National Competitive Grants Program

Posted in Submissions on 17 May 2024

In April 2024, the Australian Research Council and the Department of Education called for feedback on a policy review of the National Competitive Grants Program. DASSH welcomes the opportunity to give feedback to this review.

Our Members call for more research funding, including across pure and applied research, and between grants with shorter and longer timeframes. DASSH also strongly encourages expanding funding arrangements to better support research translation.

The current focus on commercialisation with the NCGP has obscured the broader range of potential research impacts and the value that researchers bring in terms of novel contributions to knowledge. It is vital that the ARC provides a greater recognition of these broader researcher impacts.

DASSH Members encourage the ARC to expand the largely STEM-based research priorities within industrial transformation schemes to acknowledge the value that research within the humanities, arts and social sciences brings to industry. We also encourage the ARC to adopt a stronger focus on interdisciplinarity across the NCGP funding schemes.

Under the current funding environment, early- and mid-career researchers are missing out on funding which is increasingly going towards more senior scholars. The ARC must ensure that the eligibility and assessment criteria for funding schemes properly aligns with the different stages of academic careers.

Our Members also support a more systematic incorporation of Indigenous Knowledges within all aspects of the academic enterprise, including providing greater support for Indigenous researchers through a dedicated funding scheme.

While DASSH welcomes the move towards a two-step application process, we support further refinement of the EOI process to ensure that the process is being used as effectively as possible and is able to reduce administrative burden.