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. 2018 Research Block Grant Allocations

    Created: 18 December 2017

    2018 Research Block Grant Allocations

  2. 2018 RSP Details and Conditions of Grant

    Created: 18 December 2017

    2018 RSP Details and Conditions of Grant

  3. 2018 RTP Details and Conditions of Grant

    Created: 18 December 2017

    2018 RTP Details and Conditions of Grant

  4. 2019 Research Block Grant Allocations

    Created: 17 December 2018

    2019 Research Block Grant Allocations

  5. 2019 Research Block Grant Allocations

    Created: 17 December 2018  |  Last modified: 19 September 2019

    2019 Research Block Grant Allocations

  6. 2019 RSP Details and Conditions of Grant

    Created: 17 December 2018

    2019 RSP Details and Conditions of Grant

  7. 2019 RTP Details and Conditions of Grant

    Created: 17 December 2018

    2019 RTP Details and Conditions of Grant

  8. 2020 Research Block Grant Allocations

    Created: 18 December 2019

    2020 Research Block Grant Allocations

  9. 2020 RTP Details and Conditions of Grant

    Created: 18 December 2019

    2020 RTP Details and Conditions of Grant

  10. ACGR explanatory notes

    Created: 30 September 2016

    An application for listing must be completed for each competitive funding scheme by the scheme manager. The department will not accept an application for listing from a third...

  11. Allen Consulting Group Discussion Paper

    Created: 11 December 2013

  12. Allen Consulting Group Issues Paper

    Created: 11 December 2013

  13. Application to extend an ACGR listed scheme

    Created: 30 September 2016

    This form is only to be used to seek an extension of schemes already listed on the ACGR. Only applications related to schemes whose listing expires at the end of the current...

  14. Australian Postgraduate Awards- Annexure to Determination 2014

    Created: 19 December 2013

  15. Consultation paper- Sharper incentives for engagement: New research block grant arrangements for universities

    Created: 5 May 2016  |  Last modified: 31 May 2016

    Consultation paper - Sharper incentives for engagement: New research block grant arrangements for universities

  16. Department of Education and Training Submission: Review of Australian Taxation Office Advice on Scholarships

    Created: 19 June 2017  |  Last modified: 13 July 2017

    Department of Education and Training submission to the Technical Discussion Paper on the Review of ATO Advice on Scholarships

  17. Detailed information on new arrangements for research block grants

    Created: 10 October 2016

    Detailed information covering the new arrangements for research block grants

  18. Draft 2018 Higher Education Research Data Collection Specifications

    Created: 19 May 2017

    The Draft 2018 Higher Education Research Data Collection Specifications for the collection of 2017 data

  19. HDR Completions Time Series

    Created: 19 December 2017  |  Last modified: 5 October 2018

    A time series of higher degree by research (HDR) student completions data collected through the Higher Education Student Data Collection (HESDC) from 1989 onwards.

  20. HERDC Research Publications Time Series

    Created: 19 December 2017  |  Last modified: 4 May 2018

    A time series of research publications data collected through the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) between 1995 and 2014.

  21. HERDC Return 1 (Research Income) Smart Form

    Created: 9 May 2016

    2016 Smart Form for the reporting of the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC).

  22. Higher degree by research pathways of graduates

    Created: 19 May 2017

    The ‘Higher degree by research pathways of graduates’ infographic provides information on the pathways to a higher degree by research degree by students who completed a degree...

  23. Higher degree by research student outcomes and course satisfaction

    Created: 21 February 2017

    Higher degree by research student outcomes and course satisfaction” infographic provides information on the labour market outcomes, further study activities and course...

  24. Higher Degree by Research Students Load (2004-2014)

    Created: 19 December 2017

    Load Data for Higher Degree by Research Students (2004-2014)

  25. Higher degree by research students' statistics- infographic

    Created: 13 February 2017

    2015 Higher degree by research student population” infographic provides information on higher degree by research students numbers for all higher education providers, with a...

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