Information for scientists

Australian Antarctic Science Program applications now open

The Australian Antarctic Science Program invites applications for projects commencing in 2016-17 and 2017-18 that address Australia’s Antarctic Science Strategic Plan 2011-12-2020-21. Researchers with projects requiring major logistical support in 2018-19 should also apply now.

The Australian Antarctic Division operates four research stations - Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island - and supports marine science in the Southern Ocean on the Aurora Australis. Requests to conduct summer, winter and year-round research projects can be considered. Projects do not have to request logistical support and can be based entirely in Australia (or your home country).

Applications are open to researchers from Australian and overseas research institutions.

If you are based at an eligible Australian institution you can apply for an Australian Antarctic Science Grant for a research project (up to $150,000 GST excl.), co-funded post-doctoral fellowship ($165,000 GST excl. including $5000/yr operating costs) or the RJL Hawke post-doctoral fellowship ($200,000 GST excl. including $10,000/yr operating costs). The program provides a total of $1,050,000 per year in grant funding.

Logistical support can be requested for the 2017-18 season and beyond. (Please note that due to current project commitments there is very limited capacity to provide logistical support for new projects in the 2016-17 season and you should discuss your requirements with the Science Planning and Coordination section of the AAD via

Applications close at 5 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Tuesday 12 July 2016.

Getting started

Read the Australian Antarctic Science Program guidelines for the 2016-17 round.

Chief investigators create a project by logging in to the online application form.

When you create a project the Science Planning and Coordination section of the AAD is alerted and will be available to help with questions about the application form, any technical difficulties, the selection process, or any other science program-related issues. Contact them at

You are strongly advised to discuss your project with the relevant Theme Leader before submitting the application.

The Guidelines at a glance page provides links to key information from the guidelines, supporting information for your application, and a timeline for application assessment.

What are the main points to note in the 2016-17 application round?

  • The maximum length of a research project is four years and monitoring is 10 years.
  • Salary on-costs of up to 20 per cent are eligible for grant funding.
  • There is a minimum grant amount of $10,000 for the life of the project.
  • There are some minor changes to the assessment criteria.
    • Criterion 1a has been reordered by priority to improve clarity but no scoring changes have been made.
    • Scoring for the budget criterion has been amended to better distinguish between the bands.
  • The Antarctic Research Assessment Committee has been abolished and replaced with an expert assessment panel for the 2016–17 round. This panel will comprise two subgroups for the assessment of applications. One group will assess strategic fit and outreach, the other will assess the scientific criteria and budget.
  • Frontier science is open to excellent projects in any field of research that is not covered within Themes 1–3. Overall, the program aims to support around 10–15 per cent of all projects from the Frontier Science theme.

Chief investigators and their researchers with read or write access can see their applications through the Antarctic application online system.