Assessment criteria

This page contains details of the application assessment criteria:

All Australian Antarctic Science Program (including Grant Program) applicants will need to address the following assessment criteria in the application. We will judge your application based on the weighting given to each criterion (indicated below). The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested.

Research, Monitoring and co-funded postdoctoral projects

Some criteria apply to all categories and Themes but some are specific to research, monitoring or Frontier Science projects. The maximum score available is 100.

Criterion 1: Strategic fit and path to impact (research projects)

[Maximum score 40]

Criterion 1 considers research and monitoring projects separately, but does not apply to Theme 4 Frontier Science proposals. The criterion will be considered by the expert assessment panel, not by reviewers. Where multiple streams and/or key research questions are addressed in an application, the panel will make a determination on the most appropriate scoring method for that application.

1a) Will the research proposed provide a significant advance in answering a key research question in the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan and is it identified as a priority in the relevant stream implementation plan? [Maximum score 25]

  1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]

Research planned is identified as a priority 3 in the implementation plan:

  1. but the project is likely to only provide limited relevant information toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 1]
  2. and is likely to produce a useful contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 6-8]
  3. and is specifically designed to produce a significant contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 15-17]

Research planned is identified as a priority 2 in the implementation plan:

  1. but the project is likely to only provide limited relevant information toward answering the key research question(s) selected [Score = 2-3]
  2. and is likely to produce a useful contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected [Score = 9-11]
  3. and is specifically designed to produce a significant contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 18-20]

Research planned is identified as a priority 1 in the implementation plan:

  1. but the project is likely to only provide limited relevant information toward answering the key research question(s) selected [Score = 4-5]
  2. and is likely to produce a useful contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected [Score = 12-14]
  3. and is specifically designed to produce a significant contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 21-25]

Research planned is not identified in the implementation plan, but:

  1. the approach proposed is considered better than that given in the implementation plan, and is specifically designed to produce a useful contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 12-14]
  2. the approach proposed is considered better than that given in the implementation plan, and is specifically designed to produce a significant contribution toward answering the key research question(s) selected. [Score = 21-25]

    1b) Has the applicant demonstrated there is a clearly identified end user for the research, and provided a credible path for adoption of the research within science and end-user communities? [Maximum score 15]

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Research is unlikely to deliver useful outputs and/or outcomes in a form that is useful to the end user. [Score = 1-5]
    3. Research is likely to produce usable outputs and/or outcomes that should be useful for the end user. [Score = 6-10]
    4. Research is specifically designed to produce the required outputs and/or outcomes in a form appropriate for the end user. [Score = 11-15]

    Criterion 1: Strategic fit and path to impact (monitoring projects)

    [Maximum score 40]

    This criterion comprises three threshold questions and a scoring question. Proposals must comply with at least one threshold question before proceeding to the scoring question.

    Threshold questions:

    • Is the need for the monitoring justified? [Y/N]
    • Is the data required for Australian Government responsibilities or an international agreement that requires access to an Antarctic/Southern Ocean monitoring location? [Y/N]
    • Is the need for this data included in the Implementation Plans for Theme 1, 2 or 3? [Y/N] If not does it replace an existing monitoring programme and is it a better way to do it? [Y/N]

    Scoring question:

    Will the monitoring proposed produce the required outputs and/or outcomes and is there an appropriate plan for archiving and analysing the data?
    [Maximum score 40]

    1. Monitoring data that would be collected are unlikely to deliver useful outputs and/or outcomes. [Score = 0-5]
    2. Monitoring data that would be collected are likely to produce usable outputs and/or outcomes. [Score = 6-20]
    3. Monitoring data are designed specifically to produce outputs and/or outcomes at a high standard and in a readily available form. [Score = 21-40]

    Criteria 2-8 apply to all projects, but Theme 4 Frontier Science projects are subject to a different scoring system for some criteria (shown in italics).

    Criterion 2: Research context

    [Maximum score 10 for Theme 1-3 research and monitoring projects and 20 for Theme 4]

    Has the applicant demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the context for this research?

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Partial understanding of the scientific context for this research is demonstrated. [Score = 1/2]
    3. Good understanding of the scientific context for this research is demonstrated. [Score = 2-5/4-10]
    4. Very good understanding of the scientific context for this research is demonstrated. [Score = 6-10/11-20]

    Criterion 3: Methods

    [Maximum score 20 for Theme 1-3 research and monitoring projects and 40 for Theme 4]

    Are the methods proposed for data collection (including field work), analysis of samples and statistical analysis planned designed to appropriately meet the objectives of the project?

