Partnership Projects

NHMRC Partnerships for Better Health – Partnership Projects (Partnership Projects) will help create partnerships among decision makers, policy makers, managers, clinicians and researchers. This funding scheme provides funding and support to create new opportunities for researchers and policy makers to work together to define research questions, undertake research, interpret the findings and implement the findings into policy and practice.

Partnership Projects will answer a specific research question to influence health and well-being through changes in the delivery, organisation, funding and access to health services.

Continuous Application Process

This scheme allows applicants to apply at any time during the year rather than through just one annual round. This is to allow researchers and partner organisations to develop timely collaborations. The grant commencement date is not fixed for 1 January – it will be aligned with the timing of each peer review cycle. This allows funding to be administered more quickly after grants are awarded provided all necessary documentation is in place.

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 Partnership Project application.

Applicants, who are not yet registered on RGMS, should contact the Research Help Centre on help@nhmrc.gov.au for more information.

A complete Partnership Projects application must consist of the following:

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

Prior to submission of an application for Partnership Project funding, applicants are to ensure they:

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

Key Dates

The Partnership Projects 2016 round will open on 20 January 2016. Applications can be submitted at any time during the year, up until 7 December 2016.

Peer review of applications received in 2016 will occur in two distinct cycles. The deadline for each of the Peer Review Cycles (PRC) is listed below:

Process PRC #1 PRC #2
NHMRC Approved Administering Institutions wavier due date 1 June 2016 9 November 2016
Minimum data due 15 June 2016 23 November 2016
Application due date 29 June 2016 7 December 2016
Peer Review Meetings September 2016 March 2017

Changes to Partnership Projects for 2016

Applicants should note the following changes to the Partnership Projects scheme-specific Funding Rules for 2016:

  • Additional funding is available to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research through a Partnership Projects Special Initiative (see Section 8).
  • Assessment criteria – Track Record now includes Partner Organisations and Partner Investigators.
  • Characteristics of strong applications have been updated to provide more guidance to applicants.
  • Category Descriptors have been updated.

Peer Review Cycles

Applications will proceed to peer review depending on when they are submitted to NHMRC. For example, for an application to be peer reviewed in the first cycle (PRC #1); applicants must ensure minimum data requirements are met by 15 June 2016, and the application must be submitted by 29 June 2016. Applications that have met minimum data requirements but are not submitted by the application due date will remain active. The applicant may continue to work on the application and submit to the next available peer review cycle.

Any application which was started but was not submitted by the second peer review cycle deadline of 7 December 2016 will need to reapply in 2017.

NHMRC Administering Institutions Partner Waiver

NHMRC Approved Administering Institutions (Administering Institutions) cannot be named as a partner on a Partnership Project application, unless they:

  • are primarily an organisation which delivers health policy and/or health services, and
  • obtain a waiver from NHMRC.

This is consistent with the description and objectives of the scheme, which includes the aim to create partnerships among decision makers, policy makers, managers, clinicians and researchers to improve the translation of research evidence into health policy and health practice.

This policy includes organisations that falls under the “umbrella” of an Administering Institution (such as having the same ABN/CAN, falls under the same governance, or is not a legal entity of its own and falls under the auspices of an Administering Institution).

An Administering Institution that is primarily involved in delivering health policy and/or health services can apply for a waiver. Requests for waivers need to be made through the Research Administration Office of the Administering Institution that is applying for the waiver.

Completed request for wavier forms must be emailed to help@nhmrc.gov.au by the relevant date (see Partnership Projects Funding Rules). The waiver request must clearly outline why the Administering Institution should be considered as a partner organisation.

Waiver requests that fail to address each of the points within the form will be denied.

Following assessment, NHMRC will provide written advice concerning the decision. Approved waivers will be valid for any Partnership Project applications submitted for the remainder of the calendar year, commencing from the date of the written advice.

Administering Institutions that do not obtain a waiver may be listed as a participating institute, if appropriate, however any contributions will not be considered ‘partner funding’ and therefore matched funding will not be provided.

Applications that name Administering Institutions as partners (without obtaining a waiver) may be deemed ineligible.

Due dates for the submission of waivers can be found in the Partnership Projects Funding Rules.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Special Initiative

Special Initiatives are health areas in which NHMRC has received additional research funding from other parties to support research.

In 2016, a Special Initiative in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is being offered through support from the Department of Health. This Special Initiative will support population and health services research aiming to promote health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Successful applications will identify a research question focusing on either a health system/ health policy issue or key health challenge.  The research proposal will be more instrumental than descriptive or biomedical in focus and must aim to integrate research evidence into health policy and practice in at least one of the following priority areas:

  1. Primary health care delivery
  2. Health literacy and encouragement of healthy living across the life course
  3. Child and family health
  4. Youth health and wellbeing including promoting resilience

  5. Chronic disease prevention, identification and management

Applicants will have the opportunity to indicate whether their application addresses this Special Initiative. Such applications will undergo an additional assessment to determine whether they address the requirements as stipulated in Attachment C of the 2016 Partnership Project Funding Rules. This assessment will be taken into consideration when NHMRC determines funding recommendations.

All applications for Partnership Projects support, regardless of whether an application is confirmed by NHMRC as addressing a Special Initiative, are peer reviewed in the same manner.

The number of grants awarded through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Special Initiative is limited by the total funding available and is subject to receipt of a competitive application.  The maximum amount of NHMRC funding that may be requested for a single application under this Special Initiative is $1.5 million.  For further information see Attachment C of the 2016 Partnership Project Funding Rules.

Applications addressing the Special Initiative in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health are required to upload the completed Supplementary Questions form which can be downloaded below.  

Documentation to Apply for a Partnership Projects 2016 round

These must be read in conjunction with the NHMRC Funding Rules 2016, NHMRC Advice and Instructions to Applicants 2016 and Guide to NHMRC Peer Review 2016, which have also been revised.

Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians (applicable for applicants applying for NHMRC Partnerships for Better Health – Partnership Projects in the area of Indigenous Health)

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

Minimum Data requirements

To be eligible to apply, the following sections of the application form must be completed in RGMS by the dates identified above:

  • A-PA Part A Home (specifically the Administering Institution, Application Title and Synopsis)
  • A-RC Research Classification
  • A-RT Research Team and Commitment (core team members if known)

Once the minimum data date passes, applicants will not be able to create a new application in that peer review cycle. New applications will need to be created in the next peer review cycle.

Applications must meet the corresponding minimum data and submission deadlines to be reviewed in a particular cycle. Applications that do not meet minimum data deadlines will be removed from RGMS. Applications that meet minimum data requirements but are not submitted for review will be retained in RGMS as an incomplete application and may be submitted for assessment in the next cycle provided corresponding deadlines are met. After 7 December 2016, any applications not submitted will be removed from RGMS.

Applicants are also reminded to complete the recommended fields with correct information. Using placeholder text such as “text”, “synopsis” or “xx” etc. are not acceptable as minimum data.

Note that RAOs should not certify applications for the purpose of minimum data; applications should only be certified once complete and ready for submission.

Recent Outcomes

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 help@nhmrc.gov.au.


Documentation to Apply for a Partnership Projects 2015 round (NOW CLOSED)

Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians (applicable for applicants applying for NHMRC Partnerships for Better Health – Partnership Projects in the area of Indigenous Health)

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