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ARC linkage grants

Dr. Simon Moss

This document presents some information that researchers could consider when they complete applications for Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants. This information was primarily derived from suggestions by reviewers.Most of this information also applies to Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants as well. Visit http://www.arc.gov.au/ for more information.

Before reading this information, applicants should first familiarize themselves with the instructions provided at: http://www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/lp/lp_instructions.htm


Margins. Margins must be 2cm or more on all sides

Font size. The font size must be 12 pt or more. However, the font size for references can be 10 pt.

Checklists. ARC checklist pages should be removed from the final application

Numbering. Pages must be numbered by hand, from the first to the final page, including attachments. The total number of pages should be specified on page 1, in the appropriate box.

Presentation. Ensure the proposal, especially Part E, is as attractive as possible, with figures, tables, bullet points, and headings. Bold your name when you list your publications.


Past grants: Each investigator needs to ensure they have completed progress reports and final reports for previous ARC projects.

Criteria. For linkage grants, the selection criteria are: Track record of investigators 20%, Significance and Innovation 25%, Approach & Training 20%, National Benefit 10%, Partner Organisations 25%

For discovery grants, the selection criteria are: Track record of investigators 40%, Significance and Innovation 30%, Approach & Training 20%, and National Benefit 10%

Part B: Personnel

B9.1. Outcomes not output.When you describe your contributions, highlight the outcomes of your research, not merely the output. That is, specify how your research has influenced the wellbeing or progress of specific communities or societies. In addition, demonstrate how your research has spawed other important studies, perhaps using citations as evidence of this impact.

That is, do not merely specify the number of publications, citations, conferences, and activities--but more the consequences of these activities.

B9.2 & 3. In press publications. When listing publications, when the article is "in press", the date of acceptance should be specified.

B9.2 & 3. Submitted papers. When listing publications, excluded papers that have merely been submitted but not accepted.Please note you cannot include 'submitted' or 'in review' publications. Reference to, or details of, submitted publications may be included in B9.5 where necessary.

B9.2 & 3. Order of publications. When listing publications, the following headings should be included, where applicable, in this order: books, book chapters, refereed journal articles, refereed conference papers, and other publications

B9.3. Explanations of best publications: After some or each of these publications, explain the importance or significance of this work, in one or two short sentences. An example might be "This work is the first demonstration of how leadership can affect the prevalence of borderline personality disorder".

B9.5. Other relevant contributions.In this section, you can include other papers that you have submitted or prepared. In addition, consider conferences you have chaired, societies in which you have presided, software you have developed, and industrial activities you have influenced. Furthermore, highlight why these contributions are relevant to the project.

Part C: Budget

C1. Personnel salaries.Salaries over years need to include both the annual increment payable and any increases as a consequence of enterprise bargaining. Most universities will include this information in a relevant spreadsheet.

C1. Teaching relief maximum. The funding contribution to teaching relief is always limited, as a pro rata rate. In 2008, for example, the limit was $65, 944 a year for each CI, including on costs. Second, teaching relief cannot be sought for more than half the duration of this project.

C1. Shortfalls in salaries oncosts. Often the ARC stipulate the maximum they will find salary oncosts. Often, university oncosts exceeds this maximum. The difference, which the university must pay, should be specified in the "Organisation" column.

C2. Teaching relief justification. The application must demonstrate how the project is not viable if teaching relief is not provided.An elevated workload alone is not sufficient.

C2 & C3. Travel costs. Ensure travel costs are itemized clearly, including origins and destinations for travel, daily allowances, field expenses, and relocation costs. Ensure these costs comply with the ATO Tax Ruling for Domestic & Overseas Travel. Airflights need to be in economy class, and logdings need to be moderate in expense.

C2. University contributions. Reviewers prefer applications in which universities have contributed. Attempt to connect other university contributions to the application. If the university has contributed to a travel grant for a conference, show how this money could be germane to travel expenses for the project.

In addition, if the university does afford teaching relief as a consequence of the grant, specify this detail in the application.

