For the past 6 years, the University has required that all applications for ARC and NHMRC major rounds are submitted only after being approved through an internal Expression of Interest ( EOI ) process followed by peer review of the application. The EOI process has been coordinated by the Office for Research and varied slightly from year to year. In 2019, this process has undergone a major review and has now been changed to a decentralised Grant Application Development Process, administered by the Academic Groups.

This process covers the follows Schemes:

  • ARC Future Fellowships
  • ARC Discovery Projects
  • ARC Discovery Indigenous Projects
  • ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA)
  • NHMRC Investigator Grants
  • NHMRC Ideas Grants
  • NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies
  • NHMRC Synergy Grants
IMPORTANT NOTICE - Change of DECRA submission dates in 2020

The ARC have advised that from late 2020, DECRA applications will close in November each year to align with Future Fellowships scheme. This will mean there will be two DECRA rounds closing in 2020 in the move to this earlier submission date. DE21 for funding commencing in 2021 closes 12 March 2020 and the DE22 round for funding commencing in 2022 will close in November 2020.

To support the transition to the new timeline, the ARC will ensure that eligibility periods for PhD conferral will be adjusted so that no candidates are disadvantaged.


The objectives of the Grant Application Development Process are to ensure that:

  • Applicants are provided with appropriate Research Institute, Centre or Group mentoring, guidance and support, especially early career and developing researchers.
  • Applications are supported through a peer review process, taking into consideration the selection criteria, scheme profiling, CI track record, previous outcomes in case of resubmissions, and fit with the host Institute, Centre or School. Griffith must submit applications of competitive quality.
  • The University’s reputation for submitting quality proposals is maximised and the costs associated with the development of non-competitive applications is minimised.

Further Information

Individual applicants with questions regarding this GAD Process e.g. closing dates, should in the first instance contact their local Centre/element. Further information about the ARC and NHMRC schemes are available via this Research Grants website.

Centres/Institutes/Groups can contact David Wiseman, Senior Research Grants Officer or Lynette Farquhar with any questions regarding the GAD Process (

Process for applications for funding

Commencing mid-2020, all Academic Groups or Institutes and Centres will conduct an independent grant application development process:

  • In liaison with the Dean Research or equivalent, each Centre/Institute with an approved and established peer review and mentoring support processes will establish and advertise timelines for each ARC and NHMRC scheme that include:
    • Workshops (such as ideas pitch, grants writing skills, track record and team assessment, project quality critique, how to use the relevant applications system e.g. ARC RMS or NHMRC Sapphire systems)
    • external peer review
    • one on one discussions
    • facilitate appropriate mentorship, etc.
  • For Centres without established peer review and mentoring processes and for researchers based in Schools, the Dean Research will organise ideas development and peer review processes, meeting the above requirements.
  • To assist the above, the Office for Research can provide data to Centres/Institutes/Groups on previous outcomes by scheme, assessor comments and scores/banding from previous funding rounds, and on request provide strategic and tactical advice, track record profiling and technical advice on interpretation of scheme funding rules and instructions.
  • Submission dates for lists of applicants to be sent to OR, for review by the DVCR, are set 3 - 4 months prior to the external deadlines to allow enough time for the application development process to be appropriately supported within the Groups (exact dates to be confirmed once external closing dates have been advised).
  • Groups may wish to streamline this process even further by having just one combined deadline for all grant schemes.
  • Applicants with applications under review in a current round, may indicate that they plan to resubmit if unsuccessful and participate in the development processes, subject to scores from previous round when released.

Timeline and Process:



Throughout the year

All relevant academic elements to undertake ideas development, peer review, mentoring and track record development processes, within or across Elements to develop project ideas and assist researchers to a stage where a project would be ready to progress to application.

6-8 months prior to the scheme closing date

Centres and Schools to commence ideas and application development, peer review and mentoring support processes with potential applicants

3 – 4 months in advance of a scheme closing date

Deans Research to provide Office for Research with a list of recommended projects/applications for their Group, as per the dates below

By end of July each year

Fellowship Grants (ARC Future Fellowships, DECRA and NHMRC Investigator applications) – recommendations from Groups will be due to OR by end of July each year.

By end of October each year

ARC Discovery and Discovery Indigenous Grants – recommendations from Groups will be due to OR by end of October each year.

By early-January each year

NHMRC Synergy, Clinical Trials and Cohorts and Ideas Grants – recommendations from Groups will be due to OR by early January each year.

1- 2 weeks after submission of proposed applicants to OR

Office for Research will confirm the Group’s applications have been approved to proceed and advise Deans Research. The Office will also provide all confirmed applicants relevant information about the OR application process.

4 - 5 weeks in advance of a scheme closing date

Internal OR closing date - All applicants must have a complete draft application entered onto the ARC or NHRMC grant management system. Applicants who have not submitted a complete application by the internal closing will require Research Centre Director or Dean Research support to be able to submit a late application.

Office for Research staff will review all applications, providing feedback to applicants with a copy to the Research Centre or Institute Director or Dean Research, to assist applicants to finalise the applications prior to the external deadline.

External deadline

Grants will be submitted by the Office for Research before the 4pm submission deadline on each scheme closing date.

Further details can be found in the Guidelines (link below)

Late Applications and Resubmissions

Late applicants and those seeking approval to resubmit a previously unsuccessful application are required to obtain a recommendation from the Centre Director/Head of School and Dean Research for their project. This should then be sent to the Senior Manager Research Grants who seek DVCR approval for the application to proceed.

Decisions about whether these applications can proceed will be based on maturity of ideas and plans for the application and in the case of resubmissions, whether the revised proposal is addressing the comments made about the previous unsuccessful application.

Key Documentation