11 October 2021

RAO Alert 

NHMRC would like to thank RAOs for providing helpful feedback on NHMRC’s proposed dates for 2022. NHMRC has now set dates for 2022 taking into account the following key considerations:

•    Addressing sector feedback seeking more separation between Investigator Grants and Ideas Grants rounds
•    Minimising overlap of review periods, application preparation and submission dates across NHMRC’s four largest funding schemes
•    Providing the earliest possible notification of outcomes
•    Aiming to reduce peer review burden over time
•    Avoiding national and school holidays, as well as key international conference periods, wherever possible
•    Taking into account NHMRC capability to deliver proposed timelines.

The most significant adjustment is to the 2023 Investigator Grants round, which will open soon after the conclusion of the 2022 Investigator Grants round, in a move to have outcomes prior to the 2023 Ideas Grants round. Other 2023 dates have not yet been set.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to start planning their applications early. This includes:

•    All current account holders to log in and update their profile in Sapphire.
•    New users registering for a Sapphire account well in advance of the opening dates to complete their profile.
•    Becoming familiar with the Sapphire system.

Please contact the Research Help Centre at help@nhmrc.gov.au for further information or assistance.

Confirmation of NHMRC’s 2022 Grant Program Dates

Background and context

NHMRC sought to move towards providing Investigator Grants outcomes before the 2021 Ideas Grants round, but the impacts of COVID-19 delayed implementation. The proposed timelines will not provide 2022 Investigator Grants outcomes prior to the 2022 Ideas Grants but our proposed 2023 schedule demonstrates our commitment to addressing the sector’s feedback on this issue.

In order to provide Investigator Grants outcomes prior to the 2022 Ideas Grants round, the 2021 and 2022 Investigator Grants rounds would need to overlap. For a number of reasons this was not feasible and as such, the proposed schedule aims to achieve this objective for the 2023 grant rounds.

While we note that the proposed timelines are not able to accommodate all aims, the 2022 and 2023 scheme dates balance considerations where practicable and map out a pathway to provide 2023 Investigator Grants outcomes prior to the 2023 Ideas Grants round.