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Archived Grant Opportunity View - GO3074

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2021

Australian Research Council
Close Date & Time:
12-Mar-2020 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time)
Show close time for other time zones
Internal Reference ID:
DE21 Round 1
Primary Category:
381002 - Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) Research
Secondary Category:
381001 - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research
Publish Date:
Selection Process:
Targeted or Restricted Competitive

FO Reference:


The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) grant opportunity provides focused research support for early career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.

The DECRA scheme objectives are to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers;
  • support national and international research collaboration;
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas;
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways; and
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments.

The intended outcomes of the DECRA scheme are:

  • expanded knowledge base and research capacity in Australia; and
  • economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia.

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


A DECRA candidate must satisfy the eligibility criteria as listed in the grant guidelines.

A previous recipient, or an individual who has been nominated for a DECRA on two previous occasions, is not eligible to apply for another DECRA. This includes withdrawn and ineligible applications.

To be eligible, the candidate must, as at the grant opportunity closing date:

  • only apply for one DECRA in a given year;
  • have met their obligations regarding previously funded projects, including submission of satisfactory final reports to the ARC at the grant opportunity closing date.
  • have an award of PhD date on, or after 1 March 2015; or
  • have an award of PhD date together with an allowable period of career interruptions that would be commensurate with an award of PhD date on, or after 1 March 2015. The allowable career interruptions set out and the period allowed for each is in Table 9 of the Grant Guidelines for the Discovery Program (2019 edition).

If a DECRA candidate has more than one PhD, the earliest awarded PhD must fall within this timeframe.

A DECRA candidate can be concurrently funded through the Discovery Program for a maximum of: one ARC Fellowship and one project as a Chief Investigator (CI); or one ARC Fellowship or project if the individual is also a CI or Director on an active ARC Centre of Excellence or a Special Research Initiative project. Limits will be calculated at the grant opportunity closing date.

Named participants on successful applications for DECRA must meet the project limit requirements.

Grant Activity Timeframe:

A project may be applied for and awarded funding for three consecutive years on a full-time basis and undertaken on either a full-time, or a part-time basis subject to the employment conditions of the Administering Organisation and provided that the DECRA does not exceed six years from the project start date (excluding any approved periods of suspension).

Estimated Grant Value (AUD):

From $312,948.00 to $462,948.00

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.

Applicants should note the eligibility criteria for access to other funding schemes, as expressed in the Grant Guidelines for those schemes). The ARC reserves the right to change these criteria in future funding rounds. Grant Guidelines for all ARC schemes may be found attached to the relevant Grant Opportunity.

Administering Organisations must submit applications through Research Management System (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 Instructions to Applicants for Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2021.

Other Instructions:

The RMS is a web-based system used to prepare and submit research applications, assessments and rejoinders for the ARC National Competitive Grants Program. Registered users can login using your email address and password at To request a new account, please go to and click on the Request New Account link. All queries by researchers should be directed to the administering organisation of the application.

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