Development Grants

The Development Grants scheme provides financial support to individual researchers and/or research teams to undertake health and medical research within Australia at the proof of principle or pre-seed stage that specifically drives towards a commercial outcome within a five-year timeframe.

Early stage research or knowledge creation research (this is fundable through the NHMRC Project Grants scheme) will not be funded through the Development Grants scheme.

The Development Grants scheme supports the commercial development of a product, process, procedure or service that if applied, would result in improved health care, disease prevention or provide health cost savings.

Research supported by this scheme must have experimental data that supports a demonstrated proof of principle or pre-seed concept and have a detailed feasible commercialisation strategy that takes into account the regulatory pathway, protectable IP, commercial barriers and potential routes to market.

Development Grants: Second 2015 Round Opening in November

Development Grants for funding commencing 2017 round will open for applications on 18 November 2015. All applications must be submitted on-line through RGMS by 3 February 2016.

RAOs are encouraged to work with their institutions’ Development Grant applicants to commence planning and negotiation with industry/commercial funding partners in preparation for applications commencing 18 November 2015. All relevant Grant Guidelines will be published on the NHMRC website on 18 November 2015.

Funding Outcomes from the Development Grant Funding round currently underway will be advised prior to the next round opening in November 2015.

If you have any questions please contact the NHMRCs Research Help Centre (RHC) on 1800 500 983 or at

Apply for funding

The NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS) must be used to access/update your CV and profile and to submit your Development Grant application. If they have not already done so, applicants are advised to gain an RGMS log on and commence their CV and profile.

Applicants who are not yet registered on RGMS, should contact the Research Help Centre on for more information.

A complete Development Grant application must consist of the following:

  • Completion of Parts A and B (including the Grant Proposal PDF template) of the application form; and
  • The relevant information in your RGMS profile and CV.

Prior to submission of an application for Development Grant funding, applicants need to ensure they have:

  • read all relevant reference material; and
  • liaise with their Administering Institution to identify any specific requirements that the Institution might have.

Applicants should note that as a result of streamlining the application and assessment (peer review) process for NHMRC schemes, less information will be required in the application compared to previous years. View more information on the Streamlining and Application Assessment Project.

Minimum Data requirements

For each application, it is mandatory that minimum data requirements be entered in RGMS by 5:00pm AEST on 6 May 2015 to allow the NHMRC to start sourcing suitable assessors. Applications that fail to satisfy this requirement will not be accepted. Applicants are also reminded to complete the recommended fields below with correct information. Using placeholder text such as “text”, “synopsis” or “xx” etc. are not acceptable as minimum data.

Minimum data for the Development Grants scheme consists of the following:

  • A-PA Home: Specifically, Administering Institution, Application Title, Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Research and Synopsis; and
  • A-RC Research Classification.

Key Dates

The key dates for the Development Grants 2015 funding round are as follows:

18 March 2015 Applications open in RGMS
6 May 2015 at 5:00pm AEST Deadline for entering minimum data requirements in RGMS
20 May 2015 at 5:00pm AEST Applications close in RGMS
13 -31 July 2015 Approximate dates for Applicant response (rebuttal)
10 September 2015 Completion of Peer Review
Late 2015 Funding Announcement

2015 External Assessor’s Briefing Pack

Changes to the Development Grants scheme for 2015

Applicants should note the following changes to the Development Grant scheme-specific Funding Rules for 2015:

  • Revised scope of Development Grants (see Section 1);
  • Revised Assessment Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians (see Section 6.2 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2015);
  • Change of the term ‘Funding Partner’ to ‘Industry/Commercial Partner’ (see Section 6.3);
  • Addition of External Assessor review (see Section 7); and
  • Revised Development Grants Category Descriptors (see Section 9 - Attachment A).

Documentation to Apply for a Development Grants

Research Classifications Guides including Broad Research Area, Fields of Research and NHMRC Keyword ⁄ Phrases

Development Grants Applications in Indigenous Health and Well-being

Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) Process

The Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) process was introduced into the peer review of Development Grants in 2014. This process identifies and removes the least competitive applications received by NHMRC based on initial scores provided by the commercial and scientific spokespersons. Please refer to A Guide to NHMRC Peer Review incorporating the Development Grants Peer Review Guidelines for funding commencing in 2016 for additional information.

2015 Development Grant Review Panel – Self-Nomination

Researchers interested in participating on a NHMRC Development Grant review panel can self-nominate through the Profile and CV section in RGMS. Nominations for Development Grant panels close 6 May 2015.

View the Guiding Principles of NHMRC Peer Review Panel Membership Nomination and Appointments. See the RGMS User Guide - Assessment Processes for full instructions.

Researchers nominating for Development Grants should list their area of expertise in line with the Australian Standard Research Classifications and NHMRC Research Keywords, and detail any expertise in the commercialisation of health and medical research (where applicable).

Recent Outcomes

Development Grants - for funding commencing in 2015 (coming soon)

Further information

If you require more information, direct your inquiry to your Research Administration Office in the first instance. If you require assistance and are unable to satisfy your concern by seeking assistance through your administering institution:

Contact the Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983, or email