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Archived Grant Opportunity View - GO4476

National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (Intelligence Challenges)

Contact Details

Director – Grants Services

(02) 6287 6600



Office of National Intelligence
Close Date & Time:
16-Dec-2020 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time)
Show close time for other time zones
Internal Reference ID:
NI21 Round 1
Primary Category:
381001 - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research
Secondary Category:
381002 - Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) Research
Publish Date:
Selection Process:
Targeted or Restricted Competitive

FO Reference:


The Australian Research Council (ARC) on behalf of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) is conducting a grant opportunity for the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG).

The NISDRG supports excellent research that deepens understanding of emerging science and technology and addresses intelligence and national security threats.

The NISDRG 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 developed under the broad National Security Science and Technology Priorities. The current Intelligence Challenges 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 challenges

The objectives of the NISDRG opportunity are to:

  • support excellent 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 contribution 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.

An application may only be submitted through the Research Office of an Eligible Organisation listed in the relevant grant guidelines.

All individuals named in an application must satisfy the eligibility criteria for the role they are to perform as at the Grant Commencement Date and for the duration of the Project.

Roles that named participants may be nominated for under NI21 are:

  • Chief Investigator
  • Partner Investigator

Applications must nominate the following named participants to be eligible:

  • At least one eligible CI from the Administering Organisation

An application may also include additional Other Eligible Organisations and Other Organisations.

All organisations participating in the application must be Australian organisations.

An Other Organisation named on an application must have a Partner Investigator (PI) listed.

Chief Investigators and Partner Investigators must be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or holders of a New Zealand Special Category Visa.

Grant Activity Timeframe:

 Funding may be sought for up to three years.

Total Amount Available (AUD):


Estimated Grant Value (AUD):

From $400,000.00 to $600,000.00

Instructions for Application Submission:

The application must be submitted as a mature research plan presenting the proposed Project ready for implementation and must contain all the information necessary for its assessment without the need for further written or oral explanation, or reference to additional documentation, unless requested by the ARC.
Administering Organisations must submit applications through the specific ONI portal of RMS unless otherwise advised by the ARC.
All applications must meet the format and content requirements, including certification, as set out in the RMS online form and the relevant program Instructions to Applicants. 

Other Instructions:

The ONI portal of the Research Management System is a web-based system used to prepare and submit research proposals, assessments and rejoinders for the Australian Research Council (ARC) on behalf of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI).

Registered users can login using your usual email address and password at

To request a new account, go to click on the Request New Account link

Addenda Available:

Contact Details

Director – Grants Services

(02) 6287 6600