Want to see your research make a difference in the world?

ON Prime empowers Australian researchers to attract the resources they need to create impact.

Purpose built for researchers, our hands-on learning program provides you with skills to take your projects and career forward, navigating the changing research landscape. ON Prime is a national program open to researchers from Australian universities and public research organisations. The program is open to researchers at any stage of their project, in any discipline.

Spring session 2019

  • Program runs for eight weeks between September – December

The experience

During ON Prime, you'll develop a deeper understanding of the people who could benefit the most from your research, testing your ideas and sharpening your skills to communicate with them. Across six full-day sessions, expert facilitators and mentors will support you to build evidence for the potential impact of your research.

ON Prime helps teams ensure they are working on the right problems. We support you with frameworks to test assumptions about your ideas with stakeholders, so you can build a roadmap and attract the resources you need to make a difference.

Time is carved out in the sessions for you to work on your project and connect with potential beneficiaries, new partners or industry. In addition to the face-to-face sessions, your team will find opportunities to have short, sharp conversations to get insights from people outside the program. Throughout the journey, you'll explore the impact your research can make and build new networks to create real change in the world.

As teams continue to advance their work, there is a performance bonus of up to $3000 available for every team at the completion of the program. Teams who really excel have an opportunity to gain an extra $2000 to further their work.

The outcomes

Every team's pathway through ON Prime is different. However, common outcomes from the 300+ teams who have completed the program include:

  • Attracting new funding sources
  • Establishing new partnerships
  • Increasing industry engagement
  • Improving clarity around the impact and focus of your research

The benefits

  • All ON programs are free
  • Support and guidance from expert facilitators, leadership coaches and mentors
  • Develop strong networks amongst stakeholders and industry
  • Very practical - put everything into practice while you're learning
  • Potential access to significant follow-on support
  • Straightforward application process (average time to prepare and complete application is one hour)
  • All Intellectual Property (IP) and equity remains with you or your institution

We're looking for researchers who are...

  • Motivated to make a positive difference using their research
  • Willing to challenge themselves and their ideas

"I'm much better equipped to articulate to grant funders or industry why our projects are worthy of success. We're better set up to deliver those results too – it's given our team a massive confidence boost."

"Don't think that your project is too early for ON Prime, I wish we had done it right at the start – it's really helped clarify the direction and saved us loads of time in the long run."

"To be completely honest, I didn't think we would get much benefit. But it's really changed what we're doing now. I strongly encourage anyone at any career stage to go."

"It's completely changed the way I think about my research and its role in society. I can't recommend it highly enough."

"If you care about your work genuinely making a difference in the world, you need to do ON Prime – don't just assume you're on the right pathway, you might be wasting your time."


We set up ON Prime hubs based on the locations of successful applicants and on demand. We aim for 6-10 teams per hub.

For this round we plan to run hubs in: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney, Townsville and Wollongong.

We may have capacity to add a hub if there are at least six successful teams from a new region.

Some travel funding is available for successful teams to travel to their closest hub. If your team is geographically spread out, we can also support people to travel interstate to join their team.


ON runs national programs open to researchers from any Australian university or public research organisation.

For ON Prime, you must apply with a team of 2-6 people. Only one person needs to be a researcher. The rest of your team might be your colleagues, or they could include people from other research organisations; community representatives; industry partners; university students; someone from your organisation involved in research services, tech transfer, or communications; or anyone else you think will add value to your team. If you are a small team, think about who else you could involve in ON Prime to strengthen your group.

[Image appears of Brian Spak inside a building talking to the camera and text appears on his left: Brian Spak]

Brian Spak: I’m Brian Spak. I lead CSIRO’s work in grids and renewable energy integration.

[Text on the left of Brian changes to read: Fair Dinkum Batteries, apply knowledge and research, to see how the industry might respond]

So, at Prime I was part of a team called Fair Dinkum Batteries and we were looking at our ability to apply CSIRO’s knowledge and research into battery performance to see how the battery industry might respond to it and whether there was interest in applying our research to benefit industry.

[Image continues to show Brian talking to the camera and text on his left changes to read: a tonne of new insights and knowledge]

I had a great experience with ON Prime. I think our whole team did. It really provided us with a ton of new insight and knowledge about what the battery industry was after in terms of CSIRO, CSIRO’s research.

[Text on the left of Brian changes to read: Who was the right audience?]

A lot of the assumptions we came in to ON Prime with about who was the right audience for our research were proven to be wildly incorrect. And yet, we found another great audience for our research.

[Image continues to show Brian talking to the camera]

So, the actual experience I had with ON Prime and I think I speak for my team mates as well, it was great. It was a lot of fun.

[Text appears on the left of Brian: Better engage with industry]

The commitment wasn’t, wasn’t too much and I think we learned a lot, not just about batteries and battery research and how our research could have potential but more just about how to, on an ongoing basis better engage with industry to make sure that whatever we’re working on batteries or something else, that it finds a market.

[Image continues to show Brian standing in an office building talking to the camera]

So, if you’ve got an idea for a business or just for, for a research programme but you’re not sure how to let it grow in the world, just go for Prime. It’s really not a big commitment either to do the application or to do the full programme and you get a lot out of it. So, I think the, sort of the investment end versus what you come out on the other, the other side is really good. The juice is worth the squeeze.

[Image shows Brian smiling at the camera]

[Music plays and text appears on a blue screen: ON Powered By CSIRO, ONInnovation.com.au #ideastoimpact]

Brian Spak talks about his experiences with ON Prime

Contact ON

Your contact details

First name must be filled in

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.