI Fellows nominated in the Proposal are consenting to the Proposal being assessed under the ARC peer assessment procedures and agree to the release of the Proposal to third parties for assessment purposes.
10.2.4 The Administering Organisation must certify that they have obtained the agreement of all parties necessary to allow the proposed project to proceed.
10.2.5 If the certification of all parties necessary to allow the proposed project to proceed is inaccurate, false, or misleading the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Proposal for approval.
11. Submission of Proposals
11.1 Submission of Proposals
Administering Organisations must submit Proposals through the ARC online application system unless otherwise advised.
11.2 Proposal Content
Proposals consist of an online form, which must be completed and submitted via the ARC online application system accessible via the ARC website. The online form includes text boxes and additional text which, if included, must be attached in PDF format to the online version of the Proposal:
a. ‘Recent significant publications’ and ‘Ten career-best publications’;
b. ‘Justification of funding requested from the ARC’ and ‘Justification of Partner Organisation and other non-ARC contributions’;
c. ‘Project Description’;
d. If applicable, supporting documentation:
i. ‘Statements on progress of ARC-funded projects’;
ii. ’Research Support for all participants’; and
e. Certification by and letters of support from Partner Organisations involved in the Proposal;
11.3.1 All documents must be written in English and must comply strictly with the format, content and submission requirements as specified in these Funding Rules and the “Linkage Projects Instructions to Applicants for Funding Commencing in 2011” document issued by the ARC. If a Proposal fails to meet any format, content or submission requirements, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Proposal for approval.
11.3.2 All pages of additional text must be uploaded in PDF format. Text must be in black type, use a single column and 12-point font size, with all margins being at least 0.5 cm. A highly legible font type must be used, such as 12 point Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, Palatino, and Helvetica subject to their being equivalent to Times New Roman 12 point font. Variants such as mathematical typesetting fonts may also be used. References may be reproduced in 10-point font size. Colour graphs or colour photographs should not be included. Researchers should note that for some administrative purposes Proposals may be reproduced in black and white and the reproduction quality may not be optimal. Finely detailed graphics and grey scale may also not be precisely reproduced. Additional text attachments may appear slightly reduced in size due to the system formatting the attachments to include page numbers. Attached PDFs should be directly generated rather than scanned to maximise the quality of reproduction. The ARC reserves the right to seek an original electronic copy of the Proposal to determine that the text meets the requirements stipulated.
11.4 How to Complete and Submit a Proposal
11.4.1 Administering Organisations must complete and submit their Proposal using the ARC online application system which is accessible via the ARC website.
11.4.2 A “Linkage Projects Instructions to Applicants for Funding Commencing in 2011” document will be available from the ARC website. This document specifies a range of requirements for Proposals and also assists parties in preparing Proposals.
11.4.3 Research Offices with system access will approve, along with the ARC, requests for User Accounts, to enable researchers at their organisations to access the ARC online application system and prepare Proposals.
11.4.4 If a researcher does not have a Research Office or equivalent unit, he/she should email firstname.lastname@example.org at the ARC for assistance.
11.4.5 If an Eligible Organisation does not have a Research Office unit, they should email email@example.com for assistance.
11.5 Closing Time for Proposals
11.5.1 The online form must be submitted via the ARC online application system by
a. for Proposals in Round 1: 5.00 pm (AEST) Wednesday 12 May 2010; and
b. for Proposals in Round 2: 5.00 pm (AEDT) Wednesday 17 November 2010.
11.5.2 Additions, deletions and modifications will not be accepted after submission, unless invited by the ARC.
11.5.3 Participants should note that Administering Organisations may have internal closing times for Proposal preparation that precede ARC closing times.
11.6.1 The Administering Organisation must certify Proposals via the ARC online application system. Research Offices should ensure that the Research Office delegate role is authorised to certify and submit Proposals for their organisation.
11.6.2 Proposals submitted through the ARC online application system must include signed certifications from all Partner Organisations involved in the Proposal. The signed certifications must be uploaded into the Proposal as PDFs in accordance with the “Linkage Projects Instructions to Applicants for Funding Commencing in 2011”.
