ARC Centres of Excellence

What is the ARC Centres of Excellence?

The ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious foci of expertise through which high-quality researchers maintain and develop Australia’s international standing in research areas of national priority.

The ARC Centres of Excellence grant opportunity facilitates significant collaboration which allows the complementary resources of universities, publicly funded research organisations, other research bodies, governments and businesses to be concentrated to support outstanding research in all fields (except Medical Research).



The objectives of the ARC Centres of Excellence grant opportunity are to:

  • undertake highly innovative and potentially transformational research that aims to achieve international standing in the fields of research envisaged and leads to a significant advancement of capabilities and knowledge;
  • link existing Australian research strengths and build critical mass with new capacity for interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to address the most challenging and significant research problems;
  • develop relationships and build new networks with major national and international centres and research programs to help strengthen research, achieve global competitiveness and gain recognition for Australian research;
  • build Australia’s human capacity in a range of research areas by attracting and retaining, from within Australia and abroad, researchers of high international standing as well as the most promising research students;
  • provide high-quality postgraduate and postdoctoral training environments for the next generation of researchers;
  • offer Australian researchers opportunities to work on large-scale problems over longer periods of time; and
  • establish Centres that have an impact on the wider community through interaction with, and beneficial outcomes for, higher education institutions, governments, industry and the private and non-profit sectors.

The intended outcomes of the ARC Centres of Excellence grant opportunity are consistent with those of the Linkage Program.



For the ARC Centres of Excellence grant opportunity:

  • the minimum grant amount is $1 million per annum (calendar year);
  • the maximum grant amount is $5 million per annum (calendar year); and
  • funding may be sought for up to seven years.


Eligible Projects

Research activities that meet the definition of Research as per the glossary in these grant guidelines will be supported.

Unless the following activities meet the definition of research as per the glossary in these grant guidelines, the following activities will not be paid for with grant funding:

  • compilation of data, computer programs, research aids and tools;
  • descriptive data compilations, catalogues or bibliographies;
  • teaching materials; or
  • activities leading solely to the creation or performance of a work of art, including visual art, musical compositions, drama, dance, film, broadcasts, designs and literary works, unless those works are directly related to the Centre’s activities and demonstrably research-based.

Grant money may be sought for budget items that directly support the research program contained in an application.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • salaries and up to 30 per cent on-costs for Centre personnel who perform research or activities that support the research, including Research Associates, Research Assistants, a Centre Manager or Chief Operations Officer, technicians and laboratory assistants but excluding the Centre Director, CIs and PIs. Salary support must be requested at an appropriate level for the position within the Administering or Other Eligible Organisation(s);
  • stipends for postgraduate students, in whole or in part, at an appropriate level for the relevant Eligible Organisation(s);
  • access to workshop services necessary for the Centre research program;
  • equipment, maintenance and consumables essential for the Centre research program. Funding will not be provided for equipment or consumables that are considered to be for broad general use;
  • publication and dissemination of Centre outputs and outreach activity, including the development and maintenance of the Centre’s website;
  • general domestic and international travel costs (economy) for Centre personnel where this is related to the research program or to support Field Research essential to the research program (including research, technical and logistical support, local travel and accommodation costs); and
  • domestic and international travel costs (economy) for visitors to the Centre where this is related to the Centre research program or Centre governance


Eligible Applicants

The ARC Centres of Excellence grant opportunity will only accept EOI applications and full applications from the Eligible Organisations listed below:

  • Australian Capital Territory
    • Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
    • The Australian National University
    • University of Canberra
  • New South Wales
    • Australian Catholic University
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Macquarie University
    • Southern Cross University
    • The University of New England
    • The University of New South Wales
    • The University of Newcastle
    • The University of Sydney
    • University of Technology Sydney
    • University of Wollongong
    • Western Sydney University
  • Northern Territory
    • Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
    • Charles Darwin University
  • Queensland
    • Bond University
    • Central Queensland University
    • Griffith University
    • James Cook University
    • Queensland University of Technology
    • The University of Queensland
    • University of Southern Queensland
    • University of Sunshine Coast
  • South Australia
    • Flinders University
    • The University of Adelaide
    • Torrens University Australia
    • University of South Australia
  • Tasmania
    • University of Tasmania
  • Victoria
    • Deakin University
    • Federation University Australia
    • La Trobe University
    • Monash University
    • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
    • Swinburne University of Technology
    • The University of Melbourne
    • University of Divinity
    • Victoria University
  • Western Australia
    • Curtin University
    • Edith Cowan University
    • Murdoch University
    • The University of Notre Dame Australia
    • The University of Western Australia.

Your EOI and full applications must each include:

  • at least one Other Eligible Organisation
  • one or more Partner Organisations
  • the following named participants:
    • Centre Director, who is an eligible Chief Investigator (CI) from the Administering Organisation and is the first individual nominated as a CI on Your application; and
    • at least one other CI.

Your EOI application must have been shortlisted by the ARC for You to be eligible to submit a full application in the second stage of the application process.



The 2020 funding round for ARC Centres of Excellence has concluded. Applicants submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) which closed on 4 July 2018, with full applications closing on 19 December 2018. The Minister approved funding for nine Centres to the value of AUD308.8 million over the life of these Centres.


Latest Recipients

A list of the funded ARC Centres of Excellence funded under this round are below:

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems


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