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					    Getting an ARC Grant:
        Knowing How

                Marian Pitts
       ARC College of Experts 2006-2009

                     Chair
Social Behavioural and Economic Sciences Panel




                                      www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
          Acknowledgements

Professor Phyllis Tharenou
• Executive Director, Social Behavioural
  and Economics Panel ARC
• Past Chair SBE Panel ARC College of
  Experts




                              www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                   This talk

•   Introduction to ARC
•   How do I get a score?
•   Assessed components of application
•   Strategies for success and last minute
    thoughts




                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
           Aims of the ARC

To fund excellent, innovative research that
expands Australia’s knowledge base,
research capability, and international
collaboration, whilst providing national
benefit and impact.




                               www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
         Major ARC Programs

Discovery projects - excellent fundamental
research by individuals and teams
Discovery Indigenous Researchers
Development - develop research expertise of
indigenous Australians
Australian Laureate Fellowships
Future Fellowships
Linkage schemes
Centres of excellence
                                    www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
     Objectives of Discovery Projects
• support excellent fundamental research by individuals
  and teams;
• enhance the scale and focus of research in the National
  Research Priorities;
• expand Australia’s knowledge base and research
  capability;
• encourage research and research training in high-quality
  research environments;
• enhance international collaboration in research; and
• foster the international competitiveness of Australian
  research.


                                           www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
         Objectives of Linkage Scheme
•   encourage and develop long-term strategic research alliances between
    higher education organisations and other organisations, including within
    industry and end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems
    and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, social or
    cultural benefits;
•   support collaborative research on issues of benefit to rural and regional
    communities;
•   enhance the scale and focus of research in National Research Priorities;
•   foster opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to pursue internationally
    competitive research in collaboration with organisations outside the higher
    education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear
    commitment to high-quality research;
•   provide outcome-oriented research training to prepare high-calibre
    postgraduate research students; and
•   produce a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the
    broader Australian innovation system.




                                                           www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
      ARC Discovery Grants (DP)
1 round/ year, closes March
Can apply for project costs alone, or project costs
and PhD costs and Fellowships
Success rate is about 20-25%
Most successful grants are for 3 years; average
funding received 67% of what was requested
Very small no. given full funding or for five years
Quota given for ECRs - 15%
Can have 2 DPs at a time (One sole, one with
others)


                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
       ARC Linkage Grants (LP)
2 rounds/year, close November, May
Can apply for project costs alone, or PhD costs
alone, or project + PhD or postdoc.
Success rate varies - around 50%.
Most successful grants are 3 years
Tiny number given at high end of funding & for 5
years for very top researchers; (millions $)
About ½ of applications are for APAI PhD
scholarships only: good success rate (if CI has
supervised PhD)
Can hold 4 LPs concurrently
                                    www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
Linkage: Research with a partner
          organisation
Private for profit organisations, e.g. industry
Private non-for- profit organisations e.g.
community
Government agencies
LP are for applied research, track record
less important and project need not be as
ground-breaking as for Discovery
applications


                                  www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
  Take advantage of ARC priorities:

• DPs: IF ECR with journal articles try sole
  ECR grant. There is a quota for ECRs
  (within 5 yrs of Ph.D.) – 10-15% of funding
• LPs: Apply for PhD scholarship in field of
  IT and communications - ARC gives 50
  extra APAIs there




                                www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
        The ARC College of Experts:
             www.arc.gov.au
• Six Panels (10-14 people) Check them out.
• BSB: Biological Sciences and Biotechnology;
• EE: Engineering and Environmental Sciences;
• HCA: Humanities and Creative Arts;
• MIC: Mathematics, Information and
  Communication Sciences;
• PCG: Physics, Chemistry and Geoscience;
• SBE: Social, Behavioural and Economic
  Sciences
                                  www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
       Numbers of proposals and success rates for Discovery Projects
                                by panel
                                                                                           Requested funds       Indicative funds
                        Proposals             Proposals                                    over project life     over project life
                                                                     Success rate
  Panel *               considered            approved                                     for all proposals     for approved
                                                                                           considered            proposals

  BSB                   738                   162                    22.0%                 $434,960,512          $65,992,655

  EE                    525                   122                    23.2%                 $280,861,099          $44,675,929

  HCA                   599                   149                    24.9%                 $242,083,990          $45,195,999


