National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) Program



On 13 October 2020, the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and Defence - National Security Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC) announced the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program.  

The NISDRG program supports excellent research that deepens understanding of emerging science and technology and addresses intelligence and national security interests. The grants program will facilitate innovation and develop national security and intelligence capacity. It will also enable Australia’s National Intelligence and Security Communities to systematically engage with Australia’s research and technology community. 

The NISDRG program provides support to research that aligns with the priority research areas identified by the Australian Government. These research areas are outlined in the Intelligence Challenges and the National Security Challenges developed under the broad National Security Science and Technology Priorities. 

The program values equality, diversity, and inclusion in the research workforce and aligns with ARC’s approach based on a number of established policies and practices, including the ARC’s Gender Equality strategy.

Click here to see the Intelligence Challenges

Click here to see the National Security Challenges


NISDRG provides project funding of between $400,000 and $600,000 per project for up to three years. Grant opportunities are opened once a year from 2020-21 to 2022-23.

Note that NISDRG grants are made to organisations, not to individual researchers or research teams. See the Grant Guidelines on GrantConnect for each round for the full list of Eligible Organisations.

Click here to find the relevant Grant Guidelines on the 'Grant Opportunities' page

Key Requirements

It is a requirement that all named investigators and personnel that receive salary support or stipends be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand Special Category Visa Holders.


The application forms for the NISDRG program contain a number of eligibility validations reflecting the eligibility requirements outlined in the NISDRG Grant Guidelines. The eligibility validations in the forms will stop applicants from submitting an application which breaches eligibility requirements related to participants and organisations.

The ARC, on behalf of ONI and NSSTC, will conduct a range of eligibility checks on submitted applications once the application period has closed. The eligibility checks will identify potential eligibility issues for which there is no forms validation.

Administering Organisations will be contacted by email if an application is identified as having one or more potential eligibility issues. Administering Organisations may then choose to submit an appeal against the ineligibility ruling.

See the Grant Guidelines on GrantConnect for each round for the full list of eligibility requirements.

Click here to find the relevant Grant Guidelines on the 'Grant Opportunities' page

Funded projects

Funded projects can be found on the Grant Announcement & Outcomes page.

Click here to view the 'Grant Announcement & Outcomes' page

Preparing and Submitting an Application

Applications for the Intelligence Challenge/National Security Challenges must be prepared and submitted through the dedicated version of RMS. 

Click here to find the relevant RMS version on the RMS Portals page

Want to find out more about NISDRG on GrantConnect?

While the information is available to view, you will need to sign in or Create a User Registration Account in GrantConnect to access all the relevant information.

A full suite of information will be available on GrantConnect, including:

  • NISDRG Grant Guidelines
  • Intelligence Challenges/National Security Challenges
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Instructions to Applicants
  • Sample Form.

All accountable authorities and officials must use GrantConnect to publish all Grant Opportunities, all Grant Opportunity Guidelines and all addenda/alterations.



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