11.6.3 The certification includes, but is not limited to, statements that:
a. The Proposal does not duplicate the work of a Commonwealth-funded Research Centre or will not be supported by the Centre given its research program and its level of funding (subsection 9.3); and
b. The Proposal does not constitute Medical and Dental Research as defined on the ARC website (subsection 9.4).
c. the Administering Organisation has the written agreement of all parties necessary to allow the proposed project to proceed (written agreement can be in the form of named and dated letter, fax or email as deemed appropriate by the Administering Organisation).
11.6.4 The ARC reserves the right at any point in the process to seek evidence from the Administering Organisation to support the certification of Proposals.
11.6.5 A Proposal must be submitted through the appropriate Research Office. The Administering Organisation must certify Proposals via the ARC online application system. If a Proposal has not been submitted through the appropriate Research Office/Chief Executive Officer for certification, the Proposal will not be recommended for funding.
12. Selection and Approval Process
12.1 Assessment and Selection Process
12.1.1 Assessment of Proposals is undertaken by the ARC, which has the right to make recommendations solely on the basis of its expertise, and which may:
a. consider if a Proposal satisfies the eligibility criteria set out in these Funding Rules;
b. identify and consider any other matters that these Funding Rules state may result in the ARC recommending that a Proposal not be approved for funding;
c. assign assessors to review Proposals;
d. seek comments on assessors’ reports from the parties involved in the Proposal;
e. short-list Proposals and interview representatives of the Applicants for those short-listed Proposals;
f. rank each Proposal relative to others on the basis of the Proposal, any assessors’ reports, and any response to those assessment reports;
g. assess and recommend the amount of funding to be made available for a Proposal; and/or
h. prepare funding recommendations.
12.1.2 ARC selection advisory committees assist with the assessment of Proposals. The ARC has procedures for managing organisational and personal conflicts of interest experienced by members of selection advisory committees, members of other ARC Committees, ARC staff, and other assessors, and for enabling individuals to withdraw from the assessment process for particular Proposals where any actual or perceived conflict may exist.
12.1.3 In addition to assessment by the ARC, a Proposal may at the absolute discretion of the ARC be assessed by external assessors. Assessors may be drawn from a range of organisations to reduce the potential for conflicts of interest. Proposals will be assessed against the criteria set out in these Funding Rules and the reports by the assessors may include written comment.
12.1.4 Proposals requesting $500,000 or more for any year from the ARC (Large Linkage Projects) may be subjected to additional assessment to assist the ARC in its deliberations. This assessment may include short-listing (within the group of Large Linkage Projects Proposals) and the conduct of a structured interview with representatives of the research team of the short-listed applicants.
12.1.5 Interviews may be held in Canberra or at another place nominated by the ARC. The ARC will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible of an invitation to attend an interview. Interviews are expected to be held during August 2010 (for Round 1 Proposals) and March 2011 (for Round 2 Proposals). The ARC will determine the structure of interviews and will not fund interviewee participation in interviews.
12.1.6 Interviewees are expected to include at least the nominated project leader and a representative of the nominated Partner Organisation(s) and to have the capacity to cogently address issues relating to the proposed project and budget.
12.1.7 The ARC reserves the right to make recommendations for funding to the Minister based on any number of assessments or solely on the assessment of the ARC.
12.1.8 Administering Organisations may provide written notification to the ARC naming any person or persons whom they do not wish to assess a Proposal. Such notifications must contain detailed justification and be submitted electronically using the “Request not to Assess” form available on the ARC website through the Administering Organisation’s Research Office. This notification must not accompany the Proposal. The notification must be sent to the email address advised under ‘Contacts’ at the beginning of these Funding Rules and received by the ARC by the closing time for Proposals for the relevant round, 5:00 pm (AEST), Wednesday 12 May 2010 (for Round 1 Proposals) and 5:00 pm (AEDT), Wednesday 17 November 2010 (for Round 2 Proposals).
12.1.9 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.
