Up to $300,000 is available under the linkage projects scheme to help researchers and businesses generate products and services that would benefit the economy.


Linkage Projects Scheme

The ARC Linkage Program: Linkage Projects grant opportunity 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.



The Australian Research Council (ARC) is progressing well with the implementation of a continuous application process for the Linkage Projects scheme from 1 July 2016.  The ARC is very keen to ensure that there is a smooth transition from the current round of Linkage Projects, which is currently under assessment, to the new continuous applications model. The ARC is finalising plans for consultation with industry and research institutions so that the stakeholder views are taken into account in the final delivery of the Linkage Projects scheme.  The ARC anticipates that it will commence consultation in March.

The Linkage Projects scheme is part of the National Competitive Grants Programme, which is comprised of two sub-programmes: Discovery and Linkage. In addition to the Linkage Projects scheme, the Linkage Programme schemes are: ARC Centres of Excellence; Co-funded Centres; Industrial Transformation Research Hubs; Industrial Transformation Training Centres; Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities; Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects; and Special Research Initiative



The objectives of the Linkage Projects scheme are to:

  • support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations, including industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, commercial, social or cultural benefits
  • provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research
  • encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system
  • build the scale and focus of research in the national Science and Research Priorities.



The Linkage Projects Scheme 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 the Linkage Projects 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 Linkage Projects Scheme 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 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 (RMIT University)
    • 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



Applications close 19 December 2019.


More Information


Recent Recipient

The new projects awarded funding include:

  • $675,000 to University of Wollongong, for a project led by Professor Buddhima Indraratna, to examine the factors that cause mud pumping and evaluate the effectiveness of sub-surface drainage to prevent rail track instability, particularly for mining and agriculture loads. The project aims to improve track longevity and reduce maintenance costs, with a corresponding boost in rail productivity.
  • $450,000 for a research project at The University of Queensland, led by Dr Steven Pratt, to develop strategies to mitigate silica scaling at coal seam gas water treatment facilities. The project may lead to more productive use of assets, improved pretreatment infrastructure, and the environmental benefits of reduced chemical waste and increased water recovery.
  • $555,000 to The University of Queensland, for a research project led by Associate Professor Yongjun Peng, to understand the reactions taking place during the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals. The project will develop new technologies to achieve mineral separation and metal extraction more efficiently and economically, halving the operating costs and providing reductions in harmful emissions.
  • $195,000 for a research project at The University of Queensland, led by Professor Peter Hayes to support improved extraction and utilisation of Australia’s iron ore resources by providing new technical information on the behaviour of ores during iron ore sintering. The project may improve the iron-making process, supporting companies to efficiently use, market, and sell different iron ores.

The ARC is proud to have delivered on this key NISA measure to boost the innovative capacity of the nation by supporting research collaboration


Media Release

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, has today announced $4.9 million for another 11 successful research projects funded under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme, including research to: strengthen anti-counterfeiting features for Australian banknotes; ensure safe drinking water supplies; develop lighter and stronger plastics; advance faster, higher resolution 3D printing technology; and measure driving patterns to help establish ‘fitness to drive’ for older Australians.

ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Leanne Harvey, said the ARC continues to deliver on an important National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) measure—a continuous application and assessment process for the ARC’s Linkage Projects scheme with the aim of improving research-industry collaboration and fast-tracking research.

“This new funding is provided to six universities across Australia to support 11 new Linkage Projects that involve significant collaboration between higher education institutions and their partner organisations—25 national and international partner and industry organisations will provide cash and in-kind contributions of over $8.4 million,” Ms Harvey said.

“Among six new Linkage Projects awarded to The University of Melbourne, researchers will work with the Reserve Bank of Australia to develop anti-counterfeiting features for future Australian banknotes; and Melbourne Water Corporation to develop a program to prevent waterborne diseases in drinking water.

“Researchers at The University of Queensland will work with Eden Innovations to develop lighter and stronger plastics for manufacturing applications.

“University of Tasmania researchers will collaborate with Young Optics to develop high speed, high fidelity 3D printing that will provide manufacturing with unprecedented capability.

“Curtin University of Technology will create a partnership with the Road Safety Commission, Alzheimer’s Australia and other key partners to comprehensively investigate the impact of mild dementia on driving performance.

“Queensland University of Technology will work with six partner organisations, including the National Heart Foundation of Australia, to assess and improve South East Queensland parks to more effectively encourage physical activity and improve health and wellbeing.

“The University of Adelaide will work with four partner organisations, including Origin Energy, to develop a 4D tectonic geography framework to support the effective exploration of the Australian McArthur Basin.”

More details about all the Linkage Projects announced today are available from the ARC website.