Breakthrough Immunology Award


ASI Breakthrough Immunology Award 

Our most prestigious ASI award yet,
the ASI Breakthrough Immunology Award supports two outstanding emerging immunologists by providing funding toward their preliminary data for major grant funding applications.

Application round: 
May 6th - July 1st 2024


ASI recognises the increased financial pressure that our members face due to limited funding from major governmental bodies. This funding shortfall affects all of our members, but particularly ECRs and MCRs, who are at a key stage in their careers.


The purpose of the ASI Breakthrough Immunology Award is to specifically support promising early- to mid-career researchers (ECRs and MCRs) achieve a major breakthrough step in their career by providing much-needed funding for the generation of preliminary data sets required in major competitive grant funding applications. 

It has a particular focus on supporting the careers of emerging immunologists, those with recent near-miss applications, or applicants re-entering the workforce after an extended career break.

Two ASI Breakthrough Immunology Awards will be awarded per year, with each award worth AUD $ 50,000 for one year.  In keeping with our EDI values, we will award at least one woman recipient per year.

The funding will support research projects addressing a basic immunological question by research teams with a limited amount of funding covering current and future years to facilitate the acquisition of preliminary data thereby increasing competitiveness for major grant funding rounds.


  • Applicants with up to 15 years post-doctoral research experience (counted at application deadline). Career disruptions as defined by the Australian Research Council Relative to Opportunity statements will also be taken into account. Please provide details if you feel that you are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants who currently hold major NHMRC/ARC funding or equivalent as CIA or have held funding within the last three years are ineligible
  • Only one submission is permitted per application round. 
  • Applicants may be a group leader but cannot hold an appointment as an A/Prof. or Prof.
  • If the main applicant is not a sole applicant, a maximum of three collaborators may be listed. These collaborators:
    • May hold an appointment as an A/Prof. or Prof.
    • Must be current ASI members (cross-disciplinary members of the team do not require ASI membership if they are not Immunologists).
    • Ideally would form a balanced team reflecting equity, diversity and inclusions principles.
  • If the main applicant is not a sole applicant, and a listed collaborator is the direct supervisor of the main applicant, evidence must be provided that the application is independent from the direct supervisor’s projects under existing funding.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of support of their application from their host institution. The host institution can be within a university, affiliated to a university or major hospital, or an appropriate independent medical or scientific research institute.
  • Applications for projects involving budgets that exceed maximum AUD $ 50,000 will not be considered.
  • Applications that do not meet the formatting, text limits or eligibility requirements will be deemed ineligible.
  • Applicants must have been full (not interim) Ordinary or Student members of ASI for two years preceding the application.
  • Applicants must have paid their membership subscription before 1st April of the year of application. 
  • Applicants who have previously received an ASI Breakthrough Immunology Award are ineligible.
  • Applicants who are current members of the ASI Executive Committee are ineligible.

Application procedure

  1. Click here to download the Breakthrough Immunology Award application form.
  2. Carefully read the notes about Budget below.
  3. Save your file as "LASTNAME YYYY_Breakthrough" as a single pdf file.
  4. Log in to your member profile, click on 'Applications' and follow the prompts. 


  • Please note that GST does not need to be included in your budget – total award funding is exclusive of GST.
  • Consumables, animal costs, publication costs, software, outsourced service fees, equipment and personnel costs may be listed.
  • Funds cannot be used to support travel or minor operational maintenance (such as postage, printing, stationery, computer hardware and office/laboratory space).
  • Funds will not be provided to cover any overhead costs levied by the administering institution.
  • Award-supported personnel will be employees of the institution(s) in which the research is done and will be subject to the conditions of employment of those institutions.
  • If equipment is purchased, the host institution to which equipment is entrusted must undertake to maintain the items in good and working condition, and in a location where the sponsored research project is being conducted. Equipment bought with funds that were part of the award remain part of the project but provided that the project is satisfactorily completed, the equipment become the property of the host institution. 

Assessment Criteria

The chief criterion for the research award is to provide support for promising early- to mid-career researchers, not to simply fund projects.

Preference will be given on a needs basis, to near-miss considerations and career re-entry considerations. Preference will also apply to outstanding individuals not already recognised by awards of this stature, taking into account the prior achievements relative to opportunity (CV), team composition/feasibility, scientific quality and innovation of the application.

The awards will be assessed by a panel of judges including a balance of genders, career stage and geographical representation with members across branches. Results will be collated taking into consideration score, rank and if applicable any outliers.

If required, a panel discussion will be convened and confirmation of the awardees will be made by the ASI Executive committee. 

The Executive Committee reserves the right not to make an award.


AUD $50 000 for each award.  There will be two (2) awards granted.

Terms and Conditions

  1. The project needs to address a basic immunologic question. The research undertaken can have relevance to the medical field and make use of clinical samples, but funding cannot be used for clinical trials (e.g. compound testing)
  2. Main applicants must disclose their funding. This includes but is not limited to competitive and philanthropic grants, industry funding, start-up packages, fellowships. 
  3. Preference will be given to individuals on a financial needs basis.
  4. The work is expected to be undertaken in Australia and/or New Zealand, but this does not preclude funding a component of the project involving international collaboration.
  5. If applicable, the research must be approved by an authorised ethics committee. Ethics approval is not required for submission of the application but if the application is successful, ethics approval will be required within 6 months of approval notification and before any funds will be released.
  6. The awardee must sign, acknowledge and agree to the terms stipulated in the Research Award Agreement.

Successful Recipients - how to claim your ASI Award:

Please log in to your member profile to submit your Newsletter contribution, provide the signed agreement as per #6 above, and to initiate the funds transfer process.  Funds will be transferred to the Awardee's Institute / university / employer.

The successful awardee will be formally presented their award at the Awards Ceremony at the end of the year.

Upon the conclusion of the funding period awardees will also need to provide a final report.


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