12.2.1 Assessors’ written comments, if obtained, may be provided to allow the opportunity for a rejoinder to the comments. Names of assessors are not provided. At the same time, the ARC may add questions to the material sent for rejoinder. A period of up to two weeks is given to submit a rejoinder to the ARC. Subject to subsection 12.2.2, rejoinders will not be accepted after the nominated closing time for rejoinder submissions. The ARC may limit the length of rejoinders which can be submitted. Rejoinders must be submitted through the ARC online application system.
12.2.2 The ARC may, in its absolute discretion, and only in exceptional circumstances, accept late rejoinders.
12.3 Recommendations and Offer of Funding
12.3.1 In accordance with the ARC Act, the CEO will submit funding recommendations to the Minister for consideration. The Minister will determine which Proposals will be approved and the amount and timing of financial assistance to be paid to Administering Organisations for approved Proposals.
12.3.2 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.
12.3.3 Administering Organisations whose Proposals are approved will be notified in a letter of offer that will indicate the financial assistance to be offered and provided with a copy of a Funding Agreement for signature.
12.4 Exclusion of Proposals
12.4.1 The ARC will not recommend for approval, and the Minister will not approve for funding, any Proposal that fails to satisfy the eligibility criteria set out in these Funding Rules, including:
a. if the Proposal seeks funding for any of the items not permitted under Sections 6.4 or 6.5 and the ARC considers no other part of the proposed project remains worthy of support (subsection 6.5.2);
b. if the Proposal seeks salary funding for a CI or PI other than in relation to permitted salary costs associated with a LIF (subsection 6.3.2.a);
c. if the Proposal is not submitted by an Eligible Organisation (Section 7.1);
d. if the Proposal does not nominate at least one CI or APDI Fellowship candidate (subsection 8.1.2);
e. if the ARC considers that a researcher nominated in the Proposal as CI, PI or APDI Fellow does not meet the eligibility criteria as specified in Sections 8.2, 8.3 or 8.4 for the role which that researcher is to perform (subsection 8.1.9);
f. if the Proposal does not meet the requirements for involvement by or contributions from Partner Organisations or if the ARC considers that a Partner Organisation listed on the Proposal does not meet the eligibility requirements for a Partner Organisation (Section 7.2 and Appendix E);
g. if the ARC determines that a Proposal is seeking funding for Medical and Dental Research;
h. if a Proposal has not been submitted via the ARC online application system (subsection 11.4.1) through the appropriate Research Office/Chief Executive Officer for certification (subsection 11.6.5); and
i. if the Proposal is not for a program of research, or a program that supports the conduct of a program of research.
12.4.2 The ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend for approval a Proposal if:
a. in the opinion of the ARC, any researcher nominated in the Proposal as a CI, PI or APDI Fellow has caused or has significantly contributed to the failure of an organisation to meet its obligations under any current or previous Funding Agreement with the ARC, or all obligations regarding previously funded projects involving the candidate have not been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the ARC (subsection 8.1.6);
b. in the opinion of the ARC, any party involved in or associated with the Proposal or ARC-funded research project has failed to disclose to the ARC, or any other parties involved in the Proposal, any Conflict of Interest which has the potential to influence, or appear to influence, the research and activities, publications and media reports, or requests for funding related to the Proposal (subsection 4.5.1);
c. the Proposal seeks funding which is less than the minimum amount or more than the maximum amount of funding allowed (subsection 6.1.2);
d. the limits on the number of Proposals and projects permissible are exceeded (subsection 6.6);
e. the ARC considers that separate Proposals are submitted in the same funding round seeking project funding for separate components of essentially the same project (subsection 6.7.2);
f. the ARC considers that the project described in the Proposal is the same as or similar (in whole or in part) to a project described in another Proposal that is submitted in the same funding round (subsection 6.7.1);
g. the ARC considers that the Proposal is for essentially the same project as an eligible Proposal submitted in the Linkage projects funding round conducted in 2010 and that latter Proposal was ranked in the bottom 50 % of unsuccessful Proposals (subsection 6.7.3);
h. in the opinion of the ARC, the Proposal duplicates or is likely to duplicate research already being funded, or which is likely to be funded, by the Commonwealth (subsections 9.2 and 9.3.1);
i. where required the Proposal does not include details of other funding or funding requests (subsection 9.1.2);
j. the ARC considers incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading material has been provided in relation to the Proposal or if the Administering Organisation and/or researchers nominated in the Proposal have provided the ARC with incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information in relation to the provision of advice relating to, or in the reporting of progress of, a funded project (subsections 9.1.2, 9.3.3 and Appendix A subsections A8.2 and A8.3);
k. when requested, the Administering Organisation fails to provide the signed certifications and agreements of all parties necessary to allow the proposed project to proceed (subsection 11.6.4);
l. the Proposals is not submitted via the ARC online application system (subsections 11.4 and 11.6) by the closing time (subsection 11.5);
m. the circumstances of a Proposal are such that an eligibility exemption is required but the required process has not been followed (subsection 10.1); or
n. the Proposal fails to meet any format and other submission requirements (subsection 11.3).
