Australia-China Science and Research Fund Joint Research Centres

At a glance


Provides Australian research organisations with grants of up to $1 million to participate in Joint Research Centres that link Australian and Chinese research institutions to conduct research-related activities.

Who can apply:

You must be one of the following:

  • a company incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated not for profit company
  • a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO)
  • a Cooperative Research Centre
  • an other Australian incorporated entity.

Other eligibility requirements apply.

You must also have a Chinese partner organisation that has submitted or is in the process of submitting an application. Refer to the Eligibility notice.

Contact information:

13 28 46


Eligibility notice: The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will announce key closing dates for Chinese applications in the near future. Potential Chinese research partners may commence their applications according to guidelines published in May 2017. You can find additional requirements for potential Chinese partners in the January 2017 application process.

The May 2017 guidelines and January 2017 application process documents enable Chinese partners to commence their application process.

For more information on the Chinese application process, potential Chinese researcher partners may contact MOST via email or phone: or
(+86) 010-68598010

Joint Research Centres (JRCs) are virtual centres that link Australian and Chinese research institutions conducting a range of research-related activities in a specified field of research. JRCs enable a concentration of effort and achievement of outcomes beyond that of individual research projects.

  • The maximum grant amount is $1 million.
  • The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs.
  • The maximum grant period is three years.
  • The program is ongoing with biennial funding rounds.
  • Applications are limited to one application per entity as the lead applicant.

Priority Areas

The priority areas for Round 3 of the ACSRF Joint Research Centres are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
    • astronomy related technology, including big data
    • new materials in manufacturing
    • cross-cutting technologies that will de-risk, scale up, and add value to manufactured products
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
    • effective technologies for individuals to manage their own health care
    • better models of health care and services
  • Resources and Energy
    • low emission energy production from fossil fuels and other sources
    • new clean energy sources and storage technologies and demand response technologies that are efficient, cost-effective and reliable.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for GST
  • and be one of the following eligible entities:
    • a company incorporated in Australia
    • an incorporated not for profit company
    • a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO) as defined in Appendix A of the Program Guidelines
    • a Cooperative Research Centre
    • an other Australian incorporated entity.

You are unable to apply if you are:

  • a non-Corporate Commonwealth entity.

To be eligible your project must involve:

  • a Chinese primary partner who has submitted, or is in the process of submitting, a corresponding application to the relevant Chinese organisation
  • an Australian end user or industry partner that can apply the research outcomes.

For more information on eligibility please refer to the Program Guidelines.

Merit criteria

If eligible we will assess your application against the Joint Research Centres merit criteria. To be competitive you must score highly against all of the following criteria:

  • Merit criteria 1 – The scientific merit of the proposed research, including the potential of the anticipated outcome to advance the knowledge base of the discipline, and its likely scientific impact (30 points).
  • Merit criteria 2 – The ability of the centre to maximise the application and commercialisation of research outcomes (30 points).
  • Merit criteria 3 – The contribution of the centre to building enduring Australia-China collaboration in a priority area of research (20 points).
  • Merit criteria 4 – The capacity, capability and resources of all project partners to manage the JRC and deliver the activities (20 points).

How to apply

You should read the Program Guidelines before you apply.

Attachments to your application, including your response to the merit criteria, must comply with the Formatting Requirements document. You must also use the CV template provided to outline the credentials of key personnel.

You can only submit an application during a funding round. We will publish the opening and closing dates for each round on

For assistance with the application form contact us.

How we assess applications

Applications that meet the eligibility criteria will proceed to a merit assessment.

An external independent Australian advisory panel will conduct a merit assessment of eligible applications.

The panel will refer projects for consideration by a joint meeting of Australian and Chinese government officials.

Each government assesses applications independently in accordance with its own processes and decides which projects to refer for joint consideration.

The Australian and Chinese governments then determine which of the recommended projects to support taking into account the outcomes of each country's assessment processes.

The Senior Responsible Officer will make the final decision on which grants to approve.

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, you will receive a written offer.

If you are unsuccessful, we will notify you in writing and give you the chance to discuss the outcome with us.

If your application is successful, you will enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will contain the schedule for payments.

We will make the first payment when the grant agreement is executed. We will make subsequent payments annually after we have received and accepted satisfactory progress reports. Payments will be made into your nominated bank account.

Intellectual property rights

Applicants must provide details of intellectual property (IP) issues in their applications. This includes both the use of IP in the project and the proposed ownership rights to IP generated by the project as well as strategies for protecting Australia's interests. Where IP is likely to be generated by the project, successful applicants will be required to conclude protocols or contracts with their Chinese and other collaborating partners on the management of IP issues. These agreements should be in accordance with laws and regulations prevailing in Australia and China.

Australian participants should approach IP negotiations in line with the following principles:

  • adequate and effective protection and equitable distribution of any benefits from IP or resulting directly from cooperative activities (foreground IP rights)
  • ownership of foreground IP rights to be allocated on the basis of respective contribution and equitable interests
  • terms and conditions for the commercialisation and other forms of dissemination of the foreground IP rights, and
  • adequate and effective protection of IP rights provided by the organisations, enterprises and institutions prior to or in the course of such cooperative activities, for example, the licensing or utilisation of such IP rights on equitable terms (background IP rights).

Information sessions

A video of the online information session is available.

Face to face information sessions for round three of the ACSRF JRCs are no longer going ahead. For more information, please view the video of the online information session and if you would like to discuss the program or have further questions, please call 13 28 46.

Key documents

  • Program guidelines
  • Factsheet
  • Sample application form
  • Sample grant agreement
  • CV template
  • Formatting requirements

Thanks for your feedback. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, we'd love to hear them.

Please provide your comments in the feedback form.

You might also be interested in