What are my options for conducting Antarctic science?
Researchers will have an opportunity to join the Australian Antarctic Science Program by working through the Special Research Initiatives, the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership or in a direct partnership arrangement with the Australian Antarctic Division or other government agencies.
I’m part of the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership or Special Research Initiative – do I still apply for a project through the AAO process, or do I go directly to my institution?
Researchers that are part of the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership or Special Research Initiative will need to go directly to their programs with research ideas or projects. The AAD is working through the proposed programs/projects already established by the AAPP and SRIs.
What if I have an idea for a science project? Is there a process for me to suggest it?
If you are not currently engaged in the Australian Antarctic Science Program, send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org – for Program Leader and Chief Scientist consideration. Please note though, that there will be no open call for new Australian Antarctic Science Program projects. The focus of any new projects should align with existing Australian Antarctic Science Program priorities.
If you’re from the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership or Special Research Initiative, please talk to your program manager.
If you’re part of the Australian Antarctic Division, please talk to your Program Leader.
I have a current, ongoing project – how will these changes affect me?
The changes to the Australian Antarctic Science Program administration only apply to new activities in the program. If you have an existing project you will be able to see your project through to its conclusion. Your requirements for reporting, etc. will not change.
Do I still complete data management plans, milestone reports and final reports?
Yes – current projects will be required to complete all unfinished data management plans, milestone reports and final reports. If you are unsure about your reporting requirements please contact email@example.com.
Who identifies and targets any gaps in Antarctic science?
The Australian Antarctic Science Council provides oversight of the Australian Antarctic Science Program. Part of its role will be to consider the full spectrum of projects being undertaken and identify any prioritise in the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan that are not being addressed by the program. The Council will work closely with the Australian Antarctic Division, Australian Research Council and other agencies on options for addressing any such research gaps.
How does the Australian Antarctic Science Program decide what science to do?
All science in the Australian Antarctic Science Program must address the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan. Projects to be included in the program will be determined through a multi-phase assessment process including advice from the Australian Antarctic Science Council.
Who ultimately determines whether my project request is successful?
The Australian Antarctic Division Director, as the head of the Australian Antarctic Program, will provide approval for projects, based on advice provided through the assessment and prioritisation process.
Why has the grant program been removed?
The changes to the grant program were influenced by several internal and external factors including changes to Commonwealth Grant administration requirements and streamlining delivery of the Australian Antarctic Science Program.
What has happened to the grant money?
The $1.05 million previously allocated will no longer be offered as part of a formal grant program. The AAD is committed to ensuring that this money remains earmarked to support the Australian Antarctic Science Program. The money will therefore be used to support a broader range of science activities to support the whole program – such as projects, the purchase of scientific instruments, and support for early career researchers.
Will I still have access to the Antarctic Applications Online (AAO) system?
Yes. New research projects will still be entered into the AAO system and assigned an AAS project number.
Will there still be a Frontier Science program?
No. The Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan takes those topics previously covered under Frontier Science – for example, geosciences, polar medicine, astronomy, new technology – and integrates them into other areas of the program.
Will there still be peer review of project requests?
The multi-phased project request assessment process will not require peer review. However Chief Investigators may be encouraged to seek peer input to improve research design and institutions will be required to certify the scientific rigour of the proposal.
Is this going to make the AASP a closed shop?
No – the changes to the Australian Antarctic Science Program have brought in more institutions than before via the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership or Special Research Initiative.