13 Appeals Process
13.1 Appeals will be considered only against administrative process issues and not, for example, against committee recommendations or assessor ratings and comments.
13.2 Appeals must be made on the appeals form available from the ARC website. The form must be lodged by the Administering Organisation and must be authorised by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Chief Executive Officer or equivalent. Appeals must be received within 28 days of the date on the letter notifying the outcome of Proposals.
13.3 Appeals must be addressed and sent to the address advised under ‘Contacts’ at the beginning of these Funding Rules.
Appendix A – Fundamental Principles and Requirements
A1 Ethics and Research Practices
A1.1 The NHMRC website, www.nhmrc.gov.au provides a series of publications which outline principles of ethical conduct in research. All Proposals and ARC-funded research projects must, unless otherwise approved by the ARC, conform to the principles outlined in the following and their successor documents:
a. NHMRC/ARC/UA Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007);
b. as applicable, the NHMRC/ARC/AVCC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007); and
c. as applicable, codes on animal research promulgated by the NHMRC.
A1.2 If there is any conflict between a successor document and its predecessor, then the successor document prevails to the extent of any inconsistency.
A2 Acknowledging ARC Support
A2.1 The Funding Agreement requires that any ARC contribution to research and other activities funded by the ARC be appropriately acknowledged. When, at any time during or after completion of a project, the researcher or any other party publishes or produces material such as books, articles, newsletters or other literary or artistic works which relate to the research project, the Administering Organisation must ensure (wherever possible) that the ARC’s contribution and support of the project is acknowledged in a prominent place and in an appropriate form. This acknowledgement should include the mention of the ARC as a funding body. Similar efforts should be made to acknowledge ARC support when participating in television and radio programs, when interviewed by the print media and when otherwise speaking publicly about the project.
A2.2 Advice on acceptable forms of acknowledgement and use of the ARC logo is provided on the ARC website.
A3 Dissemination of Research Outputs
A3.1 The Australian Government makes a major investment in research to support its essential role in improving the wellbeing of our society. To maximise the benefits from research, findings need to be disseminated as broadly as possible to allow access by other researchers and the wider community.
A3.2 The ARC acknowledges that researchers take into account a wide range of factors in deciding on the best outlets for publications arising from their research. Such considerations include the status and reputation of a journal or publisher, the peer review process of evaluating their research outputs, access by other stakeholders to their work, the likely impact of their work on users of research and the further dissemination and production of knowledge. Taking heed of these considerations, the ARC endeavours to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the research supported under its funding, in the most effective manner and at the earliest opportunity.
A3.3 The ARC therefore encourages researchers to consider the benefits of depositing their data and any publications arising from a research project in an appropriate subject and/or institutional repository. If a researcher is not intending to deposit the data from a project in a repository within six months of the completion of the research, he/she should include the reasons in the project’s Final Report. Any research outputs that have been or will be deposited in appropriate repositories should be identified in the Final Report.
A4 Applicable Law
The ARC is required to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
A5.1 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 Linkage 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.
A5.2 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.
