The Department of Education provides competitive research grants to Higher Education Providers (HEPs) in Australia.

Please note: External research income category applications cannot be reviewed, signed off or submitted without completion of the Research contracts & grants cover sheet (.docx). ARC and NHMRC applications are exempt from this process.

Internal EOI process

When an external funding body restricts the number of applications that can be submitted by the one institution in the same round/year please follow the internal EOI process.

Research block grants

The Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR) lists schemes that provide competitive research grants to higher education providers (HEPs). The income HEPs receive from schemes listed on the ACGR drives the allocation of over $200 million of Research Infrastructure Block Grants (RIBG) each year.

Visit the Department of Education's ACGR website for the latest version of the ACGR and for more information including funding criteria and reporting guidelines.

Category 2 income includes:

  • any other research income received from the Australian Government that is not eligible for inclusion as Category 1 research income
  • research income from Australian Government business enterprises
  • research income (including contract research) from both state and local governments
  • research income from state government business enterprises
  • research income from partly government owned or funded bodies
  • research income from Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) in which the reporting University was not a core participant or participant (i.e. was not a signatory to the Commonwealth Agreement during the reporting period).

Category 3: Industry and other research income must be categorised in the following subcategories.


  • Contracts
  • Grants
  • Donations, bequests and foundations
  • HDR fees for domestic students

International A: Competitive, Peer-Reviewed Research Grant Income

Competitive and peer reviewed grants for research from non-Australian industry or non- Australian Government agencies including non-Australian industry collaborative research grants.

International B: Other Income

  • Contract research provided by non-Australian industry or Government agencies including non-Australian industry collaborative research grants.
  • Non-competitive grants for research from non-Australian industry or Government agencies, including non-Australian industry collaborative research grants.
  • Donations and bequests for conduct of research that have been received from non-Australian business, non-for-profit organisations or citizens.

International C: HDR fees for International students

Funds received for providing the cost of an international student's HDR fee-paying place (but excluding Commonwealth supported places). This includes tuition fees that international fee paying students (non-Commonwealth supported) pay to their HEP for a HDR program or HDR-related course of study.

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program is a major contributor to research funding in Australia. The Programme links researchers with industry and supports research that can be used, as well as education programs that produce industry-ready graduates. Category 4 comprises the following subcategories:

  • research income derived from Australian Government grants to CRCs
  • research income derived from non-HEP members of CRCs
  • research income derived from external parties contributing to CRCs.

Detailed information on what can and cannot be included under Category 4 CRC research income is available on the Department of Education HERDC page.

Understanding research income

The Understanding Research Income document provides a brief overview of the broad differences between research and consultancy activity, particularly as these relate to income classification for the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) process that the University undertakes each year.

The document is designed as a basic guide for researchers and finance staff at VU.

Research Professional funding database

VU subscribes to the external funding search database, Research Professional, offering researchers the opportunity to search for research funding in all disciplines and from a wide range of sponsors in Australia and overseas.

When accessing the calendar off-campus or with a laptop or mobile device, you may need to log into your Research Professional account.

Philanthropy Australia

Philanthropy Australia provides detail on a range of funding opportunities for Australian researchers.

More than 350 trusts and foundations are listed in The Australian Directory of Funders, published by Philanthropy Australia.