Synthesis groups

Annual value



30 October 2020


 Claire Stephens

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

Looking forward, our key goals 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, the CBA funds a small number (2-4) of Synthesis Groups (SGs) per year at ~$15-25K per SG.

This initiative provides 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.

Previously funded Synthesis Groups include:



CBA Synthesis Groups will need to:

  • Have a biodiversity science focus (evolutionary biology, population and ecosystem ecology, genomics, bioinformatics, and/or spatial modelling);
  • Address 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. We will also request a brief final report (including expenditure) on completion of SG activities.

* If you are interested in developing a proposal with potential policy and/or management applications, please contact our Knowledge Broker Paula Doyle (, Mon-Wed). Paula will assist with engagement opportunities with policy-makers and the preparation of a ‘policy-relevant’ proposal. For proposals with strong emphasis at the interface of policy and biodiversity science, we encourage applicants to also explore co-funding (when available) with the Environment and Society Synthesis Program (contact Prof. Saul Cunningham, Director, Fenner School for more information).

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


How to apply

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

Updated:  30 November 2020/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Coordinator