Key Changes to NHMRC Scientific Reporting (1 April 2015)
To reduce the administrative burden on NHMRC funded researchers, NHMRC is introducing changes to the Scientific Reporting and establishing Grantee Variations policies. Key changes are:
- Chief Investigator A (CIA) will no longer be required to submit the current forms for Progress Reports or Midterm Reports
- Scholarship supervisor reports will no longer be required
- The Final Report form has been reduced and focuses on Achievements and Expected Future Outcomes
- Chief Investigators (CIs) will now link all research outputs to the appropriate NHMRC Grant ID in their RGMS CV, not just publications and patents
- CIs are expected to update their RGMS CV annually as part of progress and final reporting requirements
- The Grantee Variations Policy now links to NHMRC progress reporting and assists NHMRC with meeting its responsibilities under the PGPA Act (2013).
NHMRC’s Funding Agreement provides researchers, through their Administering Institution, with broad parameters on the performance and funding of a grant’s Research Activities (as defined in the Funding Agreement). Progress and Final Reports, as required under the Funding Agreement1, are an important part of how NHMRC ensures the proper (meaning “efficient, effective, economical and ethical”) use of public resources2.
The purpose of these reports is to collect information about the progress and outcomes of a grant’s Research Activities, which are then reviewed by NHMRC staff. Research outcomes may be used by NHMRC for promoting research achievements, performance reporting and reporting to government. RGMS CV information may also be used during peer review to assess a grant applicants’ track record, and by NHMRC when reviewing or evaluating current funding schemes. Failure to complete and submit reports may impact on current and future funding until the report is provided.
In addition to Progress Reports and Final Reports (outlined below) NHMRC retains the authority under the Funding Agreement to request an additional report for further information about the Research Activity in the form and within the time frame specified by NHMRC. If the Administering Institution fails to provide the required complete and accurate report by the date specified, NHMRC may exercise its rights under the Funding Agreement.
From 1 April 2015, Progress Reports, as required under the Funding Agreement, are made in the form of an annual CV update in RGMS and grantee variation applications. Chief Investigators are expected to update their RGMS CV on an annual basis (end of June each year), including linking of outputs and outcomes to the relevant NHMRC grant identification number. The information collected in NHMRC RGMS CVs may be used by NHMRC staff to review progress. There will no longer be an obligation to complete the existing forms for annual or midterm progress reports.
Administering Institutions are obligated under the Funding Agreement to ensure that the Research Activity is carried out as approved. Consistent with the Grantee Variation Policy, an Administering Institution is required to advise NHMRC of changes to the Research Activity. NHMRC may exercise its rights under the Funding Agreement if complete and accurate variation requests are not submitted in a timely manner.
In accordance with the Funding Agreement and the relevant Funding Policy, a Final Report must be completed within six months of completion of the Funding Period or termination of the award. The reporting requirement includes:
- the completion of Final Report - Achievements and Expected Future Outcomes Summary; and
- updating the RGMS CV by linking the relevant research outputs and outcomes to grant identification number(s)
Final Reports are required for all NHMRC grants with the exception of Equipment and Independent Research Infrastructure Support Scheme (IRIISS). Research Fellowship grants which include either a Support Enhancement Option, a Trans-Tasman Joint Initiative Award or a Translation Advancement Incentive have an additional requirement to provide a one page report at the conclusion of the Fellowship. The Scholarship Supervisor report is no longer required and Scholarship holders continue to have no reporting obligations. Research achievements and expected future outcomes of the Research Activity are included in the Final Report - Achievements and Expected Future Outcomes Summary, which is available for completion under the Grant Management section in RGMS. Information provided in Final Report - Achievements and Expected Future Outcomes Summary may be posted on the NHMRC website, and may also be used for media purposes, promoting research achievements or performance reporting. Failure to provide the Final Report is a default under the Funding Agreement and may be a relevant consideration in relation to further applications for NHMRC funding.
Chief Investigators should have provided information on the achievements of a grant through their annual update of their RGMS CV, and are encouraged to keep their RGMS CV up-to-date even after the Final Report is submitted. This enables NHMRC to evaluate long-term scientific, health and economic impacts of NHMRC-funded research. Grant applicants can also use this information to demonstrate research outcomes from their previously held NHMRC grants.
RGMS User Guide – Grant Administration
The RGMS User Guide – Grant Administration is available for CIAs and RAOs to assist with meeting scientific reporting requirement through RGMS. The user guide is located on the following page of the NHMRC website under RGMS Training Program.
1 Please note that details of reporting requirements for Partnership Centres are separately provided in the NHMRC Partnership Centre Funding Rules and NHMRC Partnership Centre Funding Agreement.
2 Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act 2013)
Page last updated on 16 June 2015