27 January 2021

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

Improving Health Outcomes in the Tropical North case study

NHMRC has released a new case study on the program Improving Health Outcomes in the Tropical North (HOT North), in partnership with the Menzies School of Health Research.

Tropical medicine and healthcare services are key to enabling more Australians to live and work in northern Australia. HOT North’s primary aim is to build the health research workforce across northern Australia.

Three years in, HOT North has led to 47 projects, 23 fellowships, 14 scholarships and 13 Indigenous capacity building training awards.

NHMRC impact case studies are developed in partnership with health and medical research sector organisations. To partner with NHMRC to produce a case study, please refer to our Guidelines.

Read more about HOT North

Investigator Grants 2021

The Investigator Grant scheme will open for applications on Wednesday, 3 February 2021.

The Investigator Grants 2021 Grant Guidelines and Peer Review Guidelines will be made available on the NHMRC website when the scheme opens.

Please contact the Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983 or email help@nhmrc.gov.au for further information or assistance.

Updated Investigator Grants 2021 Key Changes Factsheet 

The Investigator Grants 2021 Key Changes Factsheet published on Friday, 8 January, was unfortunately incorrect. The correct version now available on the website outlines the academic levels typically expected at each Investigator Grant Level in Appendix A: Statements of Expectations

NHMRC recognises that prospective applicants are actively considering their application and apologises for any issues this may have caused. The Factsheet is intended to provide advice to help inform forward planning and recognises the diversity of the sector and the many different settings in which researchers are employed.

The updated version was published on the NHMRC website and Research Administration Officers were advised via an RAO Alert on Friday, 15 January.

2019 Human Research Ethics Committees Activity Report

NHMRC-registered Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and NHMRC-certified institutions are required to submit annual reports to NHMRC. The data from these annual reports is summarised in an activity report each year, which provides an overview of the Australian HREC system of ethical oversight of research involving humans, including the composition of HRECs and their processes for considering research proposals and monitoring approved research. The activity report for 2019 has now been published and can be found on NHMRC’s website.

Community Research Priorities Portal – submissions close 5 February 2021

The Community Research Priorities Portal enables community and professional groups to propose research topics to NHMRC that may warrant a dedicated funding call, in the form of a Targeted Call for Research. Potential research topics submitted through the portal must address a significant research knowledge gap or unmet need and/or link to national, state and territory and/or community priorities. Submissions developed and/or driven by individuals and academic/research institutions will not be considered.

The Portal is currently open for submissions, closing on 5 February 2021. Further information is available on the NHMRC Website.

Public Call extended — Research priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

NHMRC is inviting stakeholders and members of the public to submit research priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, specifically where is there a significant research knowledge gap or unmet need. We have extended the closing date for this call to Monday, 8 February 2021.

Further details and submissions can be made here

Special Initiative in Human Health and Environmental Change (SIHHEC)

Applications for the Special Initiative in Human Health and Environmental Change (SIHHEC) are currently open. The SIHHEC aims to strengthen the Australian health system’s resilience, preparedness and responsiveness to changing environmental conditions and extreme weather events. 

The special initiative will fund a single, multidisciplinary, nationally focused network. As such, NHMRC anticipates receiving only a small number of applications from diverse, collaborative research groups with capacity to meet the objective of SIHHEC. Prospective applicants are encouraged to engage with others and consider joining forces wherever possible. To facilitate collaboration in developing applications, NHMRC is maintaining a list of prospective applicants. A copy of the list is available by emailing: targeted.research@nhmrc.gov.au 

Applications close at 5pm (ACT local time) on 31 March 2021, with minimum data due by 5pm (ACT local time) on 10 March 2021.

See the NHMRC Website for more details. 

NHMRC-ERC Implementing Arrangement - call for expressions of interest

NHMRC-funded researchers can apply to work with European research teams for up to a year during their grant period. Information about the current opportunities can be found here. Contact ERC for further details.

European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)

NHMRC is supporting a JPND funding call that will enable Australian researchers to join international collaborations investigating linking pre-diagnosis disturbances of physiological systems to Neurodegenerative Diseases. 

Interested parties are referred to the JPND website for further information.

NHMRC -National Institute for Health Research Collaborative Research Grants Opportunity

NHMRC is providing up to $3 million of co-funding to support Australian researchers participating in the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme.  For information on the 2020 commissioned research topics available to Australian researchers visit the NHMRC website.

Ideas Grants key application dates

The Ideas Grant scheme for funding is scheduled to open on 10 March 2021, minimum data is due on 7 April 2021 and applications close on 5 May 2021.                                                                                              
NHMRC has published the average criterion scores for the 2019 and 2020 Ideas Grants funding rounds. This information is available on the NHMRC website.

Synergy Grants 2021 key application dates

The Synergy Grant scheme for funding commencing in 2022 is scheduled to open 24 February 2021. Minimum data is due 24 March 2021 and applications close 21 April 2021.

Update on Synergy Grants peer reviewer membership

NHMRC thanks all those who have accepted a preliminary invitation to participate as a Synergy Grants peer reviewer in 2021. A second round of invitations will be sent and NHMRC encourages members of the research community to contribute their expertise to the peer review process. Further information on NHMRC peer review will be sent to invitees in the coming months.

MRFF Grant Opportunities

The application due date for the following MRFF Grant Opportunities is 3 February 2021:

  • 2020 Efficient Use of Existing Medicines Grant Opportunity
  • 2020 Maternal Health and First 2000 Days, Early Childhood, and Exercise and Nutrition Grant Opportunity 
  • 2020 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Opportunity.

