Research Block Grants

For: 

The Government's research block grants are established under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and provide block funding to eligible Australian higher education providers for research and research training. In 2020, the Government will provide $1.96 billion to 42 providers as block grants through two programs, the Research Training Program (RTP) and the Research Support Program (RSP).

Policy

Research block grants are allocated on a calendar year basis using program-specific formulae that reward the performance of providers in attracting research income and the successful completion of higher degree by research students.

Providers have autonomy in deciding which students, research projects, researchers, equipment and infrastructure the block grant funding will support. This also includes decisions by providers about which businesses, international providers and other organisations they collaborate with in establishing research and research training partnerships. In this way, the Australian research funding system recognises that these sorts of decisions are best made by the provider, its researchers and stakeholder communities.

Programs

The Research Training Program (RTP) provides funding to higher education providers to support the training of domestic and international students undertaking Research Doctorate and Research Masters courses, known as higher degrees by research (HDR). In 2020, the Government will provide $1.05 billion through the RTP. RTP scholarships are available to research doctorate degree students for between three to four years, and up to two years to research masters students. RTP scholarships can be provided to fund a student's tuition fees, to provide a stipend to support a student's general living costs, or to support the ancillary costs of an HDR such as thesis publication costs.

The Research Support Program (RSP) provides a flexible funding stream for higher education providers to support the systemic costs of university research. This forms part of the Government's dual funding system for the higher education sector where competitive and other grants support the direct costs of research, and the RSP supports the systemic costs such as research projects not funded through other means, and the indirect costs such as libraries, laboratories, consumables, computing centres and the salaries of support and technical staff. In 2020, the Government will provide $910 million through the RSP.

Further information for students and university administrators

Students with further queries can view the Research Training Program - Frequently Asked Questions for students.

University administrators with further queries can view the Research Training Program - Frequently Asked Questions for university administrators.

Research funding, data collection and calculations

2020 Research Block Grant Allocations provides a summary of the research block grant allocations to individual higher education providers in 2020.

The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) controls the collection of higher education research data and is designed to ensure the Australian Government's research block grants are allocated in a fair and transparent way and to support the policy intent of the funding.

Research Block Grants - Calculation Methodology specifies the methods used to calculate amounts under the research block grant programs.

The department maintains a series of consolidated data-sets related to research block grants. These include Research Block Grant Allocations (2001-2020), HERDC Research Income Data (2004-2018), HDR Completions (2004-2018), Research Training Scheme Student Load (2004-2014), and HERDC Research Publications (1995-2014).

Historical programs

The following programs ceased on 31 December 2016:

  1. Australian Postgraduate Awards
  2. International Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  3. Research Training Scheme
  4. Joint Research Engagement
  5. Research Infrastructure Block Grants
  6. Sustainable Research Excellence

Information on these previous research block grant arrangements can be found on the historical research block grant programs webpage.

More Information

  • Data used in current and historical research block grant allocations
  • Reviews studies, consultation papers and evaluations

Administration of the RBG

The RBG is administered by:

  • Research Policy and Programs Branch
  • Higher Education Division
  • Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Enquiries can be emailed to: RBGrants@education.gov.au

Resources

The following is a list of all the resources that are associated with Research Block Grants.

Results

  1. 2011 Review of Industry and Other Income (Category 3), and Joint Research Engagement (JRE) scheme

    Created: 9 December 2013

  2. 2011 Terms of Reference- Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC)- Review of Industry and Other income (Category 3), and Joint Research Engagement (JRE) Scheme

    Created: 11 December 2013

  3. 2012 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  4. 2012 Higher Education Research Data Collection

    Created: 5 December 2013

  5. 2012 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  6. 2013 Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR)

    Created: 5 December 2013

  7. 2013 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2013 HDR Student Load and Completions

  8. 2013 Higher Education Research Data Collection

    Created: 5 December 2013

  9. 2013 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2013 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

  10. 2013 Review of Online Research Publications

    Created: 22 January 2014

  11. 2014 Australian Competitive Grants Register

    Created: 14 February 2014  |  Last modified: 12 September 2014

    A full listing of schemes included on the 2014 Australian Competitive Grants Register.

  12. 2014 Australian Competitive Grants Register application form

    Created: 5 December 2013  |  Last modified: 14 February 2014

    Application form for the 2014 Australian Competitive Grants Register.

  13. 2014 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 16 December 2015

    2014 HDR Student Load and Completions (in ODS format)

  14. 2014 HERDC specifications

    Created: 13 December 2013  |  Last modified: 20 February 2014

    The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) is a dataset that records research income earned and valid publications published by Australia’s Table A and B Higher...

  15. 2014 Research Block Grant Allocations

    Created: 17 December 2013

  16. 2014 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 16 December 2015

    2014 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category (in ODS format)

  17. 2014 RIBG process calculations

    Created: 24 January 2014

  18. 2015 ACGR

    Created: 16 February 2015

    The finalised listing for the 2015 Australian Competitive Grants Register

  19. 2015 APA Conditions of Grant

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2015 APA Conditions of Grant

  20. 2015 Application for Listing

    Created: 12 December 2014  |  Last modified: 22 December 2014

    Late Applications for the 2015 ACGR

  21. 2015 IPRS Conditions of Grant

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2015 IPRS Conditions of Grant

  22. 2015 JRE Conditions of Grant

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2015 JRE Conditions of Grant

  23. 2015 JRE process calculations

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2015 JRE process calculations

  24. 2015 Research Block Grant Allocations

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2015 Research Block Grant Allocations

  25. 2015 RIBG Conditions of Grant

    Created: 19 December 2014

    2015 RIBG Conditions of Grant

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