Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) grant opportunity is a separate element of the Discovery Program. The DECRA grant opportunity provides focused research support for early career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.

The objectives of the DECRA grant opportunity are to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments
  • expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities.


An application may only be submitted through the Research Office of an Eligible Organisation listed in the grant guidelines.

The individual named in an application must satisfy the eligibility criteria as a DECRA candidate.

The application must nominate only one DECRA candidate. A previous recipient of a DECRA is not eligible to apply for another DECRA.

An individual who has been nominated for a DECRA on two previous occasions is not eligible to apply for another DECRA. This includes withdrawn and ineligible applications.

To be eligible the DECRA candidate must, as at the grant opportunity closing date:

  • only apply for one DECRA in a given year;
  • have met the obligations regarding previously funded projects, including submission to the ARC of satisfactory final reports.
  • have an award of PhD Date on, or after 1 March 2014; or
  • have an award of PhD Date together with an allowable career interruptions that would be commensurate with an Award of PhD Date on or after 1 March 2014. The allowable career interruptions that will be considered, and the period allowed for each are in Table 8 of the grant guidelines.

A DECRA candidate can be concurrently funded through the Discovery Program for a maximum of: one ARC Fellowship and one project as a Chief Investigator (CI); or one ARC Fellowship or project if the individual is also a CI or Director on an active ARC Centre of Excellence or a Special Research Initiative project. Limits will be calculated at the closing time for submission of applications, and may be re-calculated as other grant opportunity announcements are made

Grant Activity Timeframe

A project must be applied for and awarded funding for three consecutive years on a full-time basis. The DECRA may be employed on either a full-time, or a part-time basis subject to the employment conditions of the Administering Organisation provided that the DECRA does not exceed six years from the date of commencement (excluding any approved periods of suspension).

Application date
Date of residence
3 years
Oceania : Australia
Social sciences
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 5 years
Grants available
Award granted
Up to ca. AU$ 472.000