National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG)

Critical Dates

25 July 2022

Release of  Grant Guidelines

29 July 2022

EOI open in RMS

19 August 2022

EOI close in RMS

26 September 2022

Full Applications open by Invitation

20 October 2022

Request Not to Assess due to RIC

24 October 2022

Request Not to Assess due to the ARC

24 October 2022

Submit Review Ready application to RIC

4 November 2022

Final Application Submission due to RIC

7 November 2022

Final Application due to the ARC

Early February 2023


Mid 2023

Anticipated announcement


The NISDRG program supports excellent research that deepens understanding of emerging science and technology and addresses intelligence and national security interests. The grants program will facilitate innovation and develop national security and intelligence capacity. It will also enable Australia’s National Intelligence and Security Communities to systematically engage with Australia’s research and technology community.

The NISDRG program provides support to research that aligns with the priority research areas identified by the Australian Government. These research areas are outlined in the Intelligence Challenges and the National Security Challenges developed under the broad National Security Science and Technology Priorities.

Priorities for National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) Program
The Intelligence Challenges and the National Security Challenges have been developed under the broad National Security Science and Technology Priorities. The Challenges are priority research areas which will be updated from round to round.

NISDRG Program Round 3 (2023)
Funding for the NISDRG program round 3 is offered under two Grant Opportunities:

Each Grant Opportunity will be managed through an individual dedicated version of the Research Management System (RMS).

The Intelligence Challenges for the NISDRG program Round 3 (2023) are:  

  • Covert collection challenges
  • Space-based challenges
  • Identity management challenges
  • Emerging biological and material science exploitation challenges
  • Cyber security, protective security and offensive cyber challenges
  • Human behaviour and influence challenges
  • Data-driven and real-time analytical challenges
  • Situation awareness and multi-source assessment

The National Security Challenges for the NISDRG program Round 3 (2023) are:  

  • Preparedness, protection, prevention and incident response challenges
  • Border security and identity management challenges
  • Investigative support and forensic science challenges


The grant program objectives are to:

  • support excellent fundamental research (sometimes called discovery, basic or blue sky research) in areas identified in the Intelligence Challenges and National Security Challenges;
  • build Australia’s research capacity and capability in these areas by supporting researchers, fostering research trainees, and contributing to a greater body of open source research;
  • enhance collaboration in the research, science and technology community that supports Australia’s National Intelligence and Security Communities; and
  • support systematic and coordinated engagement between the research, science and technology community and Australia’s National Intelligence and Security Communities.

Applicants are required to submit an EOI outlining the proposed project and its alignment with the Intelligence Challenges or the National Security Challenges as relevant.

To be eligible as a Chief Investigator on a 2022 NISDRG Project you must, at the grant commencement date and for the project activity period:

  • be an employee for at least 0.2 FTE at an Eligible Organisation; or
  • be a holder of an honorary academic appointment  (as defined by the ARC) at an Eligible Organisation.
  • be Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents or New Zealand Special Category Visa holders (CIs must reside in Australia for more than 50 per cent of the project activity period).

Selection Criteria

The criteria weighting is as followed:

  • Project quality and benefit: 60%
  • Investigator(s)/Capability: 25%
  • Feasibility and Commitment: 15%


The scheme provides $400,000 and $600,000 funding per grant for up to three 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.  See section 5 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 NISDRG Grant Guidelines. These documents can be found under the Support documents tab. More documentation will be uploaded as it becomes available.

  4. Complete the draft Application in RMS

  5. Submit 'review ready' application to RIC (Monday 24 October 2022)

    Email RIC ( a pdf copy of the draft application.

      *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

  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 9am on the final internal closing date Friday 4 November 2022. 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 10.00 am on the final internal Closing date (4 November 2022), 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




Questions and primary email

Key contacts

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

Manage Your Grant