17 September 2021

RAO Alert, 17 September 2021

Sapphire Update - Fields of Research (FoR) code changes

NHMRC is introducing a number of changes to Sapphire forms to ensure NHMRC application and peer review activities align with the updated 2020 Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) Fields of Research (FoR) codes, as follows:

  • The 2020 FoR codes are now available for researchers to select in their Sapphire profiles. These replace the 2008 FoR codes. Where a 2008 FoR code maps directly to a single 2020 FoR code, NHMRC has automatically updated any existing selections to save researchers having to update their FoRs. However, where a 2008 FoR code maps to multiple possible 2020 FoR codes, researchers will need to manually select at least one FoR from the 2020 FoR codes.
  • There will be no change to FoR codes in application forms for any scheme rounds that are currently open or preparing to open later this year. The 2020 codes will be introduced into NHMRC and MRFF grant application forms for schemes opening from January 2022.

Given these changes, researchers intending to self-nominate for peer review will need to check and, where necessary, update their FoR codes in their Sapphire Profiles (located under My Profile > Peer Review Information) in order for their self-nominations to be considered for this year’s cycle. We strongly recommend that all other Sapphire users also update their FoR selections as soon as possible.

A comparison document titled ANZSRC 2020 correspondence to ANZSRC 2008 that maps between the 2008 and 2020 FoR codes can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website to assist researchers with updating their FoR selections. Links to complete lists of the 2020 FoR codes and NHMRC’s research keywords will also be added to the Profile form in Sapphire in the coming weeks.

General instructions for updating Sapphire profiles are available in the Sapphire Knowledge Base, located under Researcher > My Profile.

NHMRC thanks all Sapphire users for their understanding of both the need for this important change and any inconvenience caused.

Nominate to participate in Peer Review for 2022

Researchers are now able to nominate themselves to be considered for appointment to NHMRC peer review panels in 2022 through Sapphire. Information on how to access and complete the self-nomination form is available under Researcher > My Assessments on the Sapphire Tutorials webpage. Self-nominations must be entered in Sapphire by Thursday 30 September 2021.

Nominations are now open for:

  • Centres of Research Excellence
  • Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants
  • Development Grants
  • Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases Funding Call
  • Ideas Grants
  • Investigator Grants
  • NHMRC e-ASIA Joint Research Program Grants
  • Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Partnership Projects
  • Synergy Grants
  • Targeted Call for Hearing Health
  • Targeted Call for Research into Improving Indigenous Maternal and Child Health in the Early Years
  • Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria (IREC) Assessor (Various Grant Opportunities).

Information and guidance relating to the peer review process, including guidance to help reviewers self-assess which schemes they might be suited to can be found on the NHMRC website.

Researchers without an active Sapphire account will need to either activate or register an account online. Instructions for doing this are available under ‘How do I activate my Sapphire account?’ on the Sapphire Help page. NHMRC suggests this is done as soon as possible, to allow time for account activation prior to the deadline.

If you are aware of any researchers interested in participating as peer reviewers please direct them to the NHMRC website.

Researchers will also need to ensure that their Sapphire Profile is completed and up to date when self-nominating for peer review (particularly their ‘Peer Review Area’ and ‘Fields of Research’ sections). Please note that the ‘Fields of Research’ dataset has been updated as explained in the notice above.