  MIC                   695                   150                    21.6%                 $373,694,131          $49,543,418


  PCE                   670                   153                    22.8%                 $423,838,313          $65,360,560

  SBE                   841                   189                    22.5%                 $342,407,672          $54,806,728

  Total                 4,068                 925                    22.7%                 $2,097,845,717        $325,575,289




 * BSB = Biological Sciences and Biotechnology; EE = Engineering and Environmental Sciences; HCA = Humanities and Creative Arts;
MIC = Mathematics, Information and Communication Sciences; PCE = Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; SBE = Social, Behavioural
                                                      and Economic Sciences




                                                                                                    www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
          Numbers of proposals and success rates for Linkage Projects
                      Round One 2010 by discipline panel

                                                                                            Requested funds       Approved funds
                        Proposals              Proposals                                    over project life     over project life
                                                                     Success rate
Panel*                  considered             approved                                     (all proposals        (approved
                                                                                            considered)           proposals)

BSB                     103                    44                    42.7%                  $49,095,379           $18,561,793


EE                      98                     44                    44.9%                  $38,857,936           $12,192,807


HCA                     44                     19                    43.2%                  $11,062,686           $4,233,951


MIC                     54                     24                    44.4%                  $24,442,370           $9,177,983


PCE                     24                     13                    54.2%                  $11,198,296           $4,455,562


SBE                     147                    67                    45.6%                  $43,843,854           $18,205,795


Total                   470                    211                   44.9%                  $178,500,521          $66,827,891



     *BSB = Biological Sciences and Biotechnology; EE = Engineering and Environmental Sciences; HCA = Humanities and Creative Arts;
        MIC = Mathematics, Information and Communication Sciences; PCE = Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; SBE = Social,
                                                    Behavioural and Economic Sciences




                                                                                                      www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
             Success rates for Linkages 2009
                Administering Organisation   Proposals considered   Proposals approved   Success rate

Australian Catholic University                        5                     2               40.0%

Curtin University of Technology                       9                     5               55.6%

Deakin University                                    17                    10               58.8%

Griffith University                                  16                     6               37.5%

James Cook University                                 5                     2               40.0%

La Trobe University                                   5                     2               40.0%

Monash University                                    23                    17               73.9%

The Australian National University                   18                    10               55.6%

The University of Adelaide                           21                     8               38.1%

The University of Melbourne                          46                    25               54.3%

The University of New South Wales                    51                    28               54.9%

The University of Queensland                         40                    19               47.5%

The University of Sydney                             28                    15               53.6%

The University of Western Australia                  18                     8               44.4%

                             Total                   470                   211             44.9%




                                                                           www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
Fields of Research for Partner Orgs.
        Field of Research category           Number of proposals approved †   Total funding from all
                                                                                     sources*
     Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences                  6                       $10,319,681

             Biological Sciences                          15                       $22,037,306

        Built Environment and Design                       5                       $3,054,341

             Chemical Sciences                             9                       $11,385,762

Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services                 8                       $5,918,951

               Earth Sciences                              4                       $6,645,627

                 Economics                                 3                       $2,026,386
                  Education                                9                       $9,365,692

                 Engineering                              45                       $52,405,041

           Environmental Sciences                         18                       $24,024,006

          History and Archaeology                          2                       $2,070,663

    Information and Computing Sciences                    12                       $12,718,331

   Language, Communication and Culture                     4                       $3,441,062

           Law and Legal Studies                           1                        $889,970




                                                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                               FORs for Partner Orgs

                 Field of Research category   Number of proposals        Total funding from all
                                                 approved †                     sources*

Mathematical Sciences                                 3                       $2,603,981

Medical and Health Sciences                           26                     $27,920,218

Philosophy and Religious Studies                      1                        $852,871

Physical Sciences                                     4                       $5,840,273

Psychology and Cognitive Sciences                     8                       $7,022,552
Studies in Creative Arts and Writing                  3                       $4,613,951

Studies in Human Society                              19                     $16,819,678
Technology                                            6                      $10,437,505

Total                                                211                    $242,413,848




                                                                    www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                  This talk

•   Introduction to ARC
•   What happens to my application ?
•   Assessed components of application
•   Strategies for success
•   Last minute thoughts




                                 www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
What happens to my DP grant application ?
• ARC receives and checks for eligibility /
  infringement of rules
• Conflicts of interest established
• 2 COE members are allocated (EAC1 and
  EAC2)
• INT readers and OZ readers allocated
• INT and OZ readers report and scores received
• Opportunity for rejoinder
• Panel meets

                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
What happens to my LP grant application ?
• ARC receives and checks for eligibility /
  infringement of rules
• Conflicts of interest established
• 2 COE members area allocated (EAC1 and
  EAC2)
• INT readers allocated
• Panel meets

(ie.. no report, sometimes no rejoinder, no
   feedback (usually))

                                      www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
Which panel should your grant to go to?

