Linkage Projects

For Funding Commencing in 2021

Research Office Contact:

This scheme is OPEN.

The Linkage Projects scheme (2021 round) is run on a continuous basis and proposals can be submitted at any time up to Thursday 16 December 2021. Dates for the three Assessment Rounds for the 2021 round are listed below.

Please subscribe to the Research Office ARC mailing list to receive up to date information on ARC funding opportunities.

The Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to Eligible Organisations to facilitate collaborative research and development (R&D) projects between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system.

Proposals for funding under the Linkage Projects scheme must include at least one Partner Organisation. The Partner Organisation must make a contribution in cash and/or in kind to the project. The combined Partner Organisation contributions for a Proposal (i.e. the total of the cash and in-kind contributions of the Partner Organisations) must at least match the total funding requested from the ARC.

The ARC Linkage Projects scheme opened for continuous submission and assessment on 1 July 2016. Proposals may be submitted on a continuous basis. Additionally, from the LP20 round, there will be three Assessment Rounds per year.

The ARC uses a ‘fast-track’ process to enable them to inform applicants of outcomes as soon as possible. High and low-ranked proposals are fast-tracked through the assessment process with outcomes announced as early as possible after submission. Outcomes for all other proposals are recommended to the Minister within six months of proposal submission. Unsuccessful applicants will receive feedback indicating if their proposal progressed to a selection meeting, or if it was fast-tracked as a low-ranked proposal.

For further information, please visit the Linkage Projects page on the ARC website.

Beyond Blue Partnership Grant Scheme

Beyond Blue has recently announced an opportunity for researchers across Australia to involve Beyond Blue as a partner on an ARC Linkages Project funding application. Beyond Blue are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from researchers addressing depression, anxiety and/or suicide prevention who would like to involve Beyond Blue as a partner organisation on their grant application.

If your research proposal aligns with Beyond Blue’s mission and priorities, and your application to the NHMRC or ARC is successful, Beyond Blue will contribute up to $50,000 per annum (excl. GST) for three years (total $150,000 excl. GST) and in-kind support. Beyond Blue will partner on up to five research projects in their application to the NHMRC or ARC.

To submit an EOI visit the Beyond Blue Research Projects page for more information on Beyond Blue’s research priorities. EOIs must be made using Beyond Blue’s standard templates.

If you wish to submit an EOI to Beyond Blue to partner in 2021 on an ARC Linkage Project (LP21 R3), please return your completed Expression of Interest form to no later than 9:00am Monday 16 August 2021. The Research Office will submit your EOI to Beyond Blue on your behalf.

Key Dates

Please subscribe to the Research Office ARC mailing list to receive up to date information on ARC funding opportunities.

There are three assessment rounds for applications for Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2021. Applications can be submitted at any time between 18 December 2020 and 16 December 2021 and will be assessed within one of three assessment rounds

 Assessment Round 1
Assessment Round 2
Assessment Round 3
Applications open in RMS Friday 18 December 2020
University deadline for Partner Organisation information Mon 19 July 2021Thu 18 November 2021
University E&C Check Period Fri 19 - Thu 25 March 2021 Tue 27 July - Mon 2 Aug 2021 Fri 26 Nov - Thu 2 Dec 2021   
Certification (Written Evidence) Thu 1 April 2021 Mon 9 August 2021 Thu 9 December 2021
University Deadline for Final Application9am Thu 1 April 20219am Mon 9 August 20219am Thu 9 December 2021
Request Not to Assess due to Research Office Fri 9 April 2021 Thu 12 August 2021 Thu 9 December 2021
Request Not to Assess due to ARC* Tue 13 April 2021 Mon 16 August 2021 Thu 16 December 2021
ARC Close Tue 13 April 2021 Mon 16 August 2021 Thu 16 December 2021
Rejoinders 16 - 29 June 2021 6 - 19 October 2021 2 - 15 March 2022
Anticipated Announcement** October 2021 February 2022 June 2022

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

** Announcements are anticipated approximately six months from the application closing date for the round.

Please note: A Final Application comprises of a final submission-ready application submitted to the Research Office in RMS, 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.

ARC Final Reports

Please note that any outstanding ARC Final Reports now have eligibility implications for current ARC applications. Within the current Grant Guidelines under Eligibility to apply it states:

A6.25  “To be eligible as a CI, the individual nominated must, as at the date of application have met their obligations regarding previously funded Projects, including submission to the ARC of satisfactory reports.”

In this application round, the ARC and assessors will be able to view grants with outstanding reports in Section D8 for each researcher. If such grants have had approved extensions and as such the Final Report is not overdue then this should be stated in the report within Section G2.

If you have an outstanding Final Report for any project for which you are a named CI, it is your responsibility to ensure this is submitted to the ARC in adequate time prior to your intended submission date to the ARC.


Certification Proforma and Other Useful Information

University of Newcastle ARC Written Evidence Certification proformas, Guide to writing the National Interest Test (NIT) Statement, Guide to auto-populate Research Outputs and ORCHID, Preparing budgets and other useful information is available in the ‘Preparing ARC Grants’ accordion on the Linkage Program page.

ARC Supporting Documents

The ARC is now required to publish Grant Guidelines and associated documents on GrantConnect, is 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 Linkage Projects.

If you have any problems using GrantConnect or accessing relevant documentation please contact us at or 02 4921 7733.

Please note that the following important information is still available directly through the ARC:

University of Newcastle Documents

AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive

Under the R&D Tax Incentive, businesses can offset the cost of eligible R&D that is undertaken by them or through partners such as universities. This could be through eligible expenses in an ARC Linkage Projects grant, contract research, or a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

The R&D Tax Incentive provides a tax offset for eligible companies which reduce the cost and risk to businesses of undertaking R&D, increasing the incentive to invest in research and innovation. The University of Newcastle and Newcastle Innovation are both registered Research Service Providers (RSPs) for this scheme.

Further information on this scheme for researchers and industry can be found at AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive.

Linkage Project Information Session

On Wednesday 20 February 2020 the Research Office presented an information session for researchers on the ARC Linkage Project scheme. Download the Linkage Project Information Sessions slides (PDF)


Instructions for submitting a Rejoinder in RMS are available on the Rejoinders Information page of the ARC website. Research Services will also email the first named Participants individually with further advice.

You can also download the Rejoinder Guide (PDF)

Further Information

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

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.