Submission to the Department of Education

Submission to the Australian Research Council (ARC) Review

ATSE welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the review of the Australian Research Council (ARC).

ATSE’s submission argues that the ARC should be strengthened, supported, and legislated to be a national leader in research grant funding.


The ARC should be reformed to: 

1. Develop and model best practices in research funding, including a two-stage approach to research funding applications, and propagate to other government funding programs 

2. Ensure optimal value of public research funding by coordinating funding and research outputs across government funding programs, including to remove date and assessment conflicts and ensure alignment where possible and desirable 

3. Strengthen Australian research by increasing research funding and provide full funding for indirect costs of research for all fields of research, not constrained by the National Science and Research Priorities 

4. Champion research funding across the research pipeline, including curiosity-driven, null result and replication research 

5. Promote public and sectoral trust in the research funding system by removing (or constraining and requiring full transparency for) the ministerial veto 

6. Provide certainty to researchers, industry, and universities by adhering to legislated dates for grant outcome announcements 

7. Embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research and researchers in the ARC through an uplift in representation and cultural competency 

8. Engage with research outcomes including through the implementation of a grant renewal system for research yielding promising results 

9. Highlight the impact and excellence of publicly funded research by rethinking the use of the National Interest Test (NIT) and the Excellence in Research Australia to create a single reporting mechanism 

10. Enhance administrative resourcing to support the ARC in its expanded role in national research funding coordination and best practice approaches 

11. Consider further avenues to reduce wastage in the grant application and assessment process, such as limiting the number of ARC applications from each university, while implementing measures to support gender equity in funding outcomes 

12. Require its assessors to confirm that they have not been censured under a formal bullying or harassment investigation process