Please note, applications for the 2024 ALA Australian Biodiversity Data Mobilisation Program have now closed.

General FAQs

Q. What will the program funding cover?

A. Program funding can only be issued to Australian institutions for the digitisation of existing species occurrence records. Funding cannot be used to purchase, transition, or develop new database software, however funding can be used to cover wages and purchasing necessary equipment to support digitising activities (e.g. cameras and scanners).

Q. What is classified as an ‘Australian institution?

A. A museum, university, government organisation, non-government organisation or any business or charity with a registered Australian Business Number (ABN).

Q. What type of data should I provide to the ALA?

A. This program only supports mobilising existing species occurrence records (i.e. the program does not support fieldwork to collect new data). The ALA requires that data be delivered in a Darwin Core Standard format under a Creative Commons licence. The ALA has templates for how this should be provided.

Q. What are national priorities?

A. Proposals must address one or more national priorities to highlight its importance to the panel. Examples of national priorities relevant to this program include the Commonwealth Threatened Species Action Plan, species that have been identified as underrepresented by programs such as BushBlitz, priorities identified in the National Biosecurity Strategy, or recommendations emerging from national biodiversity reporting programs such as the national State of the Environment report.

Q. Is the ALA looking for projects which target certain taxa?

A: We are accepting applications that focus on data from any species, however priority will be given to taxonomic groups that are under-represented in the ALA. Examples include, but are not limited to invertebrate groups, non-vascular plants, and marine species.

Q. How can I find out what taxonomic, spatial, and temporal gaps exist in ALA data?

A. We recommend exploring ALA to see what volume of data are already available for the subject of your proposed captured data. You could also refer to science-led work, for example the State of the Environment (2021) reportBush Blitz reports, and topical literature. As an additional example, here is a map released by Bush Blitz highlighting survey gaps within Australia.

Q. I applied to the 2022/2023 program and was unsuccessful. Can I apply again with the same project?

A. Yes. You are welcome to re-apply for the 2024 program, however your new application must address the updated 2024 selection criteria, grants policy and guidelines. See here for further information.

Q. If my 2024 application is successful, what needs to be provided to the ALA?

A. If successful, you will be required to provide your data to ALA in Darwin Core Standard and make it open and accessible under a Creative Commons licence. Additionally, you are required provide a short report including photographs to the ALA summarising what was achieved with the funding. The ALA team will be hosting information sessions, Q&A drop-in sessions, and one-on-one meetings to help support your project.

Q. My institution may already provide data to the ALA. Does my data need to be delivered independently?

A: Successful applicants must check whether their organisation is already sending data to ALA. If they are, applicants must arrange with the data manager at their organisation to have the project data included with the rest of the organisation.

Q. Does my data have to be completely analogue, such as handwritten notes or biological specimens?

A. No, it can be stored on a computer, but it must not have been shared with the ALA before. For example, if you have records from fieldwork in a spreadsheet, if it has not been shared to the ALA before, this will qualify. In this case, the work would entail conversion of the data to the Darwin Core Standard.

Biosecurity Stream-specific FAQs

Q: What if my data is sensitive?

Many collections and occurrences contain specimens or records that cannot be shared with third parties. The ALA operates consistently with the National Framework for Restricted Access Species Data. Records that can be shared but whose exact coordinates cannot be made clear, are eligible for this program. The ALA generalises records of sensitive species to 1, 2, 10, 30, or 50 kms. Unfortunately, the biosecurity stream is not available for collections or records that cannot be shared and must be withheld. The ALA’s preferred approach is for the entire dataset to come to us and for us to generalise it.

Q: Do I need to work for a biosecurity department to be eligible for this stream?

No, we welcome applications from anyone who holds large collections of invasive species or species of biosecurity value. This may include NGOs, community groups, businesses and government agencies.

Q: What if my invasive species data is of a native species?

You are welcome to apply for the biosecurity stream for native species data if the species is regarded as invasive outside of its accepted native range and this data has been mostly collected from outside of its native range. (E.g. in locations where it is invasive)

Q: What if I want to mobilise non-invasive data from a biosecurity collection?

To be eligible for the biosecurity stream, most data must be for invasive species or species of biosecurity interest. If most data are not of invasive species or species of biosecurity interests, please apply for the main data mobilisation steam to be considered for its biodiversity value.

Q: Is my data on feral animals or weeds relevant?

Yes, feral animals or weeds are of concern to environmental biosecurity and, as such this data is eligible for the biosecurity stream. Please note that projects covering recent invasive threats may have a higher priority for some criteria.

Q: Where should I look to learn about what might constitute an invasive species or a species of biosecurity concern?

The Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species is a valuable resource for finding species that are invasive and/or introduced into Australia. The Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water also have valuable resources for finding information about invasive species. The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries publish lists of species that are of biosecurity concern. Most of the species on these lists are not currently present in Australia (or recently arrived). These lists include:

Each State and Territory government also publish list of prohibited and restricted species in their state.

To help your application, please reference sources to justify the qualification of your data for the biosecurity data mobilisation stream.

    Submit your application

    Applications for the 2024 ALA Australian Biodiversity Data Mobilisation Program have now closed.