Australian Research Council Discovery

The Discovery Projects scheme provides funding for research projects that can be undertaken by individual researchers or research teams.


The objectives of the Discovery Projects scheme are to:

  • Support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams;
  • Enhance the scale and focus of research in the Strategic Research Priorities;
  • Expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability;
  • Encourage research and research training in high quality research environments;
  • Enhance international collaboration in research; and
  • Foster the international competitiveness of Australian research.


  • The minimum level of funding provided by the ARC under Discovery Projects is $30,000 per year of funding and the maximum is $500,000 per year of funding per project.
  • A project may be awarded ARC funding for up to five consecutive years.
  • Discovery grants DO NOT provide salaries for Chief Investigators (CIs) or Partner Investigators (PIs).
  • Discovery grants will provide salaries for research support staff – research assistants and associate and specialised technical staff. They will also provide support for equipment and maintenance, fieldwork; travel and International Collaboration Awards; PhD stipends; and teaching relief up to $50,000 per year.
  • They will not fund infrastructure or overheads; basic facilities that should be provided by RMIT; student fees; or costs not directly related to research.

Selection process

Proposals will be assessed and ranked using the following selection criteria:

  • Investigator 40%
  • Project Quality and Innovation 25%
  • Feasibility and Benefit 20%
  • Project Research Environment 15%




3 Feb 2016

DEADLINE: Draft applications submitted (via RMS) to DSC

10 Feb 2016

DEADLINE: Request not to assess due at R&I

18 Feb 2016

DEADLINE: Discovery applications submitted via RMS to R&I with signed coversheets and certifications

3 March 2016

Discovery applications due at ARC

June 2016

Assessments released by ARC. You write your rejoinder

Oct / Nov 2016

Announcement of results by the ARC

1 Jan 2017

Discovery funding starts

Getting started

All those planning to submit Discovery, DECRA, or Future Fellowship applications must submit a 2-page outline of their project (Expression of Interest) by 1 February as the first step (Project title, central research question, basic methods and design, expected outcomes, and brief track record). These outlines will be read by RMIT research staff who will provide comments and be available to discuss outlines with applicants. This process encourages applicants to formulate their working-title and central question in a clear and economical manner, before launching into a full draft. This will also make it possible to see whether the application meets a basic threshold of feasibility.

Grant development workshops

In the lead up to each funding round deadline, the DSC runs grant development workshops on:

  • Updating your ARC profile
  • Budget preparation
  • Project planning
  • Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE)
  • Project Research Environment
  • Data Management
  • RMS training
  • Rejoinder training

The DSC grants team also administers frequent information sessions and ‘Grant Camp’. For information on these events, including dates and locations, refer to the DSC grants calendar.


There are different people in the College that can provide different levels of feedback on your grant application:

  • The Deputy PVC (Research and Innovation) for the College can provide feedback and advice and will need to endorse all submitted applications.
  • RMIT readers are successful ARC recipients. They will provide mentoring, advice and feedback on your draft application.
  • School Deputy Deans (Research) will provide advice on your application and what support the School can offer.
  • If you are associated with a Research Centre, Group or Institute, the Head can provide advice on your application.
  • School finance officers can provide advice on budget matters.
  • The DSC Grants team read many applications. We can advise you on strategy, editing and compliance issues.
  • RMIT R&I staff check your application complies with all the rules and instructions and will submit your application to the ARC. They won’t submit incomplete or non-compliant applications. They will provide specific advice on compliance.

The DSC Grants team can also organise for external experts and advisors to provide feedback. For further information contact: