Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science

$30M is available for rearcher access to the Australian Synchrotron.


The Special Research Initiative for Synchrotron Science will be a large-scale cooperative initiative between higher education organisations. It will be led by experienced researchers and support staff, who will manage a program of access for researchers to the Australian Synchrotron.

The objectives of the Special Research Initiative for Synchrotron Science are to:

  • deliver a national Program of competitive funding to enable researcher access to the Australian Synchrotron  (including health and medical research);
  • support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams; and
  • enhance international collaboration in synchrotron science.

Selection Criteria

All Special Research Initiative for Synchrotron Science Proposals that meet the eligibility criteria will be assessed and merit ranked using the following selection criteria:

Program  (20 %)

  • the method and approach proposed addresses the objectives of the SRI in Synchrotron Science; and
  • the Program provides for enhancement and support for areas of existing and/or emerging research strength.

Governance and Management  (40 %)

  • the Administering Organisation and the Program Leader has the capacity and experience to oversee:
  • effective management of a national access program, including proven capability to manage the allocation of resources and compliance with reporting requirements; and
  • manage a merit-based competitive peer-reviewed selection process, for access to the Australian Synchrotron.

Nature of the alliance and organisational commitment  (20 %)

  • relevance of the research to the strategic priorities of the organisations; and
  • evidence that each of the organisations is genuinely committed to, and prepared to collaborate in the Program.

Research Team  (20 %)

  • the capacity of the Program Director and the Chief Investigators to provide scientific leadership of synchrotron science;
  • an appropriate representation of research disciplines within the team;
  • evidence of strong research performance of the team; and
  • evidence for postdoctoral supervision and mentoring and support of early-career researchers.


Total funds of up to $30 million may be awarded over four years  (which includes $5 million from NHMRC) for the Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science program.

Budget Items Supported

Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science budget items that directly support Synchrotron access for Australian and international researchers may be funded, including:

  • the cost of researcher access to new and existing beamlines at the Australian Synchrotron;
  • the cost for Australian researchers to access overseas beamlines where the equivalent capability is not available at the Australian Synchrotron;
  • reasonable travel costs associated with the use of the Australian Synchrotron; and
  • reasonable travel costs for Australian researchers associated with the use of overseas synchrotrons.

Budget items essential to the operations of the Program may be included, including:

Personnel (salaries and on-costs) for the Program Director and a Chief Operations Officer or Program Manager.

Salary support must be requested at an appropriate salary level, including 28 per cent on-costs, for the Administering Organisation.

All eligible direct costs must be justified in the Proposal to the satisfaction of the ARC.

Budget Items Not Supported

Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science budget items that will not be supported by Program funding include:

  • basic facilities that should normally be funded by an Administering Organisation;
  • capital works and general infrastructure, in whole or in part;
  • teaching and/or teaching relief;
  • fees for international students or the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) liabilities for students;
  • rental of accommodation;
  • salaries and/or on costs, in whole or in part, for CIs or PIs with the exception of the Program Director and Chief Operations Officer or Program Manager; and
  • salaries and/or on costs for members of advisory committees associated with the Program.

Research/Activities Not Supported

Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science activities which will not be supported by the Program, are:

  • public relations and marketing initiatives, including the production of materials for outreach programs and teaching materials; and
  • costs not directly related to research, for example, professional membership fees, fees for patent application and holding, insurance, and mobile phones (purchase or call charges).

Eligible Organisation Requirements

The organisations listed below are eligible to apply for Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science funding under these Funding Rules.

New South Wales

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 Western Sydney

University of Wollongong



Australian Catholic University

Deakin University

La Trobe University

MCD University of Divinity

Monash University

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University)

Swinburne University of Technology

The University of Melbourne

University of Ballarat

Victoria University



Bond University

Central Queensland University

Griffith University

James Cook University

Queensland University of Technology

The University of Queensland

The University of the Sunshine Coast

University of Southern Queensland


Western Australia

Curtin University of Technology

Edith Cowan University

Murdoch University

The University of Notre Dame Australia

The University of Western Australia


South Australia

Flinders University

The University of Adelaide

University of South Australia



University of Tasmania


Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University

Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education


Australian Capital Territory

The Australian National University

University of Canberra

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)


Contribution Requirements

Cash Contributions from Eligible Organisations and Partner Organisation(s), must be specific to the Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science Program and must not be part of a broader contribution to an Administering Organisation.

The combined Cash Contributions (i.e., the total of the Cash Contributions of the Eligible and Partner Organisations) must be at least 50 per cent of the funding requested from the ARC.

Closing Date

The Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science online form must be completed by 5.00pm (AEST) Friday, 18 May 2012.

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