Up to $1M is available from AUSMURI to support multi-disciplinary teams of Australian university researchers who collaborate with US academic colleagues on high priority projects for future Defence capabilities.


US-Australia International Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (AUSMURI)

US-Australia International Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (AUSMURI) is a non-competitive program open only to Australian universities involved in a successful MURI submission on a designated topic.

AUSMURI supports the Australian Government’s commitment to

  • strengthening Australian university research capacity, skills and global networks in research topics of priority to Defence future capabilities
  • building international collaborative links in key research topics of mutual defence interest for improved efficiency and burden sharing.



The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) is a US Department of Defense (DoD) funding opportunity available to US universities on a range of topics with potential for future defence capability. A MURI funding opportunity announcement is made once per year, inviting submissions from groups of universities seeking to collaborate on the announced topics.

The Australian Department of Defence (Defence) and DoD have agreed to encourage Australian higher education providers (universities) to participate in MURI on topics determined by Defence as having high potential for significant future Defence capability (designated topics). To support this participation, the Australian Government will offer grant funding to Australian universities collaborating on MURI research projects on designated topics through the US-Australia International MURI (AUSMURI).

The $25 million AUSMURI program will run over 9 years from 2017-18 to 2025-26. The program forms part of the Next Generation Technologies Fund that was announced as part of the 2016 Defence White Paper.



AUSMURI aims to strengthen Australian university research capacity, skills and global networks by providing grants to Australian universities involved in approved submissions on designated topics under the US MURI program.

The program’s intended outcomes are to:

  • produce transformational research and innovation that leads to significant advancement of capabilities and knowledge that have potential to be game-changing for Defence capability
  • develop relationships and link Australian research strengths to build critical mass with new capacity for inter-disciplinary, collaborative approaches in fields of high potential for future Defence needs
  • build networks with US universities to strengthen research and achieve global competitiveness in fields of high potential for future Defence capabilities
  • build Australia’s human capacity in a range of research areas of priority to Defence future capabilities 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 to support the future capabilities of Defence.



Grant funding will be 100 per cent of eligible project costs up to a maximum of AUD$1 million per year over 3 years. You must pay for any project expenditure that is not eligible, or is over the annual limit.

Total grant funding may not exceed AUD$3 million for a three year project, or AUD$5 million for a five year project.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • be approved through MURI on a designated topic
  • include eligible expenditure
  • be undertaken in Australia.


Eligible Activities & Expenditures

Eligible activities must:

  • directly relate to the project
  • be approved as part of your MURI submission
  • be undertaken in Australia.

You can only spend grant funds on eligible expenditure you have incurred on your AUSMURI project as defined in your grant agreement.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • salaries for Australian employees or contractors including:
    • Australian principal investigator and Australian co-investigators
    • research associates
    • research assistants
    • technicians
    • laboratory assistants
  • salary on-costs of up to 30 per cent – where direct Australian salary costs have been included in the budget
  • stipends for postgraduate students in Australia at the appropriate rate for the university
  • domestic and international travel costs (economy) for Australian employees directly related to the project
  • materials and supplies necessary to undertake the project
  • equipment and facilities necessary and to be used exclusively for the project
  • other direct costs – for example publication costs.

The Program Delegate, an AusIndustry general manager responsible for the program, makes the final decision on what is eligible expenditure and may give additional guidance on eligible expenditure if required.

To be eligible, expenditure must:

  • be a direct cost of the project, or
  • be incurred by you for approved project audit activities.

You must incur the project expenditure between the project start and end date for it to be eligible unless stated otherwise.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for AUSMURI you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be a higher education provider listed at Table A or Table B of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)
  • be party to an approved MURI submission on a designated topic.



Applications close 29 June 2018 (US Time).


Media Release

Funding opportunities for Australian universities under AUSMURI 2019 will be on the designated topic ‘active perception and knowledge exploitation in navigation and spatial awareness’.

AUSMURI is the Australia-US International Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative and is part of the Next Generation Technologies Fund. The designated topic for AUSMURI funding has been selected by the Australian Department of Defence from topics announced by the US Department of Defense in its multidisciplinary university research initiative (MURI).

The designated topic is aligned to the Next Gen Tech Fund priorities of trusted autonomous systems, cyber, and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. This project will create new knowledge on how active perception might enhance the manoeuvrability of humans and autonomous platforms in complex and dynamic environments where traditional navigation systems are ineffective.

In line with the AUSMURI Program Guidelines, a university that is part of a successful MURI collaboration on the designated topic may be eligible for funding up to a maximum of AUD$1 million per year over 3 years, with a possible extension for a further two years.

Submissions for the US-based MURI program close on 29 June 2018 (US time).


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