Discovery Indigenous Schemes

For Funding Commencing in 2021

Research Office contact:

This Scheme is CLOSED. Funding for Discovery Indigenous projects commencing in 2021 will open on Wednesday 27 November 2019 and the UON deadline for final applications is Wednesday 11 March  2020.

The Discovery Indigenous scheme supports research in any area led by Indigenous Australian researchers and builds the capacity of higher degree research and early career researchers.

The objectives of the Discovery Indigenous scheme are to:

  • develop the research expertise of Indigenous Australian researchers;
  • support fundamental research and research training by Indigenous Australian researchers as individuals and as teams;
  • support and retain established Indigenous Australian researchers in Australian higher education institutions; and
  • expand Australia's knowledge base and research capability.

ARC Discovery Indigenous 2020 Information Sheet (PDF)

For more information, please visit the Discovery Indigenous Scheme page on the ARC website.

Key Dates

Please note that these are indicative timeframes and are subject to change.

ARC opens Wednesday 27 November 2019
UON Online Booking System opens* Thursday 28 November 2019
Eligibility and Compliance Check Period* Thursday 5 March - Wednesday 18 March 2020
Request to not assess form due to Research Services **Monday 2 March 2020
Request Not to Assess due at ARCWednesday 4 March 2020
Application Cover Sheet/Certifications (Written Evidence) 5:00pm Wednesday 11 March 2020
UON Deadline for final application 5:00pm Wednesday 11 March 2020
ARC submission 5:00pm Wednesday 18 March 2020

* Applicants are strongly encouraged to commence their application ASAP after the scheme opens in RMS so that they can book their preferred day for application review.

** A reminder that Request not to assess requirements have recently changed and there can be need for ‘comprehensive evidence justifying the request’.

Please note: A Final Application comprises of a final submission-ready application submitted to the Research Office in RMS 2.0, a complete and fully signed External Application Cover Sheet and all CI/PI and Partner Organisation Certifications (Written Evidence) emailed to

Please review our ARC/NHMRC Grant Rounds Submission Procedures (PDF) for essential information regarding application submission under this scheme.

Changes to the Grant Guidelines for the Discovery Program (2018) to include the National Interest Test

On 31 October 2018, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education, announced a
‘National Interest Test’ would be introduced for applications for funding under the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) and that the new requirement would apply to all future grant rounds yet to open.

The National Interest Test will only be applicable to the following schemes covered under the Grant Guidelines for the Discovery Program (2018):

  • Discovery Projects for funding commencing in 2020; and
  • Discovery Indigenous for funding commencing in 2020.

The details of this new section have been included in the Discovery Program processes on pages 7–8 of the Guidelines, as well as in additional sections titled ‘The Grant selection process’ at D7 and E6, and ‘Who will approve grants’ at D8 and E7.

A definition of ‘national interest’ has been included in the Glossary at page 77.


ARC Supporting Documents

The ARC is now required to publish Funding Rules and associated documents on GrantConnect, the Australian Government whole-of-government, centralised, web-based, grant information system. You will need to sign in or create a User Registration account in GrantConnect to access all relevant documentation for ARC Future Fellowships.

Once you have signed in to Grant Connect you should download and review the following documents:

  • Discovery Program Grant Guidelines
  • Instructions to Applicants
  • Sample Application Form

If you encounter any problems using Grant Connect or accessing any of the relevant documentation, please please contact or phone on (02) 492 17733.


Research Services holds copies of successful ARC Discovery Indigenous grant applications. If you would like to make an appointment to view these please contact or phone on (02) 4921 7733.

Further Information

For further information regarding the ARC Discovery Projects, please contact or phone on (02) 4921 7733.