21 April 2020

Tracker is a fortnightly email newsletter that informs the Australian research community about major NHMRC activities and funding opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on NHMRC processes during the COVID-19 outbreak 
NHMRC has released FAQs on changes to the processes for NHMRC applications for funding, peer review, grant management and other changes since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Details are available on NHMRC’s website.

Ideas Grants application dates
NHMRC Ideas Grant scheme dates for 2020 are as follows:

  • Minimum Data due on Wednesday 13 May 2020
  • Round Closes on Wednesday 10 June 2020


Ideas Grants minimum data deadline
Minimum data must be entered in NHMRC’s granting system by the specified due date to allow NHMRC to start identifying suitable peer reviewers. Applications that fail to satisfy this requirement will not be accepted. Applicants must complete the required fields with correct information. Using placeholder text such as “text”, “synopsis” or “xx” etc. is not acceptable as minimum data.

Minimum data fields for Ideas Grants 2020 are indicated in Sapphire by a blue flag.

Failure to complete the minimum data fields by the deadline will result in the application being removed from the funding round.

RAOs are not required to certify applications for the purpose of minimum data. Applications should only be certified once complete and ready for submission.

2020 Ideas Grants Peer Review Membership
Membership requirements for Ideas Grants will be reviewed following the minimum data due date and appointments will be confirmed shortly after that date. NHMRC is conscious of calendar commitments and anticipates that membership will be finalised by the end of June. Please advise NHMRC as soon as possible of any changes to your availability for Ideas Grants peer review

Australian Research Integrity Committee update
NHMRC and the Australian Research Council are pleased to announce and welcome Ms Patricia Kelly as the new Chair of the Australian Research Integrity Committee (ARIC). We also welcome Emeritus Professor John Finlay-Jones as a new member.
We thank the departing Chair, Mr Ron Brent, and members Dr Kerry Breen and Emeritus Professor Sheila Shaver. All three are founding members of ARIC and have been instrumental in maintaining and promoting integrity in Australian research.

For further information about the role of ARIC see NHMRC’s website.

Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) 2020 grant opportunity – peer review panel meeting cancellation
In line with the communiques from the CEO on Thursday, 19 March 2020 and Friday, 27 March 2020, the decision has been made to cancel the Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) panel meetings in 2020.

Applications for the current 2020 CRE round will be ranked and recommended for funding based on the initial phase of the peer review process. It is anticipated that all CRE applicants will be notified of funding outcomes in July-August 2020.

An updated version of the Centres of Research Excellence 2020 Peer Review Guidelines can be found on the NHMRC’s website.

Tuberculosis control in Australia: case study
NHMRC played a key role in bringing tuberculosis under control in Australia. A new case study profiles how NHMRC and health and medical researchers contributed to the successful containment strategies for this contagious disease.   

More information is on NHMRC’s website.

The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announces the third Centre for Innovation in Regional Health
The Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre in northern Queensland is the third centre to be accredited as a Centre for Innovation in Regional Health by NHMRC. These centres encourage excellence in health research and translation in Australia by bringing together researchers, healthcare providers, education and training to improve the health and well-being of patients and the populations they serve.

The full media release can be found on the Department of Health's website.  The Assessment Panel’s Report on submissions NHMRC received for accreditation is available NHMRC’s website.

Extended deadline for Human Research Ethics Committees annual reports
The closing date for submissions of the 2019 Annual Report Form for Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and Certified Institutions has been extended until 5pm AEST Thursday 11 June 2020 to allow additional time to prepare and submit reports.

Information from the report is required to be included in the 2019 HREC Activity Report provided to the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. For any concerns or queries please contact the Ethics and Integrity Section of NHMRC before the closing date HREC.admin@nhmrc.gov.au.

Annual Compliance Reporting 2019
NHMRC asked RAOs of all Administering Institutions in an email on 13 March 2020 to complete and submit their 2019 Annual Compliance Report, using the spreadsheet that can be downloaded from NHMRC’s website- when you reach this page please scroll down to the download at the bottom of the page.

The due date for submitting your mandatory report is 30 April 2020. However, we understand that due to the COVID-19 pandemic some Administering Institutions may not be able to meet this due date. If you require an extension, please submit your request prior to the due date to research.sector.data.policy@nhmrc.gov.au.

Featuring research outcomes
If you have a publication that acknowledges NHMRC as a funder please let us know so we can tweet about it. Either:

  • tweet including @NHMRC and #NHMRCresearch and we’ll retweet or
  • submit your details on NHMRC’s website and NHMRC will write a tweet 

Key application dates

Funding Scheme

Open Date

Minimum Data Due

Applications Close

GACD- Cancer Prevention Call




Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants




Ideas Grants




Special Initiative in Mental Health




2020 Partnership Projects PRC1




Postgraduate Scholarships




*NB schemes are in order of opening dates