A further 9 MRFF grant opportunities are currently open for applications in Sapphire. Minimum data deadlines and application close dates are detailed in the key application dates table below.  Additional details on how to apply for MRFF grant opportunities are available on GrantConnect.  

Researchers, consumers, clinicians and health practitioners, as well as those in industry, policy or who manage health services are invited to express their interest in assisting with the assessment of MRFF applications as a member of a grant assessment committee. Register via the NHMRC online portal.

Further information on these MRFF grant opportunities can be found on the NHMRC website.

NHMRC participation in the 2021 e-ASIA Joint Research Program

NHMRC is participating in the 2021 e-ASIA Joint Research Program 10th Health Research call for research proposals in infectious diseases or cancer. To be eligible to apply for NHMRC funding, a research project must consist of Australian researchers partnering with at least two research teams from participating e-ASIA member organisations. Details on the Health Research call are available on the GrantConnect, NHMRC and e-ASIA websites. 

NHMRC will accept applications from Australian researchers partnering with e-ASIA research teams from 0900 AEDT, 1 February 2021. Applications must be submitted via NHMRC’s Sapphire online grant management system by 1700 AEDT, 29 March 2021

Sapphire Update - preparing for 2021 rounds

Researchers are responsible for confirming that their profile data is complete and up-to-date prior to submitting an application, and/or to be considered for peer review. A summary of the key changes to a Sapphire Profile from RGMS and NHMRC's recommendations for checking your profile data are available here

NHMRC is now considering peer reviewer requirements for the 2021 grant opportunities. Please ensure you have completed your Peer Review Areas and Fields of Research within your Sapphire profile. This will assist NHMRC to identify peer reviewers. For more information please visit the Sapphire webpage.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to start planning their grant applications early. This includes new users registering for a Sapphire account well in advance of the opening date to update their profile and become familiar with the system. Information on how to do this is available from the Sapphire landing page or on NHMRC’s Sapphire Page.

As part of NHMRC’s continuous improvement of Sapphire, Researchers and RAOs may notice some recent changes:

  • Chief Investigator Invitation functionality has been simplified, and
  • Grant Opportunity (GO) name is included on all application forms.

Further details are available on Sapphire – Recent updates webpage.

RGMS

RGMS will be off line on Saturday 6 February 2021 from 8am till 8pm for a critical infrastructure upgrade.

Open

Funding scheme

Open date

Minimum data due

Applications close

MRFF Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative – 2020 Maternal Health and First 2000 Days, Early Childhood, and Exercise and Nutrition Grant Opportunity

12-Oct-20

20-Jan-21

03-Feb-21

MRFF Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative -  2020 Efficient Use of Existing Medicines Grant Opportunity

12-Oct-20

20-Jan-21

03-Feb-21

MRFF - Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative - 2020 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Opportunity

07-Oct-20

20-Jan-21

03-Feb-21

MRFF International Clinical Trials Collaborations 20.2 Grant Opportunity

02-Sep-20

17-Feb-21

03-Mar-21

MRFF - Genomics Health Futures Mission - Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant Opportunity

16-Dec-20

17-Feb-21

03-Mar-21

MRFF - Traumatic Brain Injury Mission - 2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Mission Grant Opportunity

16-Dec-20

17-Feb-21

03-Mar-21

MRFF - Stem Cell Therapies Mission - 2020 Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity

16-Dec-20

17-Feb-21

03-Mar-21

MRFF - Cardiovascular Health Mission - 2020 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity

16-Dec-20

17-Feb-21

03-Mar-21

MRFF - Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative - 2020 Improving Diagnosis in Cancers with Low Survival Rates Grant Opportunity

14-Dec-20

24-Feb-2021

10-Mar-21

MRFF - Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission - 2020 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity

16-Dec-20

24-Feb-21

10-Mar-21

MRFF - Indigenous Health Research Fund - 2020 Indigenous Health Research Grant Opportunity

18-Dec-20

24-Feb-21

10-Mar-21

MRFF - Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative - 2020 Paediatric Cancer Grant Opportunity

16-Dec-20

24-Feb-21

10-Mar-21

Special Initiative in Human Health and Environmental Change

18-Nov-20

10-Mar-21

31-Mar-21

Partnership Projects 2021 PRC1

13-Jan-21

24-Mar-21

07-Apr-21

 *NB schemes are in order of closing dates

Upcoming

Funding scheme

Open date

Minimum data due

Applications close

NHMRC e-ASIA 2021 Joint Research Program

1-Feb-21

1-Mar-21

29-Mar-21

2021 Investigator Grants

03-Feb-21

03-Mar-21

31-Mar-21

2021 Synergy Grants

24-Feb-21

24-Mar- 21

21-Apr-21

2021 Ideas Grants

10-Mar-21

07-Apr-21

05-May-21

2021 Postgraduate Scholarships

14-Apr-21

12-May-21

09-Jun-21

Development Grants

21-Apr-21

26-May-21

16-Jun-21

Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2

25-Mar-21

28-Jul-21

12-Aug-21

2021 Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants

30-Jun-21

28-Jul-21

25-Aug-21

Partnership Projects 2021 PRC3

29-Jul-21

17-Nov-21

01-Dec-21

 *NB schemes are in order of closing dates 

Tracker

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