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 2018, the Government will provide $1.92 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 2018, the Government will provide $1.03 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 2018, the Government will provide $894 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.

2018 HERDC Smart Forms for the Collection of 2017 Data

2018 Smart Forms are now available for the reporting of the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC).

Returns are due by 30 June 2018.

Research funding, data collection and calculations

2018 Research Block Grant Allocations provides a summary of the research block grant allocations to individual higher education providers in 2018.

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 Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR) lists schemes that provide competitive research grants to higher education providers. The income providers receive from schemes listed on the ACGR is a metric used in driving the allocation of the research block grants.

The department maintains a series of consolidated data-sets related to research block grants. These include Research Block Grant Allocations (2001-2018), HERDC Research Income Data (2004-2016), HDR Completions (2004-2016), 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

Administration of the RBG

The RBG is administered by:

  • Research Funding and Policy Branch
  • Research and Economic Group
  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training

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. 2003 Research Income and Publications Data

    Created: 10 December 2013

  2. 2004 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  3. 2004 Research Income and Publications by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  4. 2005 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  5. 2005 Research Income and Publications by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  6. 2006 and 2007 Research Active Staff FTE

    Created: 10 December 2013

  7. 2006 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  8. 2006 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  9. 2007 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  10. 2007 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  11. 2008 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  12. 2008 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  13. 2009 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  14. 2009 Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  15. 2009 Review of the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC)

    Created: 11 December 2013

  16. 2010 Commercialisation Training Scheme (CTS) Evaluation

    Created: 9 December 2013

  17. 2010 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  18. 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection

    Created: 5 December 2013

  19. 2010 Other Public Sector Research Income (Category 2) Review: Terms of Reference

    Created: 11 December 2013

  20. 2010 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

  21. 2010 Review of Other Public Sector Research Income (Category 2)

    Created: 11 December 2013

  22. 2010 Review of the Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR)

    Created: 11 December 2013

  23. 2011 HDR Student Load and Completions

    Created: 10 December 2013

  24. 2011 Higher Education Research Data Collection

    Created: 5 December 2013

  25. 2011 Research Income and Publications Data by Sub Category

    Created: 10 December 2013

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