AUSTRALIAN Research Council (ARC) chief executive officer (CEO), Professor Sue Thomas, has welcomed the Australian Government’s 2018–19 Federal Budget announcement of a new ARC initiative to support Australian Antarctic Science research.
The ARC will administer a new Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science—worth $56 million over 7 years—that will provide Antarctic researchers in Australian universities the opportunity to seek funding to support their work in this important area.
“Australia’s Antarctic science program is fundamentally important to Australia, given Antarctica’s proximity to Australia and its strategic, economic, scientific and environmental importance,” said Prof. Thomas.
“This Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science will maintain Australia’s world-class science program in the Australian Antarctic Territory, which is vital to underpinning our leadership and influence in the region.
“This new initiative will expand on the successful research undertaken through the ARC’s 2014 Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership.
“It will support Australia’s national Antarctic Priorities as determined in the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan and Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan.
“The ARC will conduct a call for applications from all eligible organisations in 2018–19, with funding to commence on 1 January 2020. The initiative will provide a total of $8 million per year for seven years (until 2026) to support excellent research in Antarctic science.”
The Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science will be funded by the Australian Government through the ARC Special Research Initiatives (SRI) scheme.
The ARC SRI scheme provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas. The ARC currently funds several SRIs in a wide range of research areas. The objective of the scheme is to support high-quality research that will assist in advancing Australia’s research excellence to be globally competitive and deliver benefits to the community.
Further details about the Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science will be published on the ARC website as soon as they become available.