A5.3 Notwithstanding the above, and in addition to the exemptions listed at Appendix A subsection A5.1, the ARC may publicise and report offers or awards of funding, including information about the proposed research; the name of the APDI Fellows 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 summaries would not, if released, compromise their own requirements for confidentiality (such as future protection of intellectual property).
A6 Project Description
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.
A7 Intellectual Property
A7.1 The ARC does not claim ownership of any intellectual property in a Proposal or which is created or developed from the conduct of a project funded under the ARC Linkage Projects scheme.
A7.2 However, all Proposals become the property of the ARC on submission. Administering Organisations submit their Proposals on the basis that the ARC may copy, modify and otherwise deal with information contained in a Proposal (and allow any external assessor or other third party to do the same) for any purpose related to:
a. the evaluation and assessment of Proposals;
b. verifying the accuracy, consistency and adequacy of information contained in a Proposal, or otherwise provided to the ARC;
c. the preparation and management of any Funding Agreement; or
d. the administration or management of the NCGP.
A7.3 If a Proposal contains information belonging to a third party, the Administering Organisation must ensure that it has in place all necessary consents to allow the ARC to deal with that information in accordance with these Funding Rules, prior to the Administering Organisation submitting its Proposal.
A7.4 Except with written approval from the ARC, all Proposals and ARC-funded research projects must comply with the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research (available on the ARC website) and accord with any intellectual property policies of the researcher’s organisations.
A8 Incomplete or Misleading Information
A8.1 It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to the Commonwealth.
A8.2 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.
A8.3 If an Administering Organisation and/or the researcher nominated in a Proposal has provided the ARC with incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information in relation to any Proposal for, or in the provision of advice relating to, or reporting of progress of, a project funded by the Commonwealth, the ARC may in its absolute discretion decide to not recommend the Proposal for approval and/or terminate projects involving that organisation/person if funded and require the Administering Organisation to repay some or all of the funding.
A8.4 If the ARC considers that omissions, or inclusion of misleading information, are intentional, or if there is evidence of misconduct, the ARC may refer the matter for investigation with a view to prosecution under Commonwealth criminal law.
A8.5 Examples of misleading information and misconduct are, but are not restricted to:
a. providing fictitious track records;
b. making false claims in publications records (such as describing a paper as accepted for publication when it has only been submitted); or
c. Making false certification in the ARC online application system certifications; or
d. 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).
A9 Insurance and Liabilities
Administering Organisations are subject to the liability, indemnity and insurance provisions of the Funding Agreement.
Appendix B – Administration of Funding
B1 Funding Agreement
B1.1 All parties involved in a Proposal should familiarise themselves with the draft Funding Agreement, but only the Administering Organisation and the ARC will be parties to the Funding Agreement. Parties involved in a funded project must accept the terms of the Funding Agreement and the Administering Organisation must sign the Funding Agreement before the ARC will commence payments.
B1.2 Projects must commence as required by the Funding Agreement. Failure to do so may result in termination of the Funding Agreement.
B1.3 Administering Organisations should note that the Funding Agreement covers the post-award management, including reporting requirements and financial management. The draft Funding Agreement can be viewed on the ARC website.
B2 Varying the Funding Agreement
B2.1 Requests to vary the Funding Agreement must be forwarded in writing by the Administering Organisation’s Research Office to the ARC. Forms are available on the ARC website. Amendment of any clauses of the Funding Agreement will be at the absolute discretion of the ARC.
B3 Varying the funding approval
B3.1 Requests to vary the funding approval must be forwarded in writing by the Administering Organisation’s Research Office to the ARC.
B3.2 The funding approval may be varied in regard to the amount of financial assistance, the period of financial assistance, and/or the name of the organisation receiving financial assistance.
B3.3 The Minister may vary the funding approval if:
a. any of the organisations involved in the project end, or substantially change, their involvement with the project;
b. the research project changes so that it is no longer consistent with the description in the funding approval as previously approved or as otherwise varied;
c. the desirable period of funding for a project is not consistent with the period in the funding approval as previously approved or as otherwise varied;
d. the person nominated in the funding approval as the person leading the research project, or any such replacement person approved by the Minister, ceases to lead the project; and/or
e. ARC considers and recommends that the particular circumstances of the project warrant variation of the funding approval, providing such variation is reasonably justified upon the facts of the case and any variation or change to the project accords with the ARC Linkage Projects scheme objectives.
