PFAS Remediation Research Program

Up to $1M is available from PFAS Remediation Research Program to support development of innovative technologies to investigate and remediate PFAS contaminated media.


PFAS Remediation Research Program

The Special Research Initiative: PFAS Remediation Research Program aims to facilitate the development of innovative technologies to investigate and remediate PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) contaminated media including soil and other solid contaminated debris, groundwater, waterways and marine systems.



The PFAS Remediation Research Program is available under the Special Research Initiatives (SRI) scheme of the ARC Linkage Program.

The ARC Linkage Program aims to encourage and extend cooperative approaches to research and improve the use of research outcomes by strengthening links within Australia’s innovation system and with innovation systems internationally. By supporting the development of partnerships, the ARC encourages the transfer of skills, knowledge and ideas as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

The SRI scheme provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas. The objective of the SRI scheme is to support high-quality research which will assist in advancing Australia’s research excellence to be globally competitive and deliver benefits to the community.



The Program is intended to fund research to:

  • minimise PFAS in the environment
  • develop effective technologies that can be applied to remediate PFAS contaminated soil, waterways, waste, debris and/or large volumes of groundwater
  • develop options and mechanisms through which these effective technologies can be applied in the field.

The objectives of the Program are to:

  • develop technologies which will do one or more of the following:
    • immobilise PFAS and prevent its movement in the environment
    • remove PFAS from soil, water and/or waste
    • breakdown PFAS by destroying the carbon-fluorine bonds, to form environmentally benign products with limited adverse environmental outcomes
  • establish the potential for relevant technologies developed to be deployed in the field to treat contaminated soil, waterways, waste, debris and/or large volumes of groundwater
  • develop technologies that can be scaled up for efficient and effective field deployment.



A total of $13 million over three years is available for the Program, starting in January 2018. Two selection rounds may be held, one in 2017 for funding commencing in 2018, the second in 2018 for funding commencing in 2019, depending on the volume and quality of applications received in the first selection round.

Grant applications for a minimum of $50,000 up to a maximum of $1 million per year will be considered. The grant period per project is for a minimum of one year up to a maximum of three years.


Eligible Projects

Applications must address PFAS Research Priority Areas using existing and emerging solutions for PFAS removal and disposal. The Research Priority Areas are:

  • practical technologies for application in the field
  • end-to-end and/or modular remediation processes
  • technologies for waste, water, soil and sediment remediation
  • technologies applicable to PFAS affecting the chosen media, in particular Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and precursors.

Applications can request funding for research including but not limited to:

  • end-to-end solutions including modular approaches
  • technology development to take technologies from the lab to field trials
  • further development of existing technologies.

These can be a mix of short and long-term solutions, which may include:

  • scaling existing technologies
  • blue-sky solutions targeted at emerging technology to break PFAS down into a benign product or products.

The Program does not support Medical Research as detailed in the ARC Medical Research Policy.

You can use the grant to pay for:

  • salaries and on-costs of up to 30 per cent for personnel participating in the Project, who are not CIs or PIs
  • stipends for Higher Degree by Research candidates enrolled at an Eligible Organisation, at $32,304 (2017$) each at 1.0 FTE per year
  • expenditure on Field Research essential to the Project, including technical and logistical support, and travel and accommodation costs
  • expert services of a third party if the services are directly related to and necessary for the proposed 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
  • 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 for travel is permitted for CIs, PIs, Higher Degree by Research candidates, postdoctoral researchers and research support personnel. Travel costs related to carrying out Field Research are supported separately under 4.1.c. Field Research and any carers’ costs in travel are not counted towards the average of $20,000 per year limit detailed in this subsection 4.1.f; and
  • workshops, focus groups and conferences that are essential for the conduct of the proposed research (including reasonable hospitality costs such as morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea).

All budget items must be justified in the application to the satisfaction of the ARC.


Eligible Applicants

The PFAS Remediation Research Program will only accept applications from the organisations listed below. The Eligible Organisation that submits the application will be the Administering Organisation and all other Eligible Organisations listed on the application will be Other Eligible Organisations.

Australian Capital Territory
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

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
The Flinders University of South Australia
The University of Adelaide
Torrens University Australia
University of South Australia

University of Tasmania

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 14 February 2019.


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