Synthesis groups

Annual value



12 February 2018


 Claire Stephens

Since 2012, the Centre for Biodiversity Analysis has built an interactive and collaborative community across CSIRO and ANU, and this is set to expand to include the University of Canberra from 2018.

Looking forward, our key goals for the coming three years include:

  • Increasing success with collaborative research proposals (ARC or other);
  • Increasing demonstrable impact through translation of biodiversity research to policy and management; and
  • Increasing the number of joint publications across institutions.

To this end, we intend to fund a small number (2-4) of CBA Synthesis Groups (SGs) per year at ~$15-25K per SG.

This initiative will provide support for multiple meetings, and interim analyses, of small groups committed to generating;

  • High impact syntheses and reviews of existing data or concepts;
  • Collaborative grant proposals; or
  • Policy and/or management outcomes via knowledge transfer amongst biodiversity scientists and policy makers and/or managers*.



CBA Synthesis groups will need to:

  • Incorporate evolutionary biology, genomic, bioinformatic and/or spatial modelling concepts, techniques and applications;
  • Focus on either blue-sky research questions or applied research outcomes (including stakeholder participation) - the CBA intends to support a mix of SGs across basic and translational* research;
  • Be co-led by scientists from at least two or more CBA partner institutions and have strong involvement of ECRs; and
  • Present the outcomes of their SG in a CBA seminar by the end of 2018. We will also request a final report (including expenditure) on completion of SG activities.

*For EMCR-driven proposals with strong emphasis at the interface of policy and biodiversity science, we encourage applicants to also explore co-funding with the Environment and Society Synthesis Program (contact Prof. Saul Cunningham, Director, Fenner School for more information).

Group leaders and ECMRs may be included on up to two submissions per funding round.

Applications will be assessed by the CBA Director and Liaison Committee.

Please note: as part of our ANU-CSIRO CBA Umbrella Agreement, all manuscripts arising from CBA funding need to be sent to for review by the CBA Director and Liaison Committee prior to submission.


How to apply

Applications for 2018 Synthesis groups are due 12 February 2018. We have given this long lead time considering that this is a new initiative and the time needed to develop strong collaborative proposals. 

We invite you to submit (to a short proposal (~2 pages) that includes:

  1. SG title.
  2. Participants' names, affiliations, email addresses, area/s of expertise, career stage and role in SG (including any external researchers and stakeholders). 
  3. Brief outline of SG (including background, aims and expected outcomes and impact).
  4. Expected timeline (including approximate commencement and completion dates).
  5. Itemised budget (including any other funding sources and up to $25,000 from CBA).
  6. Potential policy and/or management applications if applicable.
  7. Intellectual property and confidentiality if applicable (we are required by the CBA Umbrella Agreement to identify any pre-existing IP or confidential data involved in CBA-supported activities).

Download a proposal template

Updated:  19 November 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Coordinator