Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA)

Critical Dates

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Release of 2021 Grant Guidelines

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Applications open in RMS

Friday 18 October 2019

RIC ARC DECRA Preparation Seminar

Friday 7 February 2020

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;
  • support national and international research collaboration;
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas;
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways; and
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments.


The scheme provides funding for up to 200 projects per round. Funding is awarded by the ARC of up to $154,316 per annum for three years, with a per annum salary contribution of $104,316, including 30 per cent on-costs, and up to $50,000 per annum for project costs. Project costs can be used to hire research assistants, support HDR students, or fund equipment, consumables, field research, travel, and dissemination costs. See Section 5 of the  Grant Guidelines for more information.


An Active Project  refers to 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.  Please note that projects with Final Reports due are not considered active projects.

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 when Project and Proposal limit eligibility is assessed by the ARC.

SchemeFunding Commencement DateActive Project Assessment DateExample 1
DECRA 20211-Jan-211-Jul-21DECRA candidates can apply for a DE21 while holding two DPs with Project end dates prior to 1 July 2021. However, they cannot start the DE21 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/Award.

SELECTION CRITERIA - new weighting

The new criteria weighting is as followed:

  • Investigator/Capability: 50%
  • Project Quality and Innovation: 25%
  • Benefit: 15%
  • Feasibility: 10%


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

Grant Guidelines Section 8.17: If a request includes the name of 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 part, or all of 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 Changes documents.

  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 7 February 2020 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 - 24-26 February 2020. 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, Business and Economics, Engineering and Science should submit the Statement to their Faculty by the Faculty due date)
    • D2 Statement by the Administering Organisation Coversheet, signed by Head of Department/School
    • 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.
    • *A 'review ready' draft application

      RMS Profile for personnel

      Part A - Administrative Summary

      Part B - Classifications/ Statistical Info

      Part C - Project Eligibility

      Part D - Project Description (include Investigator/Capability and Communication of Results. The draft may exclude the Project Quality and Innovation, Benefit and Feasibility sections).

      Part E - Project Cost

      Part F -  Participant Details including ROPE

  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 6 March 2020. 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 6 March 2020, 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.

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

  • Fellowship Preparation for Women - 14 August 2018 - Agenda - Slides - Video
  • 2021 DECRA Seminar - 18 October 2019 - Agenda - Slides - Video
  • 2021 DECRA Application Seminar - Coming Soon - Slides - Video

Instructional Videos


Please note: Assessor comments should only include details on the Investigator/Capability, Project Quality and Innovation, Benefit and Feasibility and Strategic Alignment. Assessors should not be commenting on Eligibility and Compliance. If you identify an assessment that contains inappropriate elements you may wish to have this reviewed by the ARC. You can do this by completing an ARC Assessment Review Request form within 3 working days after the opening of the Rejoinder period. 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
Emma Vollert+61 3 9035 7689

Manage Your Grant