Administering Organisations are required to submit reports to the ARC concerning funded projects, in the format and by the due dates detailed in the Funding Agreement.
Appendix C – Eligible Organisations
C1 Higher Education Organisations Eligible to Submit Proposals
New South Wales
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
Melbourne College 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 University of Adelaide
University of South Australia
University of Tasmania
Charles Darwin University
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian National University
University of Canberra
Australian Catholic University
C2 Other Organisation Eligible to Submit Proposals
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
Appendix D – Notional APDI Fellowship salary and APAI stipend
D1 APDI Fellowship Salary
D1.1 Notional* APDI Fellowship Salary for Funding Commencing in 2011
* The figures in the table below are based on the 2010 levels of funding and will be subject to variation (for example, due to annual indexation). Updated levels will be available on the ARC website at www.arc.gov.au/applicants/salaries.htm.
Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry) (APDI Fellowship)
D1.2 Maximum APDI Fellowship Relocation Allowances
North America $17,000
Europe/Asia (Northern Hemisphere)/Africa/South America $14,000
Asia (Southern Hemisphere)/Oceania $11,000
within Australia $8,000
Unless otherwise specified in these Funding Rules, travel associated with relocations will be funded only up to a maximum of one economy class airfare for each person approved for relocation.
D2 Notional Teaching Relief Contribution (if approved)
If relief for teaching is approved for a Proposal, the funding contribution for teaching relief is limited to a maximum rate of $68,676 per annum (2010 rate) (or pro rata) per CI (regardless of the level of appointment of the CI) and will be a Special Condition.
D3 APAI Stipend
D3.1 APAI for PhD and Masters by research candidates– Stipend Rate
D3.2 Funding of additional expenses for APAI candidates will be the responsibility of the Administering Organisation (for example extension, thesis and relocation allowance).
D3.3 Enrolment of APAI PhD and Masters by research degrees must be at an Eligible Organisation (as listed in Appendix C).
Appendix E – Partner Organisations
E1 General Eligibility
E1.1 To be an eligible Partner Organisation, an organisation must be:
a. a private sector organisation;
b. a private non-profit organisation; or
c. a Government organisation – in general, State, Territory or Commonwealth Government organisations are eligible to participate as Partner Organisations where funds they are committing to the project have not previously been appropriated either for internal research-related activities or for any other purpose of research, research evaluation and/or Consultancy.
E1.2 Notwithstanding the above, the following organisations and types of organisation are not eligible as Partner Organisations:
a. Australian higher education organisations and their controlled entities, including their commercial arms;
b. any Australian organisation which in the ARC’s opinion is associated with a higher education organisation and which in the ARC’s opinion provides undergraduate or postgraduate training as a substantial part of its activities;
c. Rural Research and Development Boards / Corporations;
d. State and Territory Government Research and Development organisations;
e. Co-operative Research Centres;
f. the Defence Science and Technology Organisation;
g. the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation;
h. the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation;
i. Geoscience Australia;
j. the Australian Institute of Marine Science;
k. the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the Australian National University;
l. the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist;
m. the Australian Antarctic Division;
n. any entity (for example joint ventures) where a majority of the membership is made up of, or ownership and/or control is exercised by, other organisations or their representatives, which are not themselves eligible to be a Partner Organisation; and
o. any organisation which, in the opinion of the ARC, receives substantial funding from State, Territory or Commonwealth Government sources or from Governments of other countries and the ARC considers such funding is provided mainly for research or research-related activities.
E1.3 A Proposal on which an organisation receives substantial funding from State, Territory or Commonwealth Government sources or from Governments of other countries, must include financial information such as a summary statement which might be included in an annual report and details regarding the sources from which the organisation receives funds, the amount received from such sources and the purposes for which it receives the funds.
E1.4 In all cases, whether or not the above process is observed, the ARC reserves the right to decide whether a proposed Partner Organisation is an eligible Partner Organisation.
