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 (ie. ANU, CSIRO, UC) 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.


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 or less) that includes:

  1. SG title
  2. Participants' details 
  3. Brief outline of SG
  4. Expected timeline
  5. Itemised budget
  6. Potential policy and/or management applications
  7. Intellectual property and confidentiality

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

Download a proposal template


**Please note: as part of the CBA Umbrella Agreement (ANU-CSIRO-UC Contract), if you wish to publish any material (including Background or Other IPR or Confidential Information), that relates to a CBA-supported Project (e.g. Ignition Grants, Synthesis Groups) you must submit the proposed publication to all other Parties involved in the Project for their review before submission.

Updated:  19 June 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Coordinator