D1 - Project Description
(Please delete these notes & the statements shown below prior to saving and uploading final version)
Applicants need to ensure responses address the Selection Criteria as detailed in the ARC Funding Rules (pp. 34-35)
Applicants should note colour graphs, colour photographs, detailed graphics and grey scale objects may be
reproduced for Assessors in black and white.
COMPULSARY HEADINGS
Upload a PDF of no more than eight (8) A4 pages. The PDF must provide the following information using the
headings IN CAPITALS below, and in the order shown.
Layout & sub-headings - suggested
Below is a suggested format for sub-headings within the Project Description. Applicants are not required to follow
this. As long as the capitalised headings are used in the order shown, layout is at each applicant’s discretion.
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Project Title
Executive summary (~½ page)
Aims and Background (~1 ½ pages)
Project Quality and Innovation
o Significance and Innovation (~1 page)
o Approach and Methodology (~2 pages)
Research Environment (~½ page)
Feasibility and Benefit (~½ page)
DECRA candidate (~½ page)
Management of data (<½ page)
References (~ 1 page)
PROJECT TITLE
 This title may differ from that shown in Part A1 of the Proposal form, and may exceed 10 words.
Use of an Executive Summary in the Project Description:
Unanimous feedback from ARC Panels and Assessors has indicated that the first page of a Project Description is a
“make or break” for capturing audience interest and introducing the projects merit. In half a page or less, provide
an executive summary with arguments/statements that respond to the following:
 What is the nature of the challenge?
 Which part is the focus of the project and why is it important to address it?
 How are others trying to address it?
 How do you propose to address it and why is your approach different, better and more exciting/innovative
 Why are you particularly suited?
The executive summary should segue into the project-specific aims and comprehensive background. Do not provide a
sub-heading or title for the Executive Summary.
AIMS AND BACKGROUND
 Briefly outline the aims and background of the Proposal.
 Include information about national/international progress in this field of research and its relationship to this
Proposal
 Refer only to refereed papers (outputs) that are accessible to the national and international research
communities.
Additional Notes:
 Start to build a case for your track record and suitability to undertake this research project by referencing your
own work where you can in Aims & Background.
 Provide sufficient technical details and ensure the aims clearly flow through to the chosen methodology and
outcomes.
PROJECT QUALITY AND INNOVATION
 Outline the conceptual framework, design and methods of the project and demonstrate that these are adequately
developed, well integrated and appropriate to the aims of the research activity.
 Does the research address a significant problem?
 Is the conceptual/theoretical framework innovative and original?
 What is the potential for the research to contribute to the Strategic Research Priorities?
 Will the aims, concepts, methods and results advance knowledge?
Additional Notes:
 Show where the literature acknowledges a gap or calls for a contribution to the discipline, or where there is a
broader call for your project and its outcomes.
 Address why it is significant to undertake this for your discipline, why it is broadly significant nationally or
internationally (and include examples of the collateral benefits you might achieve).
 Build confidence by referencing your track record of delivering innovation
The following are NOT proof that your project is significant or novel:
 That you performing the work is the source of innovation
 That the innovation will be the new policies or products arising from your project
 That the work is significant because it has not been done before (it may not be worth doing)
RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT
 Is there a supportive and collaborative research environment for the project?
 Will the project provide the DECRA Candidate with the capacity and opportunity to develop an independent
record of innovative, high quality research?
 Are the necessary facilities available to complete the Project?
 Are there adequate strategies to encourage dissemination, commercialisation, if appropriate, and promotion of
research outcomes?
Additional Notes:
 Do NOT include any statements or undertones related to the Go8 environment/facilities being superior to other
Universities, or cut/paste a generic statement from your Faculty about ERA rankings and prestigious awards.
Such statements/attitudes do not accord with non-Go8 Assessors. Instead, focus praise of your Faculty
specifically around the people, logistics and facilities needed to support your planned research.
 If you are accessing unique facilities, you may also want to point this out.
 Do not take for granted that your Assessors are familiar with your environment at UNSW or that of Other Orgs.
 The conclusion of this section should leave the impression of the Research Environment as a powerful
background to achieving your aims.
For suggestions on methods of dissemination and promotion of research outcomes, see the Addressing
Dissemination and Promotion of Research Outcomes document, also available on the DE16 Resource Page.
FEASIBILITY AND BENEFIT
 Are the design of the project and the expertise of the participants sufficient to ensure the project can be completed
with the proposed budget and timeframe?
 Will the completed project produce innovative economic, environmental, social and/or cultural benefit to the
Australian and international community?
 Will the proposed research be cost-effective and value for money?
DECRA CANDIDATE
 Describe how you will ensure that you have the time and capacity to undertake the proposed research, taking into
account any other grants or roles that you hold.
MANAGEMENT OF DATA
 Outline plans for the management of data produced as a result of the proposed research, including but not
limited to storage, access and re-use arrangements.
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It is not sufficient to state that the organisation has a data management policy. Researchers are encouraged to
highlight specific plans for the management of their research data.
For full details of UNSW’s resources for research data management and data archiving, including suggestions for
statements to include in addressing this heading, see the Advice for Addressing Management of Data document,
also available on the DE16 Resource Page.
REFERENCES
 Include a list of all references, including relevant references to the Participant’s previous work
 References may be in 10 point Times New Roman or equivalent font.
Overall Notes for the Project Description:
 In approaching Part D1, applicants should NOT simply list the bullet points under the headings above and then
answer each one as displayed.
 A DECRA is a single CI Project (not a scheme for team post-doc funding), so you should never refer to yourself
as “we”. You can however use phrases such as “my international collaborator Professor X and I... etc”
 You can choose to write D1 in either first person or third person tense; however the important thing is to keep
whichever tense you use consistent, in both this document and in other sections of the application.
 The scope of your project should be focused and clear, rather than overly ambitious. Demonstrate feasible
excellence.
 Your project needs to clearly align with your career trajectory and a sense of direction you are building on- i.e. it
needs to be founded on but separate to your previous work.
 Demonstrate intellectual ownership and independence within the project.
 Don’t underestimate the value of clarity- use accessible language and make sure the read and flow of D1 is
logical.
 Keep your arguments specific, relevant and backed with evidence.
 Include a schematic and/or project timeline.
 If you hold or are applying for any similar projects, ensure you differentiate THIS project from other
requested/obtained funding.