Discovery Projects

Critical Dates

Friday 18 March 2022

Release of 2023 Grant Guidelines

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Applications open in RMS

Thursday 7th April 2022

RIC ARC Discovery Projects webinar - register here

Wednesday 20 April -Thursday 21 April 2022

Submit review ready application to RIC

Thursday 28 April 2022

Request not to assess due to RIC

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Request not to assess due to the ARC

Wednesday 11 May 2022 (10am)

Final Application Submission due to RIC

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Final Applications due to ARC

10-23 August 2022


Fourth Quarter 2022 

2023 Outcomes


The ARC Discovery Projects scheme provides grant funding to support research projects that may be undertaken by both individual researchers or research teams.

The Discovery Projects aims to:

  • Support excellent basic and applied research and research training by individuals and teams
  • Support national and  international  research collaboration
  • Enhance the scale and focus of research in  Australian Government priority areas.

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.
  • The NIT statement is a requirement in all ARC application forms for funding within the National Competitive Grants Program. It was first introduced, following the Minister’s announcement in 2018, for the 2020 Discovery Projects round and has been included in all subsequent schemes.
  • 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.
  • The  NIT assessment is undertaken by the ARC CEO, separately to the peer assessment process. The NIT statements are a critical part of the funding recommendations to the Minister. This is in addition to the processes that consider due diligence, eligibility, and peer review assessment of applications.
  • The  NIT statement should include the following considerations which are to be addressed as a single cohesive statement.
    • What is the project about? Describe the project in 1-2 sentences.
    • What are the expected outcomes of the project? What gap is it addressing?
    • How will the research benefit Australia (economically, socially, environmentally, commercially or culturally)? How might the research be used?
    • What translation and adoption pathway(s) might be used to achieve the outcome? For example, are there conditions that would need to be in place for the outcome to occur? If so, briefly describe them.

To be eligible as a Chief Investigator on a 2023 Discovery Project  you must, as at 1 January 2023 and if successful, 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 for eligibility purposes means any honorary position that gives full academic status, as certified by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or equivalent in the application. The researcher must have access to research support comparable to employees e.g. an emeritus appointment.  The researcher is not eligible to be a Chief investigator using their honorary academic appointment if they are employed by an organisation other than an Eligible Organisation for more than 0.2 FTE.

If you hold an Honorary or Professorial Fellow appointment  (holding no more than 0.2 FTE paid appointment at an organisation other than an Eligible Organisation) and you wish to apply as a Chief Investigator please contact as soon as possible to arrange DVCR certification.


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 Applications (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 20231-Jan-231-Jul-23DP candidates can apply for a DP23 while holding two DPs with Project end dates prior to 1 July 2023. However, you cannot start the DP23 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 2023 Discovery Project Round to fulfill eligibility, ALL CIs must meet the following criteria as of the 1 Jan 2023:

Grant Guidelines  (note applicants should review all Limits on Project and proposal rules- See Sections 4.11 - 4.17 - pages 14 -15 of the Grant Guidelines)

Section 4.13:  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; or
c.  one ARC Fellowship or project if the individual is also a Director on an active ARC Centre of Excellence  and/or a Special Research Initiative project.

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 2023 - 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:

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


Uploading research outputs to ARC RMS for ARC grant applications

Research outputs must first be added to an applicant's ARC Research Management System (RMS) profile before they can be selected for inclusion on an application. The University's recommended approach is to export research outputs from Elements as a BibTeX file and then import this file into RMS to achieve best data integrity.

See the information guide for the latest step-by-step guide:

Please contact your local Faculty Research Office or Publication Coordinator for help with the process or to amend data in Elements. Faculty contacts:


The scheme provides $30,000-$500,000 funding per annum for projects up 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 2023 Grant Guidelines,  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

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

  6. Submit application to RIC ( within the RIC submission period. Submit the following: An electronic copy of the complete review ready draft application*, downloaded as a PDF from RMS.

    *A 'review ready' draft application

    RMS Profile for personnel - should be updated because some parts of the application are auto-populated from the RMS profile

    Part A - Administrative Summary

    Part B - Classifications and Other Statistical Information

    Part C - Project Eligibility

    Part D - Project Description: This part can be incomplete, but should include Investigator/Capability and Communication of Results sections in D2.

    Part E - Project Cost (Budget Table and Budget Justification)

    Part F - Participant Details including ROPE

  7. Application review

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Final submission

    Before 10.00 am 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

  11. 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.

Instructional Videos


How to write a rejoinder

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


Questions and primary email

Key contacts

Leah Sullivan+61 3 8344 2012
Elizabeth Morfe +61 3 8344 2064

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