C2. Research associates. To show how a research associate is essential, you should specify the unique skills this person affords. Alternatively, show how other personnel, such as the CIs, cannot dedicate the necessary time to undertake specific activities.

C2. Computers. Seek funding for computers only is you need a machine to be dedicated exclusively to the project--perhaps because a unique database, software, or simulation is essential to the research. The same principle applies to mobile phones and PDAs.

C2. Equipment. Where possible, seek formal quotes on equipment that needs to be purchased.

Indirect and direct costs.

Direct costs are easier to estimate and include salaries, operating expenses such as printing, travel, and dedicated equipment. Indirect costs are more difficult to estimate, but need to be included, and comprise utilities, maintenance, security, professional services--computer, legal services, accounting, and payroll.

Part E: Project outline

Length. Part E cannot exceed 10 pages, including references

Language.Define terms clearly. The most influential reviewers are members of the College of Experts, who read over 100 proposals and are not seldom experts in the field. Some Australian or international experts can be included, however.

E2. Aims. State the aims at the outset, in the first paragraph, focussing on tangible outcomes. Although related to each other, the aims should not be dependend on one another--otherwise, if the readers reject one aim they might reject the entire project. Furthermore, peripheral aims should not be included& specify only the key aims at this stage.

E2. Background. Ensure most the citations you use are accessible and recent or written by the CIs

E2. Background length. Given the background is not rated explicitly, ensure the length of this section does not sacrifice the material on significance and national benefit. Consider including some of the background in these sections instead, if applicable.

E3. Significance.Consider whether the project addresses an important problem and, if so, highlight the significance of this problem and your approach to address this issue. Second, show how the project advances the discipline--including methods, paradigms, or technologies that will be developed as well as shortfalls or controversies that you can redress. Third, show the combination of collaborators is unique and beneficial. Finally, only if applicable, show how the project addresses a national research priority-which should be alluded to in A6.1 and E6.

E4. Approach and training.Show how the approach relates to the aims and specify timelines and plans, including analyses and reporting. The timelines should be specific, and potetial obstacles need to be stipulated clearly and contingencies or alternatives need to be included. Highlight your experience with any novel techniques that you plan to utilize.

If possible, include some preliminary data, but nevertheless show this data is not sufficient.

E4. Design. Where applicable, control groups need to be specified and justified clearly and the methodology needs to include specific details. If the project is potentially controversial, attempt to seek ethics before you submit the application. If the methods are controversial, specify instances in which you have applied these procedures successfully in the past.

E5. Future alliance with partner organizations. Show how the projects will develop future alliances with partner organizations.

E5. Commitment of partner organizations. Specify the extent to which staff members from partner organizations are involved, including co-supervision of PhDs. Describe the evolution of this collaboration. That is, if possible, demonstrate how you have worked together before.

E6. National Benefit. Outline economic, environmental, social, or cultural benefits to Australia, with references to national research priorities, is applicable.

E7. Communication of results. Ensure you are as specific as possible, stipulating particular conferences, journals, workshops, and audiences.

E8. Redundancy in describing personnel. Do not restate information about individuals that was already presented in Part B. Instead, in 1 to 2 sentences, focus on the roles, responsibilities, and contributions of each individual. For example, show that PhD students and RAs are vital, and that CIs cannot undertake these responsibilities themselves.

Part F: Partner organizations

Exclusion. Not all organizations can be regarded as partner organizations. For example, organizations that receive substantial funding from government for research activities are not eligible. Hence, applicants must confirm that any funding is not directed primarily to these activities.

Objectives. Demonstrate the reasons the partner is involved, showing how the project could facilitate the core business of the organization. Ensure the project does not appear to be contract or consulting research.

Contributions: The percentage of funds that partner organizations contribute, when aggregated, should exceed 50% of the budget, if possible, and must exceed 20%.


Recent events. If possible, refer to recent events, such as additional data that has been collected or additional articles that have been published to redress criticisms. Do not reiterate the compliments of reviewers& the reviewers can access the comments of other reviewers.

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Last Update: 11/6/2008