E2 Overseas Partner Organisation
E2.1 The ARC is prepared to accept an overseas organisation as a Partner Organisation if the organisation meets the eligibility criteria above. If a Proposal includes an overseas Partner Organisation, the Proposal must address the following additional criteria to the satisfaction of the ARC:
a. the economic, environmental or social benefit of the research to Australia; and
b. the intended use of the research outcomes in Australia.
E2.2 In addition to the requirements stipulated in E2.1, if an overseas higher education institution, or an entity closely associated with an overseas higher education organisation, is proposed as a Partner Organisation on a Proposal there must be at least one other Partner Organisation involved in the Proposal which is an Australian Partner Organisation which meets the eligibility requirements specified in Appendix E.
E2.3 If similar Proposals involving Australian and overseas Partner Organisation(s) are competing at the margin for funding, the ARC may give priority to Proposals which involve one or more Australian Partner Organisations.
E2.4 Partner Organisation contributions from overseas organisations must be specified in Australian dollars and, subject to these Funding Rules, contributed at the specified level regardless of currency fluctuations.
E3 Partner Organisation Contributions Requirements
E3.1 Proposals must meet the requirements for Partner Organisation contributions specified below. Only contributions directly relevant to the proposed project are taken into account as eligible Partner Organisation contributions. The ARC may make any adjustments it considers necessary to reflect what it considers to be the true value of the Partner Organisation Cash Contribution and in-kind contributions. The ARC reserves the right to determine the levels of Partner Organisation contributions which are taken into account as eligible Partner Organisation contributions and may determine contributions to be at levels which may differ from those submitted in a Proposal.
E3.2 The entire contribution from each Partner Organisation (including the Partner Organisation Cash Contribution and any in-kind contribution) must be specific to the project and not part of a broader contribution to an Eligible Organisation. The required Partner Organisation contribution may be used, for example, to assist the project with personnel costs (excluding the salaries of CIs and Partner Organisation personnel), provision of equipment or the use of a laboratory. Costs of capital works and general infrastructure must not be included in the required Partner Organisation contribution. This does not, however, preclude Partner Organisations from contributing to capital works and general infrastructure costs and salaries of Partner Organisation personnel if that contribution is above the required Partner Organisation contribution.
E3.3 Guidelines to assist Administering Organisations and Partner Organisations in determining the value of in-kind contributions can be found at Appendix F.
E3.4 Partner Organisations such as community groups, small business enterprises, charities, and start-up commercial organisations that can demonstrate that they do not have ready access to cash reserves may seek exemption from the minimum cash requirements outlined below. In such cases, the Applicant must submit an Eligibility Exemption Request for exemption according to the process described in Section 10.1. The eligibility exemption request must provide a statement of the commitment of the Partner Organisation to provide in-kind support and also a breakdown of these in-kind contributions.
E3.5 If the Proposal is successful, Partner Organisation contributions (both the Partner Organisation Cash Contribution and in-kind contributions) must be reported by the Administering Organisation in its End-of-Year report.
Minimum cash and in-kind contribution
E3.6 Subject to subsection E3.4, an Eligibility Exemption Request may be submitted (Section 10.1) for an exemption from the Partner Organisation minimum cash requirement.
E3.7 The combined Partner Organisation contributions for a Proposal (i.e. the total cash contributions and/or in kind contributions of all Partner Organisations), as determined by the ARC, must at least match the total amount sought from the Commonwealth.
E3.8 Pursuant to Subsection E3.7, if a Proposal is seeking less than $500,000 in each year from the Commonwealth, the combined Partner Organisation Cash Contributions must be at least 20 per cent of the total amount sought from the Commonwealth.
E3.9 Pursuant to Subsection E3.7, if a Proposal is seeking $500,000 or more in any year from the Commonwealth, the combined Partner Organisation Cash Contributions must be at least 50 per cent of the total amount sought from the Commonwealth.
E4 Offer of Funding
E4.1 A project may not begin, nor ARC funds be expended, until the Funding Agreement between the Administering Organisation and the ARC has been signed, and each of the Partner Organisations and the Administering Organisation have entered into a written agreement (the Partner Organisation Agreement) as required in the Funding Agreement.
