Discovery Projects

Critical Dates

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Release of 2021 Grant Guidelines

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Applications open in RMS

TBA

RIC ARC Discovery Projects seminar - register here

28-30 January 2020

Submit review ready application to RIC

Monday 10 February 2020

Request not to assess due to RIC

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Request not to assess due to the ARC

Thursday 20 February 2020

Final Application Submission due to RIC

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Final Applications due to ARC

18 June 2020 - 1 July 2020

Rejoinders

Fourth Quarter 2020 

2021 Outcomes

Overview

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 Australian Government's Science and Research Priorities.

National Interest Test

  • Under the new National Interest Test, applications will need to meet the NIT definition and score highly in the competitive grants process to be recommended to the Minister for funding.
  • Applicants will be asked to explain ‘the extent to which the research contributes to Australia’s national interest through its potential to have economic, commercial, environmental, social or cultural benefits to the Australian community’.
  • The previous “benefit and impact” application text will be replaced with a compulsory field for the applicant to make their case against the NIT. This statement will be 100 to 150 words and in plain English. The NIT will apply to all future rounds.

To be eligible as a Chief Investigator on a 2021 Discovery Project you must, at 1 January 2021 and for the project activity period:
a. be an employee for at least 0.2 FTE at an Eligible Organisation; or
b. be a holder of an honorary academic appointment at an Eligible Organisation (as defined by the ARC) at an Eligible Organisation..

Honorary academic appointment means any honorary position that gives full academic status, as certified by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or equivalent in the application. For ARC purposes this relationship must include access to research support comparable to employees e.g. an emeritus appointment.  The person would not be considered to hold an honorary academic appointment if they hold a substantive, paid position elsewhere.

If you hold an Honorary or Professorial Fellow appointment  (holding no substantive paid appointments) and you wish to apply as a Chief Investigator please contact ric-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au before the 25 January to arrange DVCR certification.

Statements on Progress for ARC-funded projects:

If a project is listed in D8 and has had a final report submitted to the ARC, a statement of progress is no longer required to be attached. The ARC still requires details such as the Project ID, First named CI and scheme to be entered.

ACTIVE PROJECTS & ACTIVE PROJECT ASSESSMENT DATE

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  Active Project Assessment Date (the date on which Active Project eligibility will be considered), is a scheme-specific date that nominates the date when Project and Application 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 20211-Jan-211-Jul-21DP candidates can apply for a DP21 while holding two DPs with Project end dates prior to 1 July 2021. However, you cannot start the DP21 until at least one of the DPs has been completed, one DP has been relinquished or your role on one DP has been relinquished in order to meet the limit of two Discovery Program Projects.

For the 2021 Discovery Project Round to fulfill eligibility, ALL CIs must meet the following criteria as of the 1 Jan 2021:

Grant Guidelines  (note applicants should review all Limits on Project and proposal rules- See Sections 4.10 - 4.16 - page 15 of the Grant Guidelines)

Section 4.12:  Within the Discovery Program, a researcher can be funded for a maximum of:
a. two Projects as a CI
or
b. one ARC Fellowship and one Project as a CI.
c.  one ARC Fellowship or project if the individual is also a CI or Director on an active ARC Centre of Excellence or a Special Research Initiative project.

Please contact RIC at RIC-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au:

  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 2021 - please contact RIC-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au 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:

  • Investigator(s)/ Capability: 35%
  • Project Quality and Innovation: 40%
  • Benefit:15%
  • Feasibility:10%

Funding

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) are no longer being awarded under Discovery Projects. Applicants can continue to seek this funding through multiple budget items in the Discovery Projects scheme. See section E of the Grant Guidelines 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 2021 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 (28 Jan-30 Jan 2020)

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

    Submit application via email to RIC (ric-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au) 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 10th 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 (ric-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au) 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

ARC

RIC

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

Instructional Videos

Seminars

How to write a rejoinder

Please note: Assessor comments should only include details on the Investigator(s), Project Quality and Innovation, Feasibility, and Benefit.  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.

Contacts

Questions and primary email
ric-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au

Key contacts

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

Manage Your Grant