Ignition grants

Risk-taking research

Each year the CBA funds a number of pilot projects via our Ignition Grant program. We typically have two rounds per year (around March and September).

These small grants aim to 'kick-start' novel collaborative research between researchers from at least two or more CBA partner institutions (i.e. ANU, CSIRO, UC), with the intention that the interactions and results will subsequently form the basis of more substantial research proposals, publications, and/or collaborations in the future.

A CBA Ignition Grant provides an opportunity to test the feasibility of new and innovative ideas, techniques, tools, etc. with new collaborators. We are looking for creative, original project ideas that will benefit from seed funding.

Past and currently funded Ignition Projects


Ecogenomics and Bioinformatics Lab (EBL)

The EBL is a joint initiative of ANU and CSIRO to support training and collaboration, including Ignition Project work. The lab, in the Research School of Biology at ANU, includes experimental and computational facilities for both data generation and data analysis. Further information about the EBL can be found here.



We welcome novel and creative proposals from research scientists, post docs and PhD students working in biodiversity science, eg. evolutionary biology, population and ecosystem ecology, genomics, bioinformatics, and/or spatial modelling.

All proposals must show a direct, and genuine, collaboration between researchers from at least two or more CBA partner institutions (ie. ANU, CSIRO, UC). New collaborations are especially welcome. If collaborations are pre-existing, funding will only be awarded for new research proposals, not continuing, currently funded projects.

Group leaders, postdocs and/or PhD students may be included on up to two project submissions per funding round.

Up to $10,000 may be requested for:

  • fieldwork
  • sample preparation
  • sequencing
  • bioinformatics
  • technical assistance

If you are interested in developing a proposal with potential policy and/or management applications, please contact our Knowledge Broker Paula Doyle (paula.doyle@canberra.edu.au, Mon-Wed). Paula will assist with engagement opportunities with policy-makers and managers.


How to apply

Using the template (under Downloads) pitch us your risk-taking research idea.

Applications will be assessed by the CBA Director and Liaison Committee in terms of:

  1. Quality of the research question.
  2. Appropriateness of the research methodology.
  3. Fit to criteria:
    • stimulating a new collaboration across institutions, or if within existing cross-institutional collaborations, a new research idea;
    • justification of the study as novel pilot research; and
    • potential for the research to attract future competitive funding and/or develop into a larger study.



We request a brief annual progress report and a final report on your outcomes (including expenditure) on completion of your project. We also expect that you will present your project at some stage in a seminar to the CBA community.

As part of your final report, we would also like to know if the CBA Ignition Grant program has been of value to you and your work? Specifically, did your project result in any:

  • Publications
  • New grant applications and/or successful funding
  • New co-supervised students (summer students, Hons or PhD)
  • Applied outcomes - e.g. management, policy
  • New interactions/collaborations with scientists, from both within and outside your institution