• You need to write to non-experts in simple
  English explaining everything, remember
  we read 100s of DPs and many LPs
  – Help EACs out by the way you write the grant
• You need to select FOR codes and
  keywords and write the two 100 word
  summaries


                                    www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
Getting the right people reading your grant
 Work out where the keywords will send you
    Who are you wanting to go to? Wanting to
    avoid?
 You want the two EACs/College of Expert
   members who will give you the best score
 Is there a discipline you want to avoid?
 Conflicts of interest can change things



                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                  This talk

•   Introduction to ARC
•   What happens to my application ?
•   Assessed components of application
•   Strategies for success
•   Last minute thoughts




                                 www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
            How you get a score
• Called a WAPA Weighted Average

• Your score is calculated by an automatic
  formula based on the weights for the
  scoring criteria
  – 4 scores in DP .4, .3, .2, .1 weights
  – 5 scores in LP .25, .25, .2, .2, .1 weights


• Not all criteria are weighted equally
                                      www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
           Influences on Your Score
• Two College of Expert Members (EACs) assigned to your
  grant contribute the greatest part of your score because
  their scores are multiplied by 25
   – EAC1 in charge of your grant has greatest influence
   – Likely not expert in your field
• 2 Oz readers (Oz based expert assessor) scores
  contribute next to your score
       • Weighted by number each assesses (eg 3 to 15)
         but influence never exceeds or meets EACs’
         influence on score
• I International Assessor: (Expert of international standing)
  has little effect on your score
       • Often does only one grant, so very little weight
                                              www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
 Benefit of Oz readers and Int Assessors

– EACs rely on Int. reader, especially, to say if
  the application is sound / timely
– Rejoinder written to their comments may be of
  relevance to changing your score if you are at
  the margin
– If changed, score may get above the cut-off
  score




                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
      Assessed Components of DP
• Investigator’(s) track record relative to
  opportunities and capacity to undertake
  the research (40%)
• Significance and innovation in the
  proposed research (30%)
• Approach and methodology (20%)
• National benefit (10%)


                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
     Assessed Components of Linkage

•   Investigator’(s) track record (20%)
•   Significance and innovation (25%)
•   Approach and training (20%)
•   National benefit (10%)
•   Commitment of partner organisation
    (25%).



                                  www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
           Linkage percentages
1. Researcher
• Track Record                        20%
2.   Project
•    Significance & Innovation        25%
•    Approach                         20%
•    National Benefit                 10%

3. Industry Partner
• Commitment                          25%

                                 www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
  Track record: 40% for DP and 20% for LP
The TEAM:
  Overall record of CI or Team is judged
     Established researchers, ECRs, international CIs,
         Partners - worked together before?
     Expertise/Capacity to undertake this project:
         Can CI/Team deliver?
INDIVIDUALS:
  Your contribution to field - B10.1,
  Publications in last 5 years - B10.2,
  Best 10 ever - B10.3,
  Esteem/Impact - B10.4,
  Relative to opportunity - B10.5 e.g. ECR



                                             www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
          Selecting the Team
Select appropriately constituted team to
arrive at overall strong team track record and
the skills to carry out project:
   Experienced & junior researchers (ECRs,
  APDs) - scale and focus, should have PhDs
  or submitted
   Leave out CIs with weak track records
   Are all CIs needed? Are there too many? Is
  it a huge non-convincing team?
   Are the roles real or is the team fake?

                                www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
         Track record: what harms it?
•   Missing information: volume and page numbers
•   Authors names not given in order
•   Best ten not different from total pubs in last five years
•   Few journal articles (n.b. discipline diffs)
•   Many journals or books of low quality
•   Publications not numbered
•   B10 is not a bio: leave out introducing yourself, your
    teaching, consulting, practitioner invitations and
    contract research, unless really relevant, even for LP
    grants.



                                              www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
          Background and Aims

• Not scored
• Keep it brief (around one page / three
  paragraphs)
• Make it clear and impactful (writing to 2
  non-expert EACs reading 100s)
• Aims can usefully be bullet points



                                  www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
        Significance & Innovation
     probably the most important part of the application
                    (30% DP 25% LP)

• Selection criteria
   – Does the research address an important problem?
   – How will the anticipated outcomes advance the
     knowledge base of the discipline?
   – Are the project aims and concepts novel and
     innovative?
   – Will new methodologies or technologies be
     developed?


                                            www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
Introducing the Research Problem

Start by arguing for why this is a
problem and why it is important to be
examined now backed up by evidence
 Give citations for all factual statements in the
first paragraph, often text is uncited /
undercited
“thus there is an urgent and critical need to
…….”


                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
    Significance and Innovation
In the grant (S&I E3), write a critical review of
the best literature to develop specific research
questions, propositions or hypotheses
Have very clear aims for the project which are
consistent throughout the project in A5.1 (project
content summary), E2 (aims & background), E3
(significance & innovation), and E4 (Approach)
Start writing the grant early and get feedback on
complete drafts


                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
            Significance and Innovation
• Don’t re-state practical importance; this should
  have already happened in
   – A5.2 100 word national benefit summary
   – E2 Aims and background,
   – E6 National Benefit

• E3 is rather a critical literature review, arguing
  from theory and prior empirical research for
  research questions, propositions or hypotheses
  needed to be answered to advance knowledge
  in this area


                                              www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
        Significance and Innovation

• E3 is 4 pages or more in DP, 3 pages in LP because of
  its weight in your score
• Show how project will advance understanding in the field
      By selecting a “big” research problem and writing a critical
       literature review of recent top literature to argue for Research
       Questions, Propositions, or Hypotheses whose testing will
       advance knowledge on this big issue.
      Base it on theory or conceptual framework.
      You may need a figure / conceptual model to give structure to
       what will come up or as the model / theory to be tested




                                                    www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
          Significance and Innovation
Show how your project will advance understanding in its field

Show project is innovative and new
   By providing arguments and evidence to show how doing this
     research will result in learning something new (not more of the
     same) on an idea of conceptual significance

Show how fits into current international developments in the area
   Have a page of top quality international references you cite
   Don’t cite websites, urls, working papers, cd roms, textbooks, old
     references, conference presentations




                                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
   Approach and Training (20%)
• Are the conceptual framework (in E3)
  design, methods and analyses
  adequately developed (in E4), and
  well integrated and appropriate to the
  aims of the project (in E2, E3)?




                              www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
   E4 Approach and Training 20%
Needs to be detailed and specific
  – What exactly is to be done and how?
  – How does the method relate to project
    research questions or hypotheses?
  – What data (information) are to be used and
    how specifically will they be obtained?
  – What method(s) will be used to analyse the
    data?



                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
               E4 Approach 20%
•   Start with an overview of the research program
    (e.g. studies) and show how each study links
    to Research questions / Propositions /
    Hypotheses developed in E3 Significance and
    Innovation.
•   Justify the overall research design
•   Structure E4 into sections e.g. Study 1, 2, 3
•   Present each study with titles like the title of a
    paper


                                         www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                E4: Approach (20%)
Show how the data will be collected
   Show research site/sample
   Give sample info. e.g. who, size, response rate
Give the variables or constructs
Provide the measures
       • Interview content/questions and coding
       • Surveys - variables, their measures, sources
Explain how data will be analysed
   make critical features clear (what is DV in a regression, what is
    model to be tested in a structural equation analysis)
Identify and deal with specific limitations &
  problems


                                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                E4: Approach (20%)
Show how the data will be collected
   Show research site/sample
   Give sample info. e.g. who, size, response rate
Give the variables or constructs
Provide the measures
       • Interview content/questions and coding
       • Surveys - variables, their measures, sources
Explain how data will be analysed
   make critical features clear (what is DV in a regression, what is
    model to be tested in a structural equation analysis)
Identify and deal with specific limitations &
  problems


