Flinders Research NewsKey Points from Professor Tompkins forum on ARC applications from Humanities and Creative Arts
Professor Joanne Tompkins, Executive Director Humanities and Creative Arts (HCA), Australian Research Council, hosted a forum for HCA researchers and assessors in South Australia on 1 March 2019.
Following is a report detailing key points made by Professor Tompkins.
HASS (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences)
There is an opportunity for HASS to submit more applications including Linkage Project applications. While the HCA have a different economic model to STEM research areas, the success rate of proposals received from HASS and STEM are very consistent. Whilst more applications were encouraged, it was with the caveat that applications need to be of good quality or it may cause reputational damage – to the researcher, the university and the discipline.
With regard to the Linkage Project scheme, success is not all based on Partner Organisation cash contributions. A good project that solves a problem for your partner organisation is required. Applicants need to explain in the narrative the reason for the lack of cash and the importance of the addressing problem of the organisation(s).
HCA researchers also need to think strategically about how they describe their discipline(s) and present a more united collaborative front.
What Assessors seek
ARC Assessors could be experts or non-experts in your discipline, and therefore seek and need a compelling project description. The project needs to:
- be significant,
- be ground breaking,
- be needed now,
- have sound methodology,
- provide strong performance evidence, closely aligned with the project (e.g. why is each member critical for the project and exactly how will they contribute to the project),
- have a robust budget properly justified (e.g. why is each item required), and
- demonstrate value for money.
Importantly, address the questions outlined in the Instructions to Applicants – make it easy for the assessors to score your project well.
Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE)
This is an important part of the application as it provides a context for the application and can assist to explain what has impacted on a researcher’s research performance. It is also the place that HASS researchers can describe the creative spheres that showcase the importance of their research. Keep descriptions of any career interruptions brief.
Interdisciplinary research projects (typically across two ARC panels) are supported but ensure that members of the project team represent each discipline so that the project can be articulated for, and understood by, both disciplines. The research and/or outcomes must be highly innovative to both panels.
National Interest Test
The National Interest Test Statement in an application needs to be clear, logical and realistic. The Minister receives the application title, application summary, National Interest Test Statement, the names of lead Chief Investigator and Administering Organisation, and recommended budget.
Call out to people to become Assessors
Assessors can be selected from people who are yet to have won ARC funding. This is a great way to understand the ARC assessment processes and to see what makes a great application. For further information, please visit the ARC website.
ARC College of Experts
If you are interested in being nominated for appointment to the ARC College of Experts, please contact Maya Roberts on 8201 7698 in the first instance. For further information, please visit the ARC website.
The ARC website contains useful information about funded research projects. Visit:
- ARC Grants Search – searchable database of ARC funded grants
- Grant Outcomes – selection reports by scheme
- Maya Roberts, Senior Research Grants Officer (ARC)
- Dr Melissa Gregory, Research Grants Officer (ARC)
- Dr Michele Lang, Research Grants Officer (ARC)
The RDS ARC team also hold regular drop-in sessions. Register at ienrol to attend a session.
Flinders Researcher Training and Development
‘Grants Evolution – category 1’ a program consisting of a series of one and half hour action-learning workshops will be run from April to October 2019 with the aim to get you ‘grant ready.’ These skills development workshops are presented in an order that will enable consideration, planning and action of your funding options, through to the development of your application and commencing your project.
You can access stand-alone workshops or participate in the entire series.
Details of this series can be accessed via the Research Training and Development Page.
To participate, please enrol through ienrol-Research.
Specific ARC workshops include:
Planning your ARC Grant - timelines and strategies, Tuesday, 7th May 2019
ARC DECRA & Future Fellowship application process & considerations, Wednesday, 8th May 2019
ARC Discovery Project application process and considerations, Thursday, 9th May 2019
ARC Linkage Project application process and considerations, Friday, 10th May 2019
Grants budgets - ARC, Thursday, 15th August 2019
How to write your ROPE - ARC & NHMRC, Tuesday, 20th August 2019
Writing the front page of your ARC grant application, Wednesday, 11th September 2019