The ESRC has a track record of successful research partnerships with academic, government, industry and community partners.

Our research funded activities include


On 1 November 2016 the ARC released details of approved proposals for 2017 LIEF [Linkage Infrastructure Equipment Facilities] grant funds.

The ESRC is excited to announce that two projects in which it has been collaborating through the grant-writing process have been successful under the 2017 LIEF program.

The first is ‘Restoring Dignity: Networked Knowledge for Repatriation Communities’ (2017-2019), a project led by the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. The research team includes Associate Professor Gavan McCarthy from the ESRC as a Chief Investigator with researchers from various Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, museums and government agencies as well as from universities from Australia and overseas. The project was allocated $1,231,000 over 2 years.

This project aims to build a digital facility that supports the repatriation of Indigenous human remains. Repatriation contributes to reconciliation and Indigenous healing and wellbeing, and has been the most important agent of change in the relationship between Indigenous peoples, museums and the academy over the past 40 years. Successful repatriation requires and produces research materials diverse in type, geography and accessibility. Within an Indigenous data-governance framework, this project will gather, preserve and make accessible a critical and extensive record of repatriation information worldwide. The project is expected to support repatriation practice and scholarship and improve the opportunities of repatriation for social good.

The second is ‘National online archive of Aboriginal self-determination and activism resources’ (2017-2019) led by Professor Gary Foley at Victoria University. Associate Professor Gavan McCarthy is also a Chief Investigator on this project with an impressive research team from a number of States. The project was allocated $475,000 over 2 years.

This project aims to create an online archive of records about Aboriginal self-determination, the land rights movement and Aboriginal community survival programmes. The project will provide access to unavailable materials that record the perspectives and voices of Aboriginal participants in contemporary political history, including primary source material collected and donated by individuals and community-controlled organisations. The project expects to address the data gaps in Australia’s historical record and improve public understanding and awareness. It will also inform educational curricula and public policy responses for the political, legal, health and social position of Australia’s indigenous communities.

This is an exceptional outcome for the ESRC. The ARC awarded LIEF funding to 5 projects in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences out of the 48 LIEF successful projects overall. So that is 10.4%. This might seem low but it is better than recent years. Of the total funding awarded, the 5 HASS projects received $2.971 million out of the total allocation of $28.6 million. This is 10.3%. The two ESRC projects received $1.706 million of the HASS $2.971 million which is 57.4%. And the Repatriation Project was the third highest project allocation for the round.

ARC Grants

Return, Reconcile, Renew: understanding the history, effects and opportunities of repatriation and building an evidence base for the future (2013 – 2016)

ARC Linkage Grant (LP130100131)
Chief Investigators : A/Prof Cressida Fforde; Prof Daryle Rigney; Prof Paul Turnbull; Asst Prof Gavan McCarthy; Mr Lyndon Ormond-Parker; A/Prof Steve Hemming; Dr Michael Pickering; Prof Paul Tapsell; Dr C. Timothy McKeown; Mrs Grace Koch; Mr Thomas (Tom) Trevorrow; Ms Barbara Poliness; Mr Warren Gooda; Mr Lui David; Ms Amber Aranui; Ms Honor Keeler
Partner organisations: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Association on American Indian Affairs, National Museum of Australia, University of Otago, Office for the Arts, Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority Inc
Lead organisation: Australian National University

Building Futures for Young Australians at risk: a coordinated measurement framework and data archive (2012 – 2014)

ARC Linkage Grant LP120100220
Chief Investigators : Wyn, Prof Johanna G; McCarthy, Mr Gavan J; Scott, Ms Johanna H; Walsh, Dr Lucas L
Partner organisations: Beacon Foundation, Dusseldorp Skills Forum, Hands On Learning Australia, Social Ventures Australia Limited, The Foundation for Young Australians

The Saulwick Age poll archive: a national facility of authoritative records mapping a generation of social change at the end of the 20th Century (2011)

ARC LIEF Grant LE110100136
Chief Investigators: Prof Mark Considine, Dr Denis J Muller, Mr Gavan J McCarthy, Prof Toni Makkai, Prof Murray Goot
Partner Organisations: Macquarie University, The Australian National University

