This page contains information on eligible grant items for the Australian Antarctic Science grant program.

There are three categories of grants:

Information on ineligible items is also available.

Eligible items and length of grant funding are different for the three categories of grants.

Research project grants

There are four approved item categories for research project grants:

  • personnel
  • consumables and other items
  • travel and support
  • major equipment


Applicants may request AAS grant funding to pay all or part of the salary of co-investigators, research assistants and other personnel involved in their research project.

Grants sought to fund a research or technical support position should show the official designation of the position and provide justification for the classification sought. Salary classifications and levels should be those used by the Chief Investigator’s institution. Funds for part-time or short-term appointments may be requested under this heading.

For each position requested the budget should show separately the actual salary of the position and the organisation’s contribution for salary on-costs (worker’s compensation insurance, payroll tax, leave loading, service allowances etc.). Salary on-costs can be requested for funding up to 20 per cent of salary and must be identified in the application.

Salaries should be adjusted for inflation.

Top-up PhD scholarship

One top-up PhD scholarship per application may be requested for a student who holds or expects to hold a Research Training Program (RTP) or equivalent scholarship at the time of the grant funding commencing (whether or not the individual is already named). Should the student not receive an RTP or equivalent scholarship the top-up will not be paid. Evidence of the student holding an RTP scholarship will be required to receive funding for this item.

Top-up scholarships are valued at a maximum annual rate of $7000 for a maximum of three years. Requests for one or two years of a top-up scholarship will be considered.

Consumables and other items

Any items not mentioned in other eligible item sections can be requested under this section. This may include any item of equipment costing less than $5000, any chemical or other analyses (including fees requested by specialist analytical facilities at the Chief Investigator’s institution), computer software or hire of external computer time, the purchase of printed or other material, and publication costs.

Services provided by other organisations may be requested, for example laboratory and analytical services provided by an organisation other than the applicant’s own. Applicants need to provide details of the costing of services provided by the organisation(s) and any necessary ancillary costs. Applicants should confirm that the work and availability of facilities are acceptable to the organisation(s) concerned.

Requests for funds for programming, preparation and storage of data or the hire of external computer time must be fully justified.

Travel and support costs

This category includes costs associated with travelling with the Australian Antarctic Program, including domestic airfares (flexible economy only), accommodation, other expenses such as hire cars and per diems, medicals, insurance, training required by the Australian Antarctic Division (but not provided by the Australian Antarctic Division), and freight of equipment and samples.

International participants in the program are expected to cover their own costs, including travel to Australia, accommodation prior to departure and the cost of medical examinations, and these costs will be deemed ineligible for grant funding if requested.

Domestic travel

Australian Antarctic Science grant funds may be sought for airfares and other expenses (for example, taxi fares) associated with attendance at AAP-required medical and psychological tests, operational planning workshops, pre-departure training, when embarking for Antarctica or on return from Antarctica and other travel directly related to the planning for or conduct of research. Pre-departure training is usually scheduled to coincide with expected departure dates, but may occur well before.

Funding of airfares will not be provided above economy flexible fares. However, applicants should not attempt to reduce costs by purchasing inflexible advance purchase airfares as unexpected alterations to schedules or ticket allocations can result in additional expense, and no supplementary funding can be provided once a grant is approved.

Travel costs (including registration) can be requested for attendance at relevant domestic conferences to present project findings and for outreach activities.

International travel

The only international travel expenses eligible for grant funding are those required by Australian researchers working in Antarctica, but outside the Australian Antarctic Territory, and AAD approval must be sought prior to application submission by contacting Science Planning and Coordination (SP&C).

Accommodation expenses

Includes reasonable accommodation expenses in Hobart prior to pre-departure training, prior to departure, and on return from Antarctica. Passengers should budget for up to two nights of additional accommodation in case a flight is delayed. The Australian Antarctic Division will only pay for short-term accommodation in special circumstances (see the Conditions of participation in the Australian Antarctic Science Program section of the guidelines).

Freight of equipment and samples

Expenses associated with freighting equipment and samples between an applicant’s institution and the Australian Antarctic Division in Hobart are the responsibility of the Chief Investigator. An Australian Antarctic Science grant may be requested to meet these expenses, as well as the cost of freighting equipment and samples to or from international destinations.

Pre-departure medical assessments

Expenses associated with mandatory medicals for personnel going south are eligible for grant funding. The standard medical examination cost is approximately $900, although at times it can be higher if specialist consultations are required. Medicals are conducted in most major centres but some travel expenses may be claimed if personnel are in areas outside major centres.


Field personnel not covered by a compensation award must obtain personal insurance cover. Australian Antarctic Science grant funds can be sought for this expense.

Major equipment

Any individual item of equipment costing $5000 or more should be included in this category. The maximum request for all items of equipment is $70,000 over the life of the project (including maintenance costs if required), however preference will be given to requests for equipment that is project specific, rather than equipment the host institution would normally be expected to supply. Preference will be given to equipment used in Antarctica or the sub-Antarctic, rather than at the Chief Investigator’s institution.

Researchers must justify the use of equipment and describe how it will be integrated with existing equipment. Justification should also describe other avenues explored for funding the equipment (for example, approaches to other institutions). Applicants should indicate the future use for the equipment when the project has finished. Equipment to automate data acquisition at Antarctic stations is encouraged.

Co-funded postdoctoral fellowships

Funding can be requested for salary up to $50,000 per year for a maximum of three years (pro-rata amounts will apply to part-time applicants). An additional $5000 may be requested per year to contribute to operating costs from any eligible items listed in the Research Project Grant category. All grant funding requested for a co-funded postdoctoral fellowship salary requires matching funding from the host institution which must be reported in any financial statements submitted to the Australian Antarctic Division.

The university providing the co-funding must be an eligible institution, and the proposed fellow must be employed by the host institution or another eligible institution. Co-funding cannot be provided from another Australian Government grant.

RJL Hawke postdoctoral fellowship

Funding for the two-year grant has a maximum total value of $200,000. This includes salary up to $90,000 each year (pro-rata amounts will apply to part-time applicants) and operating costs up to $10,000 each year from any eligible items listed in the Research Project Grant category.

The fellowship will be held by a Chief Investigator at the host institution, who will supervise the postdoctoral fellow. The Chief Investigator’s institution must provide the RJL Hawke Fellow with a minimum of $20,000 cash or in-kind support for each of the two years of the fellowship, to support the research project.

The RJL Hawke Fellow will be a prestigious role and the recipient is expected to present a paper at a relevant Antarctic conference during the fellowship period or within one year of finishing.

If you are unsure whether an item is eligible for grant funding, contact the AAD ( This is particularly important because the value of ineligible items submitted in the application will be deducted from any amount approved.

Ineligible items

The value of ineligible items submitted in the application will be deducted from any amount approved. The AAD reserves the right to determine whether or not a requested item is eligible for grant funding. Applicants with questions on eligibility of items should contact

Grant applicants cannot use grant funding for the following activities:

  • Chief investigator salaries
  • Salary or other expenses (such as travel and medicals) for personnel in receipt of a salary from government departments or agencies
  • Antarctic, field, marine or other per diem allowances
  • Salary increases for co-investigators through promotion
  • More than one top-up PhD scholarship per application
  • Salary on-costs over 20 per cent
  • Funding for basic facilities provided by the researcher’s own organisation
  • Payment of university administration, laboratory fees, or overheads
  • Hire of computer time on a computer within the applicant’s own organisation
  • Travel to and from Australia, accommodation prior to departure, and the cost of medical examinations for international participants in the program
  • International travel, including conferences (see exception to this rule above)
  • Above economy flexible airfares for domestic travel.

In addition, co-funded postdoctoral fellowship salary funding from the host institution cannot be provided from another Australian Government grant.

We cannot provide a grant if you receive funding from another government source for the same purpose. Information on external funding for the project must be provided in the application.