Reminder - 2023 Application Call closes on Sunday 21 May

A Primary Application call is currently open for grants of sea time on RV Investigator in 2025-26. Interested parties are reminded that this application call closes on Sunday 21 May at 11:59pm AEST.

The CSIRO Marine National Facility (MNF) offers Australian researchers fully funded grants of sea time on research vessel (RV) Investigator to conduct excellent research of national benefit. These grants are made available through the Granted Voyage Program funded by the Australian Government.

A Primary Application call is currently open for grants of sea time on RV Investigator in 2025-26. These applications will be used to build the Primary Voyage Schedule for that year.

Interested parties are reminded that this application call closes on Sunday 21 May at 11:59pm AEST

All applications must be submitted via our online application portal, MAPS, by this time. Late applications cannot be accepted.

Further information about the 2023 application call

Please also see useful information below: 1) tips for applicants; and, 2) additional scientific capability available in 2025-26.


One of the key things that stands out for me is that applicants actually make the case for why the research should be conducted – not just what research they are proposing – but why it is important to do it, and to do it now, and what new value does it add to the body of knowledge. Making the link to national value is also essential, but the research quality assessment will also look for the value to scientific advancement as a whole.

– Dr Sue Barrell, Chair of MNF Steering Committee.

Are you looking for advice on what makes a strong application? The following 8 tips have been provided by the Chairs of our MNF Steering Committee, National Benefit Advisory Committee and Research Advisory Committee.

  1. Clearly explain both the significance of the research you are proposing in the context of your field(s) as well as the impact on the broader society. 
  2. Make sure you engage with end users of your research early and that you identify them in your application. Has the proposal been co-conceived and co-designed with end users? Are there elements of co-delivery or regular communication end-to-end? Are the outputs co-produced? Co-design and early communication with those who will use your research is essential. 
  3. Clearly identify any co-investment in your proposal. This includes clearly identifying sources of financial and in-kind support for your proposal. 
  4. In 'Research Design', you should describe the where, when and why you will take samples and data, and how this is adequate to address your questions. Responses regarding your 'Research Methods' should describe the 'how:' the equipment, processing, subsequent analyses in the lab, etc.  
  5. In 'Looking to the Next Generation', you should clearly demonstrate how younger scientists, such as graduates and early career researchers, are going to explicitly benefit from the voyage experience. What will their learning opportunities be, both in the science itself and in the planning and conduct of the research?
  6. Clearly articulate what you are going to do post-voyage. Make sure that you show clarity regarding the pathway for ongoing collaboration, not just on the voyage but also in the post-voyage analysis and research outcomes. Is there a theory of change that demonstrates a pathway to impact? Is there a wrap up and evaluation element to consider what worked or could work better?
  7. Take time to explore, ask questions and understand the true capabilities of the Marine Application and Planning System (MAPS) platform and systems available (or not) to ensure the project methodology is appropriate and achievable.
  8. Make sure you submit your application for sea time before the deadline on Sunday 21 May at 11:59pm AEST.

If you have any queries or need further advice for your application, please contact the MNF team at


The MNF has a capability investment framework that seeks to continually acquire new research capability to accommodate the evolving research needs of users and developments in technology. 

From that capability pipeline, applicants can factor into their project proposals the following additional research capabilities being offered in 2025-26:

  • Underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of operation to 200 metres - configurable capability eg video capture, sample collection (equipment loan arrangement)
  • Underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of operation to 200+ metres (user supplied or sourced).

Please note that capabilities listed above are subject to successful procurement or other processes (eg equipment loans from other organisations) to obtain specified capability, and its successful integration into RV Investigator operations.

Capability requirements of individual project proposals, and the ability of the MNF to deliver them, will be determined at the time of application assessment. Please contact the MNF to discuss considerations in this space. 

For more information about MNF capability, download the MNF Capability Prospectus [pdf · 3mb]