Discovery Projects

Critical Dates

Thursday 1 December 2022

Release of 2024 Grant Guidelines

Thursday 1 December 2022

DP24 Applications open in RMS

Thursday 15 December 2022

DP24 RIC ARC Discovery Projects webinar (see video and slides under Supporting documents > Seminars)

Mon 6 to Wed 8 February 2023

DP24 Submit review ready application to RIC

COB Wednesday 8 February 2023

DP24 Upload National Interest Test Statement to Part A5 in RMS (mandatory for all Faculties ex. FEIT)

Friday 17 February 2023

DP24 Request not to assess due to RIC (if applicable)

Wednesday 22 February 2023

DP24 Request not to assess due to the ARC (if applicable)

9am Wednesday 1 March 2023

DP24 Final Application Submission due to RIC

Wednesday 8 March 2023

DP24 Final Applications due to ARC

10 June - 7 July  2023

DP24 Rejoinders open and close

Fourth Quarter 2023 

DP24 Outcomes

Overview

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.

FUNDING

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 (inc. HDR students), Teaching Relief, Travel, Field Research, Equipment, Maintenance (inc. consumables), and Other expenses (inc. dissemination costs, workshops, etc). See Section5 of the Discovery Program Grant Guidelines for further details.

NATIONAL INTEREST TEST (NIT)

The National Interest Test (NIT) statement is a requirement in all applications for funding under the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP). The purpose of the NIT is to demonstrate the societal benefits (economic, commercial, environmental, social, or cultural) of the proposed research beyond the academic community. The audience of the NIT is the general public - a different audience than the Application Project Summary, whose audience is the applicant’s peers.

The NIT statement should include the following considerations which are to be addressed as a single cohesive statement:

  • What is the project about and what research gap is it addressing for Australia?
  • How could the research benefit Australians (economically, socially, environmentally, commercially, or culturally)?
  • How might you promote your research outcomes beyond academia to maximise understanding, translation, use, and adoption of the research in the future?

NOTE: it is an ARC requirement that your NIT Statement is certified by the DVC-R prior to the submission of your application. The review and approval of your NIT Statement will be administered by your Faculty. Please see Step 5 under 'How to Apply' for further instructions.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The criteria weighting is as followed:

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

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible as a Chief Investigator on a 2024 Discovery Project (DP24) you must, as at 1 January 2024 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 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 ric-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au as soon as possible to arrange DVCR certification.

ACTIVE PROJECT AND ACTIVE PROJECTS ASSESSMENT DATE

An Active Project refers to an ARC 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 if the project is active. 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 Active Project Assessment Date is a scheme-specific date which considers Active Projects (as per the above definition) and Projects under assessment. This date is important as it is used to assess applicant's cross-scheme eligibility, i.e. whether they are within the limits of the number of ARC applications and projects a participant can be named on.

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 key dates for the DP24 round are:

DP24 Funding Commencement Date: 1 January 2024

DP24 Active Project Assessment Date: 1 July 2024

Note: DP candidates can apply for a DP24 while holding two DPs with Project end dates prior to 1 July 2024. However, you cannot start the DP24 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 2024 Discovery Project Round to fulfill eligibility, ALL CIs must meet the following criteria on 1 July 2024: (note applicants should review all Limits on Project and Grant Guidelines- See 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 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 2024 - 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.

RESEARCH OUTPUTS

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.

Please contact your local Faculty Research Office or research-outputs@unimelb.edu.au for help with the process or to amend data in Elements.

Further esources to assist with managing Research Outputs are available below under Supporting documents > Research Outputs.

REQUEST NOT TO ASSESS

If you have a conflict of interest with a researcher from an external institution it is possible to request that they not be considered as a potential detailed assessor for your application. More details about this can be found on the ARC Request Not to Assess webpage.

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 2024 Grant Guidelines, Instructions to Applicants and the FAQs. These documents can be found under the Support documents heading.

  4. Complete the draft application in RMS

    Log in to RMS and complete the draft application.

  5. Upload National Interest Test Statement (NIT) to RMS

    It is mandatory to upload your National Interest Test Statement (NIT) to Part A5 in RMS by COB Wednesday 8 February (excluding FEIT applicants).

    RIC will then provide a copy of the uploaded NIT Statement to your Faculty who will then review and approve your statement. Once your Faculty has approved your Statement, please update RMS with any applicable changes prior to the final submission deadline.

    Important: it will not be possible to make changes to your Statement once Faculty approval has been granted.

    Note: Each Faculty has its own process for administering the review and approval of Statements. Any questions about this process should be directed to your Faculty Research Office.

  6. Submit 'Review ready' application to RIC

  7. Submit application to RIC (ric-arcdiscovery@unimelb.edu.au) 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 includes:

    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

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

  8. Application review

    Two 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 before 9:00am on the final internal closing date. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of the Head of Department for each CI
    • Signature of the DVCR (or delegate) for all participating Eligible Organisations
    • Signature of the CEO (or delegate) for all Australian-based participating Other Organisations

    Electronic signatures are permitted.

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

  11. Final submission

    Before 9.00 am 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

  12. RIC will submit the application to ARC

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

Supporting documents

ARC Documents and Resources

RIC Documents and Resources

National Interest Test (NIT)

Research Outputs

Seminars

Rejoinders

Note: Assessor comments should only include details on Investigator/Capability, Project Quality and Innovation, Benefit, and Feasibility. 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.

Contacts

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

Key contacts

Leah Sullivan+61 3 8344 2012
Carrie Liang+61 3 8344 0440