Linkage Projects

Critical Dates

Intake 1 - 2020

RIC ARC Linkage Projects 2020 Seminar (for all 2020 intakes) Register here 


Submit review ready application to RIC


Submit final application to RIC


Final applications submitted to ARC

Intake 2 - 2020

Submit review ready application to RIC


Submit final application to RIC


Final applications submitted to ARC

Intake 3 - 2020

Submit review ready application to RIC


Submit final application to RIC


Final applications submitted to ARC


The Linkage Projects Scheme supports the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations, other organisations (including industry) and end-users. The scheme aims to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or provide opportunities to obtain national economic, social or cultural benefits.

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 Linkage Project applied for in 2020, you must at the Grant Commencement Date:

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.

The Grant Commencement Date for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2020 with applications submitted by 30 June 2020 will be 1 July 2020.

The Grant Commencement Date for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2020 with applications submitted from 1 July 2019 will be 1 January 2021.

Honorary Academic Appointment means any honorary position that gives full academic status, as certified by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) 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 elsewhere) and you wish to apply as a Chief Investigator please contact to arrange DVCR certification.

Linkage Projects Continuous Round:

As of the 1st July 2016 Linkage Projects will no longer have one round per year. They will be open for submissions at any time. The University of Melbourne will submit applications in  batches each year (please see above for the intake dates). Should you wish to apply outside of these times, please contact RIC at to discuss further.

Awarded projects will now have six months to sign their third party agreement.


Active Project means 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), is a scheme-specific date that nominates the date when Project and Application limit eligibility is assessed by the ARC.

The Active Project Assessment Date for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2020 applications submitted by 30 June 2020 will be 1 January 2021.

The Active Project Assessment Date for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2020 applications submitted from 1 July 2020 will be 1 July 2021.

The ARC will calculate active projects as at the closing time of submission of applications (and may calculate this rule again as other grant opportunity announcements are made and End of Year Reports are submitted.

Applicants should review all Limits on Project and Applications,  Rules: See sections 4.30 - 4.35  of the Grant Guidelines.

Grant Guidelines Section 4.32 - A CI on a Linkage Project may submit and /or be funded concurrently for a maximum of four Projects under the Linkage Program  with the exception of LIEF as a CI.


The ARC has added a new type of Partner Organisation which is exempt from the Cash Contributions requirements. A full list of exempt POs are as follows:

a. Exempt Archive and Public Record Office
b. Exempt Charity 
c. Exempt Herbarium
d. Exempt Museum and Collecting Organisation
e. Exempt Non-Profit Organisation
f. Exempt Small Business
g. Exempt Start-up


The criteria weighting is as follows:

  • Investigator(s) /Capability: 25%
  • Project Quality and Innovation: 25%
  • Feasibility and commitment: 20%
  • Benefit: 30%


The scheme provides funding at a minimum of $50 000 per year and a maximum or $300 000 for each year of the project. Partner organisations are required to provide total cash and in-kind support equal to the amount requested from the ARC for project costs. The combined eligible Cash Contribution from partner organisations must be at least 25 per cent of the total funding requested from the ARC. See section 6.3d of the Grant Guidelines for more information.

Optional proposal review by Graham Steed

Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (RIC) engages the services of Dr Graham Steed to review ARC Linkage proposals to improve application competitiveness. Please provide the responses to Parts A4, A6 and  the Project Description in Part D in one Microsoft Word or pdf document. Applicants should email their draft responses to Alternatively, applicants can email a pdf of the full proposal from RMS. Refer to the Critical dates for the University of Melbourne intakes for the Linkage Projects.

Applicants (especially Early Career Researchers and Linkage Project first-timers) are strongly encouraged to submit their draft as early as possible to allow Graham time to provide feedback and for them to incorporate any changes before the final application due date.

Please note that requesting a review from Graham is optional. RIC will still review draft applications before the final due date.

How to apply

  1. Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI)

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

  2. Update RMS profile

    Each CI and Partner Investigator (PI) must obtain access to RMS and update profile information (see RMS information)

  3. Review documentation

    Review the Linkage Projects Funding Rules and the Instructions to Applicants.

  4. Complete the application

    Log in to RMS and complete the application  with all PI sections included.

  5. 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
  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 electronically  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 PIs

    Electronic signatures are permitted.

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

  9. Final submission

    On the final Closing date, the applicant must:

    • Submit finalised 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.
    • 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.

    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



Instructional Videos

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.


Questions and primary

Key Contact

Angela Baklavas
T: 8344 2018

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