Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA)

Critical Dates

September 2019

Release of 2021 Grant Guidelines

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Applications open in RMS




Eligibility Exemption Request due to RIC (if applicable)

24-26 February 2020

Submit review ready application to RIC 

Monday 24 February 2020

Request not to assess due to RIC

Thursday 27 February 2020

Request not to assess due to ARC

Friday 6 March 2020

Final Application Submission due to RIC

Thursday 12 March 2020

Final Applications due to ARC

24 June 2020 - 7 July 2020



2021 Outcomes


Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) supports early career researchers who have typically received their PhD in the last five years or have eligible commensurate career disruption.

The DECRA scheme aims to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers;
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways;
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments;
  • expand Australia's knowledge base  and research capability; and
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the Australian Government's Science and Research Priorities.


The scheme provides funding for up to 200 projects per round. Funding is awarded by the ARC of up to $142,372 per annum for three years, with a per annum salary contribution of $102,372, including 30 per cent on-costs, and up to $40,000 project costs per annum. Project costs can be used to hire research assistants, support HDR students, or fund equipment, consumables, Field Research, Travel, and dissemination costs. See section C of the  Grant Guidelines for more information.


Active Projects  mean a Project that is receiving funding according to the terms of the original Funding Agreement, or has any carryover funds approved by the ARC, or an approved variation to the Project’s end date. Therefore if a project has carried forward any funding and the end date has changed, the NEW end date determines an active project. Active projects can be viewed via the applicants RMS profile by selecting Person Profile > Current ARC Projects> end date.

The ARC will calculate active projects as at the closing time of submission of Proposals (and may calculate this rule again as other scheme rounds’ announcements are made and End of Year Reports are submitted.)

The term Active Project Assessment Date is a scheme-specific date that nominates the date when Project and Proposal limit eligibility is assessed by the ARC.

SchemeFunding Commencement DateActive Project Assessment DateExample 1
DECRA 20201-Jan-201-Jul-20DECRA candidates can apply for a DE20 while holding two DPs with Project end dates prior to 1 July 2020. However, they cannot start the DE20 until at least one of the DPs has been completed, one DP has been relinquished or their role on one DP has been relinquished in order to meet the limit of one Discovery Program Project and one Fellowship.

SELECTION CRITERIA - new weighting

The new criteria weighting is as followed:

  • DECRA candidate: 40%
  • Project Quality and Innovation: 35%
  • Feasibility: 10%
  • Benefit and Collaboration: 15%


Please note the Rule relating to ARC College of Experts members:

Grant Guidelines Section 9.17: If the Administering Organisation names a current ARC College of Experts member, as listed on the ARC website at the time of submitting the Request Not to Assess form, the request must be accompanied by comprehensive evidence justifying the request for the ARC College of Experts member or members named. If the ARC considers the evidence is not sufficient for the named  ARC College of Experts member or members, the ARC may reject the request.

Establishment Grants for ARC DECRA

Establishment Grants are internal grants to support ARC DECRA applicants at the University of Melbourne. Please refer to  the  establishment grant page for details.


How to apply

  1. Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI)

    The NOI should be completed early to provide RIC with DECRA candidate contact details.

  2. Update RMS profile

    Candidates must obtain access to RMS and update profile information (see RMS information)

  3. Review documentation

    Review the Grant Guidelines, the Instructions to Applicants and the FAQs.

  4. Complete the draft application

    Log on to RMS to complete the draft application.

  5. Statement by the Administering Organisation

    Work on the Statement with your supervisor and department/faculty. The Head of Department must certify the Statement by Administering Organisation Coversheet before submission to RIC.

  6. Eligibility Exemption Request

    If applicable, complete the Eligibility Exemption Request form. This is a spreadsheet that details career interruptions for applicants whose PhD was awarded prior to 1 March 2015.

    This form must be sent to by 8 February 2019 so that RIC can arrange for the DVC(R) to certify eligibility.

  7. Submit 'Review ready'* application to RIC

    Submit application to RIC within the RIC internal submission period. Include the following:

    • An electronic copy of the complete review ready draft application (PDF downloaded from RMS)
    • An electronic copy (i.e. Microsoft Word document) of the Statement by the Administering Organisation, using the template letterhead provided.(NOTE: Applicants from MDHS, ABP, Business and Economics, Engineering and Science should submit the Statement to their Faculty)
    • C2 Statement by the Administering Organisation Coversheet, signed by Head of Department/School (NOTE: For applicants from Science, this certification will be arranged by your Faculty Research Office).
    • If applicable, the applicant should include an electronic copy of the Request Not to Assess form if they would like to request the exclusion of a potential assessor.

      Tip: Section G1, 'Research support for all participants', is necessary for every applicant, even when no other research funding is held. The current DE20 application must be included, and if you are requesting an Establishment Grant, this should also be listed. 
  8. Application review

    RIC staff members will review the application and provide the applicant with feedback via email.

  9. Complete the application

    After taking feedback from the RIC team into consideration, complete the application in RMS. It is suggested advice is sought from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.

  10. Submit the UOM Authority to Submit form

    The form must be submitted to RIC via email to before 5:00pm on 7 March 2019. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of the CI
    • Signature of the Head of Department

    Electronic signatures are permitted.

    This is an ARC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to ARC until received.

  11. Final submission

    Before 5:00pm on 7 March 2019, the applicant must:

    • Submit final application by clicking ‘Submit to Research Office’ in RMS
    • Email RIC ( a pdf copy of the final application and a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form

    Note: Applications without a completed Authority to Submit form cannot be submitted to the ARC

  12. RIC will submit the application

    Once the application has been submitted to ARC, you will receive an email from RIC confirming submission.

  13. *A 'review ready' draft application

    RMS Profile for personnel

    Section A - Admin Summary

    Section B - Classifications/ Statistical Info

    Section C - Include DECRA Candidate, Communication of Results and Management of Data. The completed draft may exclude the Aims and Background/ Project Quality and Innovation, Feasibility and Benefit and Collaboration.

    Section C2 - Strategic Statement

    Section C3 and C4  - Medical Research Statement

    Section D - Personnel and ROPE

    Section E - Project Cost

    Section F - Budget Justifications

    Section G - Research Support and Statements of Progress

Supporting documents

ARC Documents

RIC Documents

Preparing a DECRA application:

(UoM login required. Please email if you require copies)

External applicants please note: If you require access to documents requiring a UoM login, please email

Seminars and Workshops

Instructional Videos


Please note: Assessor comments should only include details on the DECRA Candidate, Project Quality and Innovation, Feasibility, and Benefit and Collaboration.  Assessors should not be commenting on Eligibility and Compliance.  If you notice any comments to that effect when reading the Assessments please let your Faculty or RIC know so that we can in turn advise the ARC. Please note that applicants should never contact the ARC directly. Always speak to your Faculty or RIC first.


DECRA questions and primary email

Key contacts

Veronica Loew+61 3 8344 8236
Angela Baklavas+61 3 8344 2018

Manage Your Grant