Women and leadership in a century of Australian democracy (2010 – 2012)

ARC LP Grant LP100200304
Chief Investigators: Prof Patricia A Grimshaw, Prof Marian Sawer, Prof Shurlee L Swain, Prof Anna Haebich, A/Prof Christina Cregan, A/Prof Judith B Smart, Dr Margarita J McCann, Prof Joy Damousi, Dr Darryl J McIntyre, Prof Amanda M Sinclair, Ms Maggie H Shapley
Partner organisations: Australian Nursing Federation, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, National Archives of Australia, National Film and Sound Archives, National Foundation for Australian Women, National Library of Australia

Establishment of the Australian Data Archive: an integrated research facility for the social sciences and the humanities (2011)

ARC LIEF Grant L E110100049
Chief Investigators: Prof Deborah A Mitchell, Dr Benjamin J Evans, Dr Steven McEachern, Mr Gavan J McCarthy, Dr John A Byrne, A/Prof Michele A Haynes, Dr Toby N Burrows, Dr Lynda A Cheshire, Prof David N Denemark, Prof Mark C Western, Prof Lorraine A Mazerolle, A/Prof Paul Ashton, Prof Nicholas M Nakata, Prof Paul C Memmott, Prof Ian McAllister, Dr Edith E Gray, Prof Alastair Pennycook, Prof John L Cordery, A/Prof Julie E McLeod, Prof John R Wiseman, Prof Sharon K Parker, Dr Andrea Gaynor

Australian Social Science Data Archive: Provision of advanced research infrastructure and collaborative Environment (2009)

ARC LIEF Grant LE0989083
Chief Investigators: Dr DA Mitchell; Dr BJ Evans; Prof MC Western; A/Prof DN Denemark; Mr GJ McCarthy; Prof NM Nakata; Prof L Mazerolle; Dr JA Byrne; Prof JR Wiseman; Dr MP Crozier; A/Prof AT Kenyon; A/Prof JE McLeod; Prof CB Ferguson; Prof PR Boreham; Dr LA Cheshire; Dr TN Burrows; Dr RJ Denning; Prof Dr LY Behrendt; Prof A Jakubowicz; Prof PF McDonald; Prof I McAllister; Dr EE Gray; Dr LR Smith; Mr SC Hungerford; Ms SK Holloway
Partner Organisations: The Australian National University, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia, The University of Melbourne, Griffith University, University of Technology, Sydney; Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Inc.

Who am I? The archive as central to quality practice for current and past care leavers (Forgotten Australians) (2008 – 2012)

ARC Linkage Grant LP0883232
Chief Investigators: Prof CF Humphreys; Prof SL Swain; Mr GJ McCarthy; Dr AJ Brown-May; Ms C Clare; Mrs M Bamblett; Ms C Asquini
Partner Organisations: Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Department of Human Services

Federal Government Grants

Department of Social Services
(previously: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA))

Find and Connect Records Access Documentation Project Phase 2: Grants Management and Administration  (2016 - 2017)

The National Find and Connect Web Resource - Continuing Development (2014 - 2017)

Find and Connect Records Access Documentation Project – Training Strategy Web  (2011 – 2012)

The National Find and Connect Web Resource – Activity 1: Database development (2011-2014)

The National Find and Connect Web Resource – Activity 2: Website and technology development (2011- 2014)

Victorian Government Grants

Department of Primary Industries

Shaping the Context for an Integrated Knowledge Hub for the Dairy and Grains  Industry Project (2011- 2012)

Office for the Community Sector

Reducing the burden, increasing the impact: enabling the growth of quality- knowledge within the Victorian Community Sector – Part 1 (2009)

Reducing the burden, increasing the impact: enabling the growth of quality-knowledge within the Victorian Community Sector – Part 2 (2010)

Education Investment Fund Projects

In 2010, the ESRC became the managing agency for the Data Capture and the Seeding the Commons projects of Australian National Data Service funded projects at the University of Melbourne. The projects  were completed in 2012.