What is the ARC Linkage Projects Grant?

The ARC Linkage Projects Grant  is a scheme that supports the growth of research partnerships between university-based researchers and researchers in other sectors in Australia and overseas for projects that generate new knowledge, technologies and innovations.

The Linkage Program is one of two Programs under the ARC National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP).



The ARC Linkage Projects Grant supports projects which initiate or develop long term strategic research alliances to apply advanced knowledge to problems, acquire new knowledge and as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

To facilitate successful collaboration between higher education institutions and other parts of the innovation system, there will be three assessment rounds for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2020, and funding outcomes will be recommended to the Minister within six months of the application closing date for each round. Please refer to the Important Dates document for detailed information about the assessment round dates.



The ARC Linkage Projects Grant objectives are to:

  • support the development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems;
  • provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector; and
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas.

The intended outcomes of the Linkage Projects scheme are:

  • the growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system; and
  • economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia.



The ARC Linkage Projects Grant provides project funding of $50,000 to $300,000 per year for two to five years.


Eligible Projects

Research activities that meet the definition of ‘research’ as stated in the glossary of the grant guidelines are eligible to be supported under this grant opportunity.

Grant money may be requested and used for budget items that directly support the research project contained in an application, including the following items:

  • access to national and international research and infrastructure facilities including specialist archives, collections and databases;
  • access to technical workshop services linked to and justified explicitly against the project (for example, machine tools and qualified technicians);
  • expenditure on field research essential to the project, including technical and logistical support, travel expenses (including accommodation, meals and incidental costs);
  • expert services of a third party if the services are directly related to and essential for the project. Such services include, but are not limited to:
    • language translation services, transcribing services;
    • purchase of bibliographical or archival material (electronic or hard copy); and
    • data collection and analysis services;
  • equipment (and its maintenance) and consumables essential for the project. Funding will not be provided for equipment or consumables that are considered to be for broad general use;
  • publication and dissemination of project research outputs and outreach activity costs;
  • specialised computer equipment and software essential to the project;
  • travel costs essential to the project, including economy travel costs for domestic and/or international travel and accommodation, not exceeding an average of $20,000 per year of the project. Funding is permitted for CIs, PIs, HDR candidates, postdoctoral researchers and research support personnel. Travel costs related to c. and i. are not counted towards the average of $20,000 per year limit detailed here;
  • reasonable essential costs to allow a participant who is a carer, or who personally requires care or assistance, to undertake travel essential to the project;
  • web hosting and web development specific to the project;
  • workshops, focus groups and conferences that are essential for the conduct of the project (including reasonable hospitality costs such as morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea);
  • salary support for research associates and assistants, technicians and laboratory attendants at an appropriate salary level, including 30 per cent on-costs, at the employing organisation;
  • stipends for HDR students, in whole or in part, at an appropriate level for the Administering Organisation or the relevant industry sector; and
  • teaching relief for CIs up to a total value for the project of $50,000 per year.

You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant guidelines and any additional expenditure conditions specified in the grant agreement.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible, your application must:

  • include at least one Partner Organisation. You may also include Other Eligible Organisations and Other Organisations;
  • nominate at least one Chief Investigator (CI) from Your organisation who will be the Project Leader;
  • include a commitment from Partner Organisation(s) to provide total eligible cash and/or in-kind contributions that at least match the total funding requested from Us; and
  • include a commitment from Partner Organisation(s) to provide total eligible cash contributions of at least 25 per cent of the total funding requested from Us. If all Your Partner Organisations are Exempt Partner Organisations , You are not required to meet the 25 per cent minimum eligible cash contribution requirement.

The ARC Linkage Projects Grant will only accept applications from the Eligible Organisations listed below:

  • Australian Capital Territory
    • Australian Institute of 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 the Sunshine Coa