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Project Grants

The objective of the Project Grants scheme is to support the creation of new knowledge by funding the best investigator-initiated research project plan of five years, or less, in any area relevant to human health.

A Project Grant application must outline a research proposal that describes the investigation of a new research idea/s. The proposal must support a particular set of aims and the budget must be directed to those aims. Single investigators or teams of up to ten chief investigators are supported as well as New Investigators (early career investigators).

Apply for funding

The NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS) must be used to access/update your Profile and CV and to submit your Project Grant application.

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

A complete Project Grant application must consist of the following:

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

Prior to submission of an application for Project 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.

Minimum Data Requirements

For each application, it is mandatory that minimum data requirements be entered in RGMS by 17:00 hrs AEDT on 18 February 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 Project Grants scheme consists of the following:

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

Key Dates

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

17 December 2014 Application information and templates available
14 January 2015 Applications open in RGMS
21 January 2015
at 17:00 hrs AEDT
Deadline for submission of New Investigator online forms to NHMRC
18 February 2015
at 17:00 hrs AEDT
Deadline for entering minimum data requirements in RGMS
18 March 2015
at 17:00 hrs AEDT
Applications close in RGMS
1 June – 9 June 2015 or
22 June to 30 June 2015
Approximate dates for Applicant’s response (rebuttal)
4 September 2015 Completion of Peer Review
October/November 2015 Funding Announcement

Changes to Project Grants for 2015

Applicants should note the following changes to the Project Grants scheme-specific Funding Rules for 2015:

  • Applications which fail to complete minimum data by 17:00 hrs AEDT on 18 February 2015, or any applications initiated after this date/time cannot be submitted for review;
  • Changes have been made to New Investigator Eligibility (see Section 5.1.3 of the Project Grants Funding Rules);
  • Chief Investigator A (CIA) Citizenship Waivers are no longer required. For eligibility requirements regarding citizenship / residency see Section 7.2.4 of the NHMRC Funding Rules;
  • The Assessment Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians has been revised (see Section 6.2 of the NHMRC Funding Rules); and
  • Assessment Criteria Category Descriptors have been revised (Attachment A of the Project Grants Funding Rules).

Changes to New Investigator eligibility process for 2015 Project Grants

Significant changes have been made to the New Investigator eligibility process for the 2015 Project Grants funding round. Applicants will now be required to complete the New Investigator online eligibility form. The early application and notification process is intended to allow applicants time to adjust the CI team if they do not meet the eligibility criteria. For further information refer to the Additional Guidance document (see below).

For further information on the New Investigator eligibility criteria see the NHMRC Funding Rules 2015 incorporating the Project Grants scheme-specific funding rules, Section 5.1.3.

Please note: the deadline for submission of New Investigator eligibility forms has passed. As such, the form is no longer available.

Further advice for Project Grants 2015 B-GP: Grant Proposal – CI Time Commitment to this Proposal

To minimise the information applicants need to include in the CI time commitment table within the template of the Grant Proposal, we provide the following advice:

  • internal column widths can be adjusted to suit - however the table must still remain within left and right margins as per formatting requirements;
  • provide a brief summary of the title, e.g. Cancer in adolescents;
  • provide a brief overview of the role, e.g. CIA - Project Lead, CIB - Biostatician; and
  • replace “if other application is funded” with “if other app funded”.

Documentation to Apply for a Project Grant

Research Classification Guide including Broad Research Area, Fields of Research & NHMRC Keyword ⁄ Phrases

Applications in Indigenous Health and Well-being

Five Year Project Grants

In 2014 there was a significant increase in the number of applications seeking five years of funding, from 192 applications in 2013 to 433 in 2014.  Of the 433 applications submitted, 71 were successful in being granted five years funding (16.4%).

Clinical Trials

NHMRC will only be able to fund a limited number of clinical trials and may require applicants to find co-funding as a prerequisite for NHMRC support if Clinical Trials Peer Review Panel members determine that this is warranted. See Section 6.2.3 of the Project Grants Funding Rules for additional details.

Applicant Response (rebuttal) Dates

The anticipated timeframes for Applicant Responses in 2015 are:

For applications being reviewed in Weeks 1-3:

  • Reports expected to be released 01 - 09 June
  • Expected due dates for reports 11 - 19 June

For applications being reviewed in Weeks 4-6:

  • Reports expected to be released 22 - 30 June
  • Expected due dates for reports 02 - 10 July

The actual date of release is dependent on the receipt of all assessor reports for the application. Applicants will be notified by email when their assessor comments are available and will have up to 10 days to complete their rebuttal response.  Applicant requests for NHMRC to move applications between rebuttal periods cannot be met as allocation is based on the week in which the application will be reviewed.

  • How to grant permissions for your RAO to submit a Rebuttal Response – 2014 (coming soon)
  • Uploading your Rebuttal (coming soon)

Applicants should notify NHMRC via email at immediately should they find a discrepancy with or have a concern regarding the appropriateness of the assessor comments.

Funding by Other Organisations

External Funding Schemes

In 2015, organisations offering funding through the NHMRC Project Grants scheme include:

While the funding of applications is managed by the external funding organisation, NHMRC conducts the peer review process. Applicants may select one or more funding organisation/s on their application form to indicate that the application/s are to be forwarded to the organisation for consideration of funding. NHMRC is unable to forward the application to an external funding organisation without the applicant’s permission. Following the peer review of applications NHMRC provides the nominated organisation/s with the outcomes of the assessment process for applications that are considered fundable, but not funded by NHMRC. Any additional/supplementary questions required by the organisation are to be submitted directly to that funding organisation.

For more information on how to apply for funding from these external funding parties, applicants should refer to their websites and to the Project Grants Funding Rules.

Gap Funding

External organisations may have funding available to support research in specific areas and use the NHMRC Project Grants scheme to identify such projects. External organisations that have expressed an interest in providing funding for suitable Project Grant applications are:

Gap funding is aimed at supporting fundable research proposals that are unsuccessful through the NHMRC Project Grants scheme. Applications that address specific research areas identified by the funding organisation may be funded through this mechanism. The decision to ‘gap-fund’ a fundable Project Grant application that is not funded by NHMRC, is made by the partner organisation which may request additional information from potentially suitable applicants. The duration, budget and award requirements for gap funding will vary according to the organisation.

Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) Process

Summary of NFFC process and outcomes

The Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) process was introduced into the peer review of Project Grants in 2010. This process identifies and removes the least competitive applications received by NHMRC based on initial scores provided by the primary and secondary spokespersons. A summary of the overall process is outlined below:

Recent Outcomes

Further information

If you require more information, direct your inquiry to your administering institution Research Administration Office in the first instance. If you require further assistance contact the Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983, or email

Page last updated on 23 January 2015