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 2013
Several changes have been made to the Early Career Fellowships scheme including:
- Only the Supervisor must submit a referee report – the independent and applicant nominated referee reports are no longer required.
- Requests to vary the sequence of an overseas Fellowship may be submitted and further guidance regarding the process has been provided.
- Wording for the Indigenous category has been clarified to ensure that it is for Indigenous researchers wishing to undertake postdoctoral research in any field and for all researchers wishing to undertake research in areas of relevance to Indigenous health. The scoring matrix has also been updated.
- When an applicant wishes to remain in the same research group the selection criteria and scoring matrix have been modified so that panel members can score applicants in a consistent manner.
For a full list of changes to the Early Career Fellowships scheme, please refer to Part 2, Section 7 of the NHMRC Funding Rules incorporating the Early Career Fellowships Scheme for funding commencing in 2014.
Queensland University of Technology Project Grant: Peer Review of Early Career Fellowships
Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the University of Melbourne will be conducting research on peer review processes within biomedical and/or public health full-time categories of the Early Career Fellowships scheme. Further information on the study is provided in the NHMRC information Document – see ‘Documentation to Apply for an Early Career Fellowship’ below.
Apply 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 email@example.com for more information.
A complete Early Career Fellowship application consists of:
- Parts A and B of the application form including all required PDF uploads; and
- The relevant information in your RGMS Profile and CV.
Prior to submission, applicants are to ensure they:
- Read all relevant reference material;
- Liaise with their Administering Institution to identify any specific requirements that the institution may have; and
- 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.
The key dates for the Early Career Fellowships 2013 application round for funding commencing in 2014 are:
- Applications open: Wednesday 27 February 2013
- Applications close: 1700 hrs (5:00pm) AEST, Wednesday 1 May 2013
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
To apply for an Early Career Fellowship please follow the steps outlined below:
- Review the current Early Career Fellowship Funding Rules, in particular the eligibility requirements;
- Ensure you use the NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS) to access/enter your CV and Profile, and submit your Early Career Fellowship application;
- Applicants must read the Early Career Fellowships Advice and Instructions carefully when completing their application;
- ECF Supervisor Report
Applicants should ensure their Supervisor completes the following template and submits it to the NHMRC by 1 May 2013 as outlined in the template. If the applicant is participating in the QUT study, the Supervisor also needs to complete the consent form;
- Early Career Fellowship Supervisor report template (DOC, 58KB)
- Consent to participate in QUT study (DOC, 19KB)
5. For applicants wishing to apply for a Co-Funded Early Career Fellowship, the following document details current NHMRC Early Career Fellowship co-funding opportunities:
6. The Early Career Fellowships Peer Review Guidelines for funding in 2014
If you require assistance and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.