Priority Areas for Research Grants
ABRS National Taxonomy Research Grant Program
Contact details and further information
Australian Biological Resources Study
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: 02 6250 9558 or 02 6250 9433
Projects funded under the National Taxonomy Research Grant Program must be public good in focus and support the following specific criteria are used by ABRS to determine whether a project will be eligible for an ABRS grant:
- Biodiversity, Conservation and Vulnerable and Endangered Species
- Public, Plant and Animal Health
- Building Taxonomic Capacity
1 Biodiversity, Conservation and Vulnerable and Endangered Species
Through their work, taxonomists provide information that is fundamental to the understanding and management of our biological world. To be considered for ABRS funding under this criteria, the researcher is required to demonstrate that the intended project will encompass one or more of the following areas:
1.1 Documenting Australia’s Biodiversity
Studies that contribute to documentation of Australia’s biodiversity, through identification, revision and documentation of understudied taxonomic groups
- This may include, for example, studies of taxonomic groups in largely unexplored habitats or molecular projects that make genetic information publicly available.
Taxonomic research that provides critical data underpinning national responses to human-induced change, for conservation planning or for the rehabilitation of degraded environments
- This may include, for example, taxonomic or systematic research on a group likely to be effective as an indicator of climate change, or focused taxonomic research on a region subject to major development.
1.3 Vulnerable and Endangered Species
Taxonomic research that contributes to a greater knowledge of Australia’s vulnerable and endangered biological heritage, especially that listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
- This may include, for example, a revision of a genus to clearly establish the taxonomic position and conservation status of undescribed species, including species currently listed under the EPBC Act.
1.4 Identifying Australia’s Biodiversity
Tools and products that contribute to the identification of Australia’s biodiversity
- This may include, for example, an identification key for a taxonomic group at a national scale.
2 Public, Plant and Animal Health
This criterion focuses on a range of research activities relevant to protecting Australians and Australia’s natural resource industries and biodiversity from disease or pests. To be considered for ABRS funding under the criterion of Public, Plant and Animal health, the researcher is required to demonstrate that the proposed project contributes to the following:
2.1 Public, Plant and Animal Health
Taxonomic research on native species that are, or have the potential to become, pests or agents of disease, or may be venomous or toxic and thereby threaten public, plant or animal health in Australia
- This may include the Australian component of a large taxonomic group that has non-indigenous representatives constituting a significant biosecurity risk, where there is a need to be able to distinguish between native and exotic species.
3 Building Taxonomic Capacity
This criterion focuses on support for training and/or recruitment of taxonomists, especially for research on critical taxonomic groups. To be considered for ABRS funding under this criterion, the researcher is required to demonstrate that the proposed project will encompass one or more of the following areas:
3.1 Training of early career researcher/s
Taxonomic studies that include clearly specified opportunities for capture and passage of skills and information from professionals to junior colleagues
- This may include a project where there is a component that includes a clearly documented opportunity for passing knowledge from a more senior taxonomist to an early career researcher.
3.2 Knowledge Management
Taxonomic studies that include clearly specified opportunities for capture and passage of skills and information from retired professionals to younger colleagues
- This may include a project where there is a component that includes a clearly documented opportunity for passing knowledge from a retired taxonomist.
3.3 Exchange of International Expertise
Projects that facilitate international exchange of research expertise and training in areas that will boost Australia’s taxonomic capacity