The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) are excited to announce a collaborative open call for project partners.

AURIN and ALA will provide funding for a project informed by citizen science that will examine the intersection of biodiversity with built environments in Australia.

Open Call

ALA and AURIN are looking to collaborate with project partners who will design, build and deliver a project that will:

  • Improve our understanding of the intersection of biodiversity and built environments in Australia, and;
  • Have a citizen science element, and;
  • Result in new infrastructure (datasets, tools, services, or methodologies) that will be of value to the AURIN and ALA research communities and can be freely shared with them.

We are offering up to $100,000.00 for a project that will be complete within twelve months.

News Update

Built Environments Biodiversity Project Selection Panel announced

  • Dr Michael Rigby, Data Relationships Manager, AURIN (Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network)
  • Dr Erin Roger, Citizen Science Program Lead, Atlas of Living Australia
  • Dr Katie Irvine, Community Partnerships Manager, TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network)

Eligibility and Criteria

ALA and AURIN are pleased to support early career researchers.

We are seeking proposals for projects where the project lead is an early to mid-career researcher (within 15 years of PhD conferral, considering career interruptions) from an Australian university, publicly funded research organisation or not for profit organisation.

Project Leads must have an employment contract valid until at least 30 April 2023.

Project proposals will be evaluated by a convened panel; funding will be prioritised towards project proposals that best demonstrate the criteria detailed in the open call guidelines.


The table below provides an indicative timeline, noting that the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is difficult to predict and may result in changes. [link=”#resources”]

3 Nov 2021 Call for proposals opens
13 Dec 2021 Call for proposals closes at 5.00PM AEDT
14 Dec 2021 to 25 Jan 2022 Panel review and assessment of proposals
26 Jan 2022 Announcement of project to be funded by AURIN and ALA
3 Apr 2022 Project funding agreement finalised
4 Apr 2022 Project implementation begins

Ideas and other resources

AURIN and ALA will provide funding for a project informed by citizen science that will examine the intersection of biodiversity with built environments in Australia.

You may be guided by the priorities of communities or governments, current research or your areas of personal interest.

Proposals will not gain an advantage by using our ideas, data or tools, these suggestions are merely to get you thinking. Some of the ideas we thought of are:

  • Examining if and how the value people place on biodiversity in their neighbourhoods has changed with COVID. How does this vary across dense, peri-urban, and regional areas?
  • How might we leverage citizen science to re-green our urban environments? Does COVID require new approaches?
  • Examining biodiversity sampling biases across dense, peri-urban, and regional areas.
  • What is the impact of coastal erosion on coastal biodiversity within cities? What about air and water quality?

NCRIS facilities are a rich source of resources for examining all manner of research questions. Data and other resources that might be of value include:

Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research. It includes a broad range of activities, from mapping natural phenomena to analysing scientific data, sharing health information, and making new low-cost technologies.

Incorporating a citizen science element into your proposals could range from (but is not exclusive to):

  • Building an application or tool that enables public data collection, or data analysis;
  • Incorporating community reference groups into your project to help with one or multiple elements of the scientific process ( hypotheses generation, methods, data analysis and dissemination of results);
  • Developing tailored resources to better leverage citizen science to help achieve ALA and AURIN’s strategic goals.

Open call resources:


Is there a requirement for letters of support?


You do not need to submit anything but a completed proposal form to be considered.

We may seek further information during our assessment phase and supporting documentation from the project that is selected to receive funding.

Do I have to have partners/collaborators for my project?


Collaboration is a criterion against which proposals will be assessed and a key strategic area for AURIN. You will need to decide if your proposal may be strengthened by the addition of partners/collaborators, but they are not essential.

Can I apply for an extension to the submission deadline?

There is no formal provision for extensions.

Submit your proposal on or before the 13 December 2021.

Our timeline to evaluate proposals is very short; a very limited extension may be considered where an applicant can provide evidence of circumstances beyond their control, that will prevent them being able to submit on time.

Please contact us prior to the deadline if you know you will be unable to submit on time.

Can international investigators/partners participate?

Yes, with caveats.

International collaborators are a positive addition.

However, this funding cannot be expended abroad, so if foreign investigators were to receive payment, you would have to find that money as a co-contribution from another source.

What can the funding be used for?

The funding can only be used for those items specified in the 2018 NCRIS Guidelines.

The funding can be used to cover salaries.

The funding cannot be used to cover university administrative activities that are not directly applicable to, and additionally incurred for the operation of the project. Specifically, this includes costs such as enterprise information technology, human resources, accounting, legal overheads, depreciation or other routine expenses for universities or publicly funded research agencies.

For the purpose of clarity, any general ‘administrative charge’ (however calculated) not supported by evidence of services being provided, is excluded.

What are the allowable career interruptions for a mid-career researcher?

We have adopted the definitions of allowable career interruptions from the ARC Future Fellowships scheme, these are set out in the table below.

Reason for Career Interruption Time which can be claimed
Disruption due to international relocation A period of time commensurate with the interruption not exceeding three months per international relocation

–        Carer’s responsibilities

–        Medical condition or disability

–        Maternity or parental leave

–        Unemployment

–        Non-research employment not concurrent with research employment

A period of time commensurate with the interruption
Being the primary carer of a dependent child (inclusive of carer’s responsibilities and any maternity or parental leave)

Two years per dependent child, inclusive of any period of maternity or other parental leave, with no maximum identified

A primary carer who has had extensive caring responsibilities for a dependent child may be granted a further extension (in addition to the two years) with justification. This may be due to the child being ill or having a disability

Source: Grant Guidelines for the Discovery Program (2019 edition). Australian Research Council (20 Sep 2019). Retrieved Sep 03, 2021, from Grant Connect

Submit Project Proposal

Submit your completed application before 5.00pm AEDT, 13 December 2021. 

The application form can be completed online and accessed via the button below.

Before preparing your proposal, you should:

Need assistance with our form?  Contact us on +61 3 8344 3212 or email us: