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Early Career Fellowships

The purpose of NHMRC Early Career Fellowships is to provide opportunities for Australian researchers to undertake research that is both of major importance in its field and of benefit to Australian health.

A major objective of the scheme is to foster career development at the postdoctoral level by encouraging the beneficial experience of a different research environment.

Early Career Fellowships provide for  advanced training in health and medical research either in Australia or overseas (where appropriate), to enable Fellows to work on research projects with nominated advisers. Awards are offered to a limited number of persons of outstanding ability who wish to make research a significant component of their career.

A Guide for researchers applying for Early Career Fellowships

Applications for appointment as Early Career Fellows are considered by peer review panels, whose task is to consider and rank the applicants. In doing so, they take into account all the material submitted by applicants (see Early Career Fellowships Selection Criteria and Scoring Matrix in the Early Career Fellowships Funding Rules).

To help researchers contemplating applying for an Early Career Fellowship, NHMRC is providing information on a “typical” successful applicant, to guide researchers who are deciding whether to apply. This was derived from information provided on the successful application forms received by NHMRC in 2011. These “typical characteristics” must not be regarded as a “bar” above which applications will be successful as the range of output between individuals is evidently large. Peer review panels take into account all the selection criteria as a whole prior to any decision making and there are marked differences between even the top ranked individuals each year.

Changes to the Early Career Fellowships scheme for 2014

Several changes have been made to the Early Career Fellowships scheme including:

  • The Bernie Banton Fellowship has been added to the ECF scheme (transferred from the Research Fellowship scheme)
  • ALL applications will be scored against the ECF Selection Criteria with only the top scoring 50% to be discussed by the panels at teleconference.

For a full list of changes to the Early Career Fellowships scheme, please refer to Section 3 of the Early Career Fellowships Funding Rules.

Applying for Funding

The NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS) must be used to access/enter your CV and Profile, and submit your Early Career Fellowship application. Applicants that are not yet registered in RGMS should contact the Research Help Centre at for more information.

A complete Early Career Fellowship application consists of:

  1. Parts A and B of the application form including all required PDF uploads; and
  2. The relevant information in your RGMS Profile and CV.

Prior to submission, applicants are to ensure they:

  1. Read all relevant reference material;
  2. Liaise with their Administering Institution to identify any specific requirements that the institution may have; and
  3. Ensure their application is complete and correct.  Once submitted to NHMRC, your application will be considered final and no changes can be accepted.

Applicants are advised to contact the Research Administration Office (RAO) at their Administering Institution early in the application process and are asked to direct any questions they may have to their RAO.

Key dates

The key dates for the Early Career Fellowships 2014 application round for funding commencing in 2015 are:

  • Applications open: Wednesday 19 February 2014
  • Applications close: 1700 hrs (5:00pm) AEST, Tuesday 29 April 2014

Australia-China Exchange Fellowships

Early Career Fellowships include the Australia-China Exchange Fellowship. To apply for an Australia-China Exchange Fellowship refer to the Early Career Fellowships documentation.

Documentation to Apply for a Fellowship

  1. NHMRC Funding Rules incorporating the Early Career Fellowships Scheme for funding commencing in 2015
  2. NHMRC Early Career Fellowship Co-Funding Partners 2014 (PDF, 110KB)
    • For applicants wishing to apply for Co-Funded Early Career Fellowship, this document details current NHMRC Early Career Fellowship co-funding partners
  3. Early Career Fellowships Peer Review Guidelines for funding commencing in 2015 (PDF, 565KB)
  4. Early Career Fellowships Supervisor Report - no RGMS profile (DOC, 58KB)
  5. Early Career Fellowships Supervisor Report - with RGMS profile (DOC, 58KB)

Further Information

If you require more information, direct your inquiry to your Research Administration Office in the first instance.

If you are unable to satisfy your concerns by seeking assistance through your Administering Institution, please contact the Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983, or by email

Page last updated on 14 November 2014