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Poorly designed collection of data, analysis of samples or statistical analysis. [Score = 1-5/2-10]
    3. Generally well designed collection of data, analysis of samples and statistical analysis. [Score = 6-14/11-28]
    4. All aspects of data collection, analysis of samples and statistical analysis are very well designed. [Score = 15-20/29-40]

    Criterion 4: Planning and feasibility

    [Maximum score 5 for all projects]

    Is the project well planned, with roles and milestones clearly identified and the timeline appropriate?

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Planning and feasibility appropriate for some aspects but not all. [Score = 1]
    3. Reasonable planning and timeline outlined. [Score = 2-3]
    4. Project very well planned with clear roles and milestones and timeline well considered. [Score = 4-5]

    Criterion 5: Track record of the team

    [Maximum score 7 for Theme 1-3 research and monitoring projects and 12 for Theme 4]

    This criterion will be assessed from CVs submitted with the application. Early career scientists (within five years of completing their PhD) should identify this in their CV.

    Projects applying for the RJL Hawke fellowship will be scored on the team supporting the fellowship candidate in this criterion. The score for the track record of the RJL fellowship candidate is undertaken separately.

    Do the Chief Investigator and Project Team have the skills and publication track record to deliver the outputs and/or outcomes of the project within the timeframe requested?

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Chief Investigator and team have demonstrated limited experience or capability in leading and delivering timely outputs and/or outcomes from research projects. [Score = 1/1-2]
    3. Chief Investigator and team have demonstrated that they have experience or capability to lead and deliver timely outputs and/or outcomes from research projects. [Score = 2-4/3-7]
    4. Chief Investigator and team have demonstrated that they have a very good track record of experience and good capability to lead and deliver timely outputs and/or outcomes from research projects. [Score = 5-7/8-12]

    Criterion 6: Data submission history

    [Maximum score 3 for all projects]

    This will be assessed by checking Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC) records for the previous 10 years where the Chief Investigator has managed projects. The report will be provided to the expert assessment panel by the AADC.

    Where a Chief Investigator is new to the program, or they have not previously managed an AAS project, their track record for this criterion will be assumed to be good and they will be awarded the maximum score.

    Does the Chief Investigator have a good record of managing projects that deliver all required data/metadata to the Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC) in accordance with AAP data policy?

    1. Chief Investigator has delivered no metadata or data for any previously managed projects. [Score = 0]
    2. Chief Investigator has delivered limited metadata or data for one or more previously managed projects. [Score = 1-2]
    3. Chief Investigator has delivered all metadata or data for any previously managed project. [Score = 3]
    4. Chief Investigator has not previously managed an AAS project. [Score =3]

    Criterion 7: Budget

    [Maximum score 10 for Theme 1-3 research and monitoring projects and 15 for Theme 4]

    This criterion will be considered by the expert assessment panel, not by reviewers.

    Is the budget appropriate to complete the project and does it represent good value for money?

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Budget partially appropriate. [Score = 1-4/1-5]
    3. Budget appropriate, justified and represents good value for money. [Score = 5-7/6-10]
    4. Budget well planned, justified and represents excellent value for money. [Score = 8-10/11-15]

    Criterion 8: Outreach and education

    [Maximum score 5 for all projects]

    This criterion will be considered by the expert assessment panel, not by reviewers.

    Does the project have an appropriate outreach and education plan?

    1. Not demonstrated. [Score = 0]
    2. Partially appropriate. [Score = 1-3]
    3. Appropriate outreach and education plan. [Score = 4-5]


    RJL Hawke Fellowship assessment

    The score for the fellowship comprises 50 per cent research project assessment (per the Theme 1-3 assessment) and 50 per cent track record of the fellowship candidate. A threshold score of 80 out of 100 is required for the project assessment to ensure an excellent project is undertaken by the RJL Hawke fellow.

    The track record of the RJL Hawke fellow will be assessed using the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated skills and experience in a field of research relevant to the project.
    • Excellent written and oral communications skills, a strong ‘early-career’ publication record including presentations at workshops and/or conferences.
    • Two academic referee reports supporting the suitability of the fellowship candidate.