                                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                E4: Approach (20%)
Show how the data will be collected
   Show research site/sample
   Give sample info. e.g. who, size, response rate
Give the variables or constructs
Provide the measures
       • Interview content/questions and coding
       • Surveys - variables, their measures, sources
Explain how data will be analysed
   make critical features clear (what is DV in a regression, what is
    model to be tested in a structural equation analysis)
Identify and deal with specific limitations &
  problems


                                                     www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                  An APAI in Linkage
• Is there a project suitable for research training?
• May not have scope for high quality research training
   –   Project may be too limited/circumscribed
   –   Intellectual scale and content not appropriate for a PhD
   –   Team cannot provide a good research environment
   –   Not supervised PhDs to completion before; are ECRs only
• Need well thought out integration of training/PhD into the
  project methodology
• Do CIs have experience to supervise ?
• APAI only applications in LP are evaluated only by 2
  EACs


                                                  www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
   Ways to show National Benefit

Be specific about how results will translate into
economic and/or social benefits for Australia or
help deal with national problems
Use dot points
     Say what results might be / forecast
     What would the benefit / Return on investment be? eg
     give productivity, outputs, change in social fabric
     Who will be affected by the findings ?
     Who will use these results, for what purpose ?
     How can the results be translated into benefits / How
     can the results can be used ?


                                           www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
     National Benefit 10% (E5)

Chance of success increased if you–
  Spend time on E5 - 10% can get you
 over the line
  Are not too general or broad or
 exaggerate in E5, A5.2
  Don’t just repeat project’s importance
 from E2, E3, A5.2


                               www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
 E5 Partner Commitment & Collaboration
             (25% LP only)
• Give strong rationale for linkage partnership (in
  E5)
   – Point to partner relevance, project’s fit with
     strategic plan and goals
   – Use of partner facilities, equipment, services
     (in-kind)
• Have good strategies in place to maintain
  partnership
   – Regular meetings in both places, present
     work in industry-related forums and
     newsletters etc.

                                       www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
        Partner Commitment (25%)
• Show clear, strong Partner contributions and
  project role (E5, E8, C1, C3, Letters) e.g. cash,
  time, resources
   – High % cash contribution by Partner
   – Partner meeting some costs for carrying out
     research
   – Industry personnel part of project team PIs
     (in-kind) Partners and their staff doing part of
     project (in-kind)
   – Partners involved in project management
     strategies e.g. steering group, planning of
     project, pilot work (in-kind)

                                        www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
        Partner Commitment (25%)
• Show clear, strong Partner contributions and
  project role (E5, E8, C1, C3, Letters) e.g. cash,
  time, resources
   – High % cash contribution by Partner
   – Partner meeting some costs for carrying out
     research
   – Industry personnel part of project team PIs
     (in-kind) Partners and their staff doing part of
     project (in-kind)
   – Partners involved in project management
     strategies e.g. steering group, planning of
     project, pilot work (in-kind)

                                        www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
                   This talk

•   Introduction to ARC
•   What happens to my application ?
•   Assessed components of application
•   Strategies for success and last minute
    thoughts




                                   www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
            Where to from here?
• Develop a Plan
• Need idea to be good/of value
• First get feedback on idea – what is the
  research problem? Is it a good idea?
• Review literature in the area, develop the
  Method – use a support grant to help
• Join with others with very good track
  records, need to be a genuine team,
  strategically select other CIs
                                 www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
             Where to from here?
Read ARC guidelines carefully.
   Understand selection criteria and eligibility
   criteria.
   Don’t make others responsible for finding
   eligibility problems or for writing the grant.
Examine models of recent successful
 grants to see what they look like
Go to workshops on how to write ARC
 grants.


                                      www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
              Where to from here?
Start writing early and re-write application several
  times. Take notice of the feedback.
Write your own grant (not an RA or PhD student
  writing it). Work out how CIs will write it
  together.
Give whole grant for feedback always including 1st
  pages up to project.
At least give your expert reader the first half of the
  grant (A to B: summaries, track record etc) to
  read early if running behind time.

                                       www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
           Know your application

• Know which sections are scored and how much
• First impressions count
• Don’t duplicate parts / sentences

• The application is what gets you the grant

• Eat and sleep with it – then forget it and move
  on


                                      www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
           What gets funded ?

• A good / significant research problem



• A great application

• Good luck!



                                 www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs

				
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