Discovery Projects

Critical Dates

August 2017

2019 Funding Rules released

13 November 2017

Proposals open in RMS

15 January 2018

RIC ARC Discovery Projects seminar - Register here

Submission Period 23 - 25 January 2018

Submit review ready application to RIC

5 February 2018

Request not to assess due to RIC

7 February 2018

Request not to assess due to the ARC

15 February 2018

Final Application Submission due to RIC

21 February 2018

Final Applications due to ARC

19 June 2018

Rejoinders due to RIC

October 2018 

2019 Outcomes


The ARC Discovery Projects support fundamental research conducted by both individuals and teams.

The Discovery Projects aims to:

  • Support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams
  • Encourage high-quality research and research training
  • Enhance international collaboration in research
  • Expand Australia's knowledge base and research capability
  • Enhance the scale and focus of research in the Science and Research Priorities.

To be eligible as a Chief Investigator on a 2019 Discovery Project you must, at 1 January 2019:
a. be an employee for at least 0.2 FTE at an Eligible Organisation; or
b. be a holder of an Emeritus Appointment at an Eligible Organisation.

Emeritus Appointment means any honorary position that gives full academic status, as certified by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or equivalent in the Proposal. These positions are typically held by former academic staff members who continue to have an ongoing relationship with the institution. For ARC purposes this relationship must include access to research support comparable to employees.  The person would not be considered to hold an Emeritus Appointment if they hold a substantive, paid position elsewhere.

If you hold an Honorary or Professorial Fellow appointment  (holding no other paid appointments) and you wish to apply as a Chief Investigator please contact before the 25 January to arrange DVCR certification.

Statements on Progress for ARC-funded projects:

If a project is listed in D10 and has had a final report submitted to the ARC, please ensure a short explanation is provided in G2. For example: 'Final Report has been submitted to the ARC on dd/mm/yyyy'.


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 new term Active Project Assessment Date (the date on which Active Project eligibility will be considered), has been introduced into the Definitions, and referenced at subsections A6.1 and A6.2. This is a scheme-specific date that nominates the date when Project and Proposal limit eligibility is assessed by the ARC.

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.

SchemeFunding Commencement DateActive Assessment DateExample 1
Discovery Project 20191-Jan-191-Jul-19DP candidates can apply for a DP19 while holding two DP16s with Project end dates prior to 1 July 2019. However, you cannot start the DP19 until at least one of the DP16s has been completed, one DP16 has been relinquished or your role on one DP16 has been relinquished in order to meet the limit of two Discovery Program Projects.

For the 2019 Discovery Project Round to fulfill eligibility, ALL CIs must meet the following criteria as of the 1 Jan 2019:

Funding Rules (note applicants should review all Limits on Project and proposal rules- See A6.2- page 12 and 13 of the Rules)
A6.2.2 Within the Discovery Programme a researcher can be funded for a maximum of:
a. two Projects as a CI
b. one ARC Fellowship or ARC Award, and one Project as a CI.

Please contact RIC at

  1. If you or any of your CIs listed on your project are unsure if you meet the eligibility requirements OR
  2. If you or any of your CIs have 2 active projects as of the 1 July 2019 - please contact to discuss  either formally amending your end date or arranging a Project or role relinquishment through a variation to fulfill eligibility.

SELECTION CRITERIA - new weighting

The new criteria weighting is as followed:

  • Investigators: 35% (new weighting)
  • Proposed Project Quality and Innovation: 40% (new weighting)
  • Feasibility:10%
  • Benefit:15%


The scheme provides $30,000-$500,000 funding per annum for projects of two to five years duration. Project costs can be used to hire research personnel, support HDR students, or fund teaching relief, equipment, consumables, Field Research, Travel, and dissemination costs. Discovery International Awards (DIAs) may be funded as a Special Condition to fund travel for a CI to work with an overseas-based PI and/or for an overseas-based PI to work in Australia on the project. See section F of the Funding Rules for more information.

How to apply

  1. Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI)

    The NOI should be completed early to provide RIC with the CI's contact details.

  2. Updates RMS profile

    All CIs and PIs must obtain access to RMS and update profile information (see RMS information)

  3. Review documentation

    Review the Discovery Project 2019 Funding Rules and the Instructions to Applicants and the FAQs. These documents can be found under the Support documents tab.

  4. Complete the draft application in RMS

    Log in to RMS and complete the draft application.

  5. Submit 'Review ready' application to RIC (23 Jan-25 Jan 2018)

    See the Submission Procedure document for information on review ready applications.

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

    • PDF of the complete review ready* draft application (downloaded from RMS)
    • 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. This form can also be sent separately and is due by the 5th February, 5pm.
  6. Application review

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

  7. 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.

  8. Submit the UOM Authority to Submit form

    The form must be submitted to RIC via email before 5:00pm on the final internal closing date. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of all CIs and PIs
    • Signature of the Head of Department for each CI
    • Signature of the CEO (or delegate) for all Australian-based PIs

    Electronic signatures are permitted.

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

  9. Final submission

    Before 5:00pm on the final internal Closing date, 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

  10. RIC will submit the application

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

Supporting documents



NOTE: A RIC review cover sheet is no longer required, email submission is sufficient.


How to write a rejoinder


Questions and primary email

Key contacts

Angela Baklavas-Kottaras+61 3 8344 2018
Elizabeth Morfe +61 3 8344 2064

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