E4.2 If the amount of Commonwealth funding approved for a Linkage Projects project varies from the amount requested, the Applicant must discuss the matter with the Partner Organisation. If the Partner Organisation agrees that the research project is viable within the parameters of the varied amount of Commonwealth funding, pro rata adjustments may be made to the proposed Partner Organisation project contributions.
E5 Eligibility for Concessional Treatment
E5.1 Partner Organisation contributions to a Linkage Projects project may be eligible for a R&D Tax incentive to the extent that the expenditure is incurred by an eligible company in respect of eligible R&D activities and provided that all other relevant requirements are met.
E5.2 Detailed information on the eligibility requirements for the R&D Tax incentive can be obtained from AusIndustry State Offices in each capital city. Details of the programs administered by AusIndustry can be obtained from its homepage (http://www.ausindustry.gov.au).
Appendix F – Guidelines for the Evaluation of the Adequacy of Partner Organisation In-kind Contributions
F1 Underlying Principles and Practical Considerations
F1.1 Appendix E describes the requirements for both cash and in-kind contributions by Partner Organisations. This appendix contains guidelines to be used in determining the value of in-kind Partner Organisation contributions.
F1.2 The primary objectives in examining Partner Organisation in-kind contributions are to ensure that the available support is adequate for the successful completion of the project and that the Partner Organisation contribution is in accordance with the budget, aims and research plan contained in the Proposal.
F1.3 In-kind contributions that are shown to be essential and central to the conduct of the project are given full recognition in evaluating the total value of the contributions (cash and in-kind). The onus is on the Administering Organisation to establish the merit of the case for recognition of the level and extent of the in-kind contribution. As a general rule, the value of in-kind contributions should reflect current market values.
F1.4 In-kind contributions to a project may include scientific liaison and management, direct technical support, or unique access to reagents or equipment.
F1.5 Corporate membership or subscription fees in industrial consortia do not qualify as Partner Organisation contributions but the allocation of designated research funds, together with the identification of the linkages between the member and the project, does qualify.
F2 Guidelines for Recognising In-kind Budget Items in Partner Organisation Contributions
This list is not all-inclusive.
Access to unique databases
Incremental costs of access
Cost of collecting the
Analytical and other services
Incremental cost of providing service
Contributed – Used
- fair market value
- company book value
- price for internal transfers
List price or discounted list price
Rental equivalents exceeding accepted values had the equipment been donated or sold
Contributed - New
- selling price to most favoured customer (if stock item)
- cost of manufacture (if one of a kind)
- cost of purchase
- rental equivalent based on depreciation
- rental rate equivalent to highest-volume user
- difference between discounted price and selling price to most favoured customer
Unit cost of production for commercial products
Selling price to most favoured customer
Price for internal transfers
Cost of production of prototype and samples
Development costs (unless they are an integral part of the proposed project)
Patents and licences
Licences acquired from third parties for use by the university in the project
Licensing fees paid to the university
Contributions concerning the CI
Contribution to enable release of CIs from teaching or other duties
Contribution to the CI as consulting fees or honoraria (additional to normal salary)
Typical salary cost (including on-costs) at internal rates
External charge-out or consultant rates
Costs relating to administrative support where overhead has been included in salary costs
(need to distinguish between existing software used as a tool for analytical purposes and the Partner Organisation's contribution to developing new software tools where this is one of the main objectives of the Proposal)
Cost of training and support of software
Cost of equivalent commercial product (where donated software is not commercially available)
Travel costs associated with fieldwork
Travel costs to meet with university personnel & Partner Organisation staff
Conference travel for university staff
Use of facilities
Internal rates for logistical support and travel allowance for university personnel working on Partner Organisation premises or on fieldwork
Internal rates for use of specialised equipment by university personnel or use of process or production lines
Internal rates for value of lost production resulting from down time
Use of equipment by Partner Organisation personnel.
Space for Partner Organisation activities outside the scope of the specific Proposal
Equivalent commercial rates