Australian Laureate Fellowships

The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme reflects the Commonwealth’s commitment to support excellence in research by attracting world-class researchers and research leaders to key positions, and creating new rewards and incentives for the application of their talents in Australia.

Open to applications from outstanding researchers of international repute, the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme encourages proposals involving Australian or international researchers by providing eligible Australian Laureate Fellows with project funding in addition to a salary supplement and salary-related (on-cost) support.

Up to 17 Australian Laureate Fellowships may be awarded each year, including fellowships allocated to exceptional female researchers who will also undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research. Preference will be given to researchers who will play a significant, sustained leadership and mentoring role in building Australia's internationally competitive research capacity.

The Administering Organisation (which may include Australian higher education institutions and some Australian publicly funded research institutions) will appoint the Australian Laureate Fellow as a Professor (Level E) or equivalent and provide the relevant salary.

One call for submission of Australian Laureate Fellowships proposals is made each year.


The objectives of the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme are to:

  • attract and retain outstanding researchers and research leaders of international reputation
  • support ground-breaking, internationally competitive research
  • provide an excellent research training environment and exemplary mentorship to nurture early-career researchers
  • forge strong links among researchers, the international research community and/or industry
  • expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the Science and Research Priorities.

Preference will be given to researchers who will play a significant, sustained leadership and mentoring role in increasing Australia’s internationally competitive research capacity.

Up to 17 Australian Laureate Fellowships may be awarded for funding commencing in 2017, including named fellowships. Two named Australian Laureate Fellowships may be awarded to successful female Australian Laureate Fellows for funding commencing in 2017. A Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship will be available to a highly ranked female candidate from the humanities, arts and social science disciplines, and a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship will be available to a highly ranked female candidate from the science and technology disciplines. Recipients will be provided with additional funding to undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research. Recipients will be subject to the same conditions and obligations that apply to Australian Laureate Fellowships, as well as meeting the additional requirements outlined of these Funding Rules.

Selection Criteria

All Proposals that meet the eligibility criteria will be assessed and merit ranked using the following selection criteria:

a. Investigator 40%

(i) Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE)

  • evidence of outstanding Research Output and achievement taking into account research opportunity
  • potential to undertake ground-breaking research
  • outstanding leadership ability
  • potential to create an enduring legacy that would be enhanced by the Australian Laureate Fellowship
  • contribution to national and international public policy debates and initiatives.

(ii) Time and capacity to undertake the proposed research.

b. Project/Program of Research Activity 30%

(i) Innovation

  • Are the Project aims and concepts original and innovative, representing the leading edge of research in the field?
  • Will new methods, technologies, theories or ideas be developed?
  • How does the research program enhance innovation in Australia?

(ii) Approach

Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate to the aims of the Project?

(iii) Significance and National Benefit

  • Does the research address an important problem?
  • How will the anticipated outcomes advance the knowledge base?
  • Is there a major contribution to public policy formulation and debate?
  • Will the proposed research maximise economic, environmental, social and/or cultural benefit to Australia?
  • Will the proposed research be cost-effective and value for money?
  • What is the potential for the research to contribute to the Science and Research Priorities?
  • Will this research build new international research collaboration or links between research and industry?

c. Mentoring/Capacity Building 30%

  • Does the Proposal show how the Project will build new teams and create world-class research capacity, collaboration and innovation?
  • Does the Australian Laureate Fellowship Candidate:
    • demonstrate exceptional ability to supervise and to mentor postdoctoral researchers and other early-mid career researchers?
    • have a record of successful postgraduate supervision, where applicable?
    • provide evidence in the Proposal of a suitable environment for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers?
    • demonstrate exceptional leadership and the organisational ability to ensure the development of scale and focus in research?
    • provide evidence of the potential to attract financial resources to enhance research capacity?

Level and Period of Funding

The Administering Organisation must provide a salary of a Level E professorial appointment (or equivalent) for the Australian Laureate Fellow, with the ARC providing the salary supplement.

The ARC may provide Project funding of up to $300,000 per annum (for up to five years). Requests for Project funding may include additional postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers.

Australian Laureate Fellowships are normally funded for five years on a full-time basis, subject to sufficient funding being available for Australian Laureate Fellowships, the provisions of the ARC Act, and continued satisfactory progress of the Project.

PDRAs are normally awarded for five years on a full-time basis, subject to sufficient funding being available and continued satisfactory progress of the PDRA as determined by the ARC. The ARC supports part-time employment for PDRAs subject to the employment conditions of the Administering Organisation.

PGRs are normally funded for four years on a full-time basis, subject to sufficient funding being available and continued satisfactory progress of the PGR as determined by the ARC.

Roles and Eligibility

A Proposal must nominate one Australian Laureate Fellowship Candidate. Australian Laureate Fellowship Candidates may be nominated on no more than one Proposal in this funding round, evaluated as at the closing time of submission of Proposals, regardless of any subsequent change in, or withdrawal of, Proposals.

A Proposal may be submitted for an Australian Laureate Fellowship on behalf of an Australian or international researcher. An Australian Laureate Fellowship Candidate may hold a continuing or non-continuing appointment in Australia or overseas at the time the Proposal is submitted.

Australian Laureate Fellows who are not Australian citizens must obtain a legal right to work and reside in Australia for the duration of the Australian Laureate Fellowship.

Australian Laureate Fellows must reside in Australia for a minimum of three out of the five years of the Fellowship, except where ARC approval has been granted.

Australian Laureate Fellows are expected to pursue research that is at the international leading edge in their field. To facilitate this aim, Australian Laureate Fellows may, with the approval of the ARC undertake research outside Australia for periods of up to two years in total, providing that the Administering Organisation clearly demonstrates this is in the best interests of the research and its outcomes, and of national benefit to Australia.

Prior to the commencement of an Australian Laureate Fellowship, any existing responsibilities must be relinquished, except the Australian Laureate Fellowship Level E salaried position, unless otherwise approved by the ARC. ARC approval must also be obtained for any responsibilities after the award.

Application date
30 Nov 2016
5 years
Oceania Australia
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History History & Philosophy of Science Linguistics Literature Media Studies Medical Ethics Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology Other Agronomy Biology Chemistry Computer science Engineering Mathematics Medicine Physics
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Grants available
Up to 17