Theme 4: Frontier Science

The Frontier Science theme has been developed to encourage and support research that falls outside of the priorities within the other thematic areas, but within Australia's national science priorities. While the focus on environmental policy-related science in the first three themes is driven by government needs, the program will continue to support excellent new science.

It is envisaged that some Frontier Science areas will grow in significance - as a result of their scientific impact and/or policy relevance - and thus as key role of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC) will be to maintain a watching brief on the Frontier Science portfolio, the national policy drivers and the national and international innovation horizons, and identify new priorities for thematic science.

A number of science areas that have had a long and very successful history of engagement in Antarctica will be considered under the banner of Frontier Science - for example astronomy, geosciences, human biology and medicine, space weather, fundamental biology and physiology. Frontier Science projects will be chosen on scientific excellence.

Most Frontier Science projects are likely to have a low demand on logistic support, but there may be some that are major initiatives, requiring a substantial allocation of logistic support, greater than that readily available within the program. While it may be possible to undertake a pilot study for a major initiative within existing logistic resources, the full implementation of such a project would require significant new and/or external resources to undertake the research. Major initiatives will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the program, in collaboration with partner agencies and ASAC.