Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

For Funding Commencing in 2023

Research Office contact:

This Scheme is CLOSED

The opening of the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for funding commencing in 2023 has been delayed by the ARC. New dates are yet to be announced. Please subscribe to the Research Office ARC mailing list to receive updates on the upcoming round.

The ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme is a part of the Discovery Program. The DECRA scheme provides more focused support for researchers and creates more opportunities for early-career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.

The objectives of the DECRA scheme are to:

  • Support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers
  • Advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways
  • Enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments
  • Expand Australia's knowledge base and research capability
  • Enhance the scale and focus of research in the Science and Research Priorities

Researchers who have been awarded a PhD within five years, or, awarded a PhD within nine years and commensurate with a period of significant career interruption may be eligible to apply.

For more information, visit the ARC DECRA page.

Please note: It is strongly recommended all DECRA applicants subscribe to the Research Office ARC mailing list for up to date information on this scheme.

Key Dates

For funding commencing in 2023

The below timeline is indicative only and may be subject to change

** The opening of the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for funding commencing in 2023 has been delayed by the ARC. New dates are yet to be announced. Please subscribe to the Research Office ARC mailing list to receive updates on the upcoming round **

ARC opensTBC
University Online Booking System opensTBC
University Deadline for Statement by Administering Organisation (Strategic Statement) Monday 13 October 2021
University Deadline for Eligibility Exemption Request form Monday 13 October 2021
University Eligibility and Compliance Check Booking Period* Thursday 14 October to Wednesday 3 November 2021
University Deadline for 'Request not to Assess' 9:00am Monday 1 November 2021
ARC Deadline for 'Request not to Assess' Wednesday 3 November 2021
University Deadline for Final Application 9:00 am Wednesday 10 November 2021
ARC closes 5:00 pm Wednesday 17 November 2021

*Please note:

  • To enable the allocation of appropriate resourcing, bookings must be made prior to the defined scheme Eligibility and Compliance Check period. Access to book an Eligibility and Compliance Check will no longer be available once the Eligibility and Compliance Check period has commenced. This does not apply for schemes with continuous rounds (i.e. ARC Linkage Projects and NHMRC Partnership Projects).
  • The UON deadline for final applications is one (1) week prior to the ARC closing date and requires provision of a final, submission-ready proposal and all associated documentation including a fully signed External Application Coversheet (DOC).
  • Schools and Colleges may have their own internal dates for the purpose of peer review/Head of School and Assistant Dean (Research) approval etc. Please contact your School Executive Officer and College Research & Research Training Officer or College Research Development Manager for further information on School/College internal processes.

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


ARC Supporting Documents

The ARC is now required to publish Grant Guidelines 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 including the Discovery Program Grant Guidelines, Instructions to Applicants and the Sample Application Form

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

University Supporting Documents

Statement by the Administering Organisation College Contacts

Please contact the following person within your College to assist with preparing your Statement by the Administering Organisation (previously Strategic Statement). It is recommended you inform the College contact as soon as possible regarding your intention to apply, as each College may have their own deadline for preparation of the Statement.

Further information and timing about the review process for Statements by the Administering Organisation will be provided by the Research Grants Office in due course

Human and Social Futures Pat Filmer-Sankey
(02) 4921 7865
Catherine Oddie
(02) 4921 7929
Engineering, Science and Environment E:

Health, Medicine and Wellbeing

Shirley Savy
(02) 4921 5603

Eligibility Exemption Requests

A DECRA Candidate must at the closing time of submission of Proposals have been awarded a PhD on or 1 March 2016, unless non-overlapping career interruption(s) exist.

As advised to the sector through an ARC CEO Network Message on 1 May 2020 - due to the impact of COVID-19, researchers in their final year of eligibility for a DECRA in the DECRA 2022 round, may choose to apply in 2020 (for a DECRA 2022) within the existing eligibility timeframes or in 2021 (for a DECRA 2023) utilising an automatic one-year extension.

Eligibility Extension Requests - All ARC Fellowship candidates who must claim career interruption to meet the eligibility criteria must have an Eligibility Exemption Request approved by the DVCRI. See Key Dates for submission deadlines. The allowable career interruptions set out, and the period allowed for each are in Table 6 of the Grant Guidelines for the Discovery Program (2019 edition).

The ARC accepts the following types of career interruptions:

  • disruption due to international relocation for post-doctoral studies or other research employment not exceeding three months per international relocation
  • unemployment
  • non-research employment not concurrent with research employment
  • medical condition or disability
  • maternity or parental leave
  • carers’ responsibility, including:
    • providing the primary care of a dependent child, two years per dependent child (inclusive of maternity or parental leave)
    • being the primary carer of a dependent child with extensive caring responsibilities due to reasons such as illness or disability of the child (in addition to the two years).

Please contact the Research Grants Office for further information and timing of Eligibility Exemption Requests.


Please note: all links below require staff/student login to access

Further Information

For further information, please or phone (02) 4921 7733

ARC Executive Director DECRA and Future Fellowships presentation (PDF) held on 3-4 July 2019

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.