17 August 2021

17 August 2021

Sapphire is NHMRC’s primary vehicle for enabling efficient and effective grant application submission and assessment, and grant administration. Sapphire is being developed and implemented in a modular way to progressively replace the Research Grant Management System (RGMS) with the aim of achieving end to end capability in Sapphire later this year.

NHMRC is working towards the launch of the two last major Sapphire modules—Select and Post Award—in the coming months, pending final testing. These modules will build on existing Sapphire application and assessment functionality that has been in production for more than twelve months for all Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA) and Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant opportunities.

NHMRC will confirm launch dates for the new modules in due course.

Select and Post Award Functionality

Functions supported by the Select and Post Award modules will include:

•    Select – generation of outcome documents (successful/unsuccessful letters, Application Assessment Summaries and Funding Agreement schedules) and notification to applicants
•    Post Award – acceptance/decline of offers, grant variation requests, grant payments and financial and scientific reporting.

Anticipated Launch Dates

NHMRC intends to take a staged approach to releasing the Select and Post Award modules. This is to align with scheme timelines, but also to minimise disruption to RAOs and Administering Institutions (AIs), and means that RGMS and Sapphire will continue to run concurrently until all schemes and grants have transitioned to Sapphire Select and Post Award by early 2022.

An anticipated launch schedule is provided below to assist AIs and researchers with forward planning, noting that:

•    not all schemes and grants will immediately transition to using the new modules. Initial schemes and grants for each deployment will be advised in future updates
•    in the interests of providing certainty and to avoid any delay in announcing outcomes, Investigator Grants 2021 outcomes (successful lists) will initially be notified to RAOs via email. Outcome documentation (outcome letters, assessment summaries and funding schedules) will then follow and be made available in either Sapphire or RGMS depending on when the Sapphire Select module is deployed
•    all dates and other details are subject to change depending on final testing.

† Some exceptions will apply to ensure new grants can commence paying, where needed, before Post Award Releases 2 and 3 are tested and deployed. Initial schemes and exceptions will be advised in due course.

Next Steps and Support

Until advised otherwise by NHMRC, RGMS will continue to be used for:

•    outcome notifications, offers and acceptances, and
•    administration of active grants, including grant variations, reporting and payments.

Updates on the launch schedule, including confirmation of dates and which schemes will be among the first to use/pilot each module, as well as links to training resources will be provided in the lead up to each deployment.

In the meantime, Sapphire and RGMS account holders should ensure that their email addresses are up-to-date and are encouraged to follow NHMRC_Sapphire on Twitter.

Please contact the Research Help Centre with any questions or concerns.