1 June 2021

Welcome to Tracker, NHMRC’s fortnightly newsletter with the latest information on major activities and funding opportunities.

Update: Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 

The Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 2013 (updated 2021) has a new section. Section 7: Cosmetic testing bans the use of animals for testing of chemical ingredients in cosmetics and for testing of finished cosmetic products. 

These amendments are part of the Australian Government’s implementation of a ban on cosmetic testing using animals. The updated Code and supporting documents are available on NHMRC’s website.

Ideas Grants 2021

Ideas Grants Peer Review Processes

A total of 2,639 applications were submitted to the Ideas Grants 2021 round. 

Peer review processes have commenced and potential reviewers are currently declaring conflicts of interest (CoI) and suitability in Sapphire. For more information on the Ideas Grants peer review processes, the Ideas Grants 2021 Peer Review Guidelines can be found on NHMRC’s website. 

Peer Review key dates are:

  • Monday 24 May – Tuesday 8 June 2021 peer reviewers declare interests and suitability against applications
  • Mid – late June 2021 peer reviewers assigned to applications (based on results of the COI and suitability survey)
  • July-September 2021 peer reviewers review applications and submit scores and comments against Ideas Grant assessment criteria for each allocated application.
  • December 2021 notification of outcomes.

* The Ideas Grant peer review process and timelines are subject to change. NHMRC will notify peer reviewers of any timing changes.

Suitability Survey (Conflict of Interest)

The Suitability Survey (Conflict of Interest) process has commenced.

The deadline for completion of these declarations is Tuesday 8 June 2021. Any delays in completing these declarations may reduce the time allocated for peer reviewers to complete assessments. Please notify NHMRC as soon as possible if you are not able to meet this deadline.

If you have any questions please contact your secretariat. Sapphire enquiries should be directed to the Research Help Centre via email at help@nhmrc.gov.au. 

Synergy Grants 2021

The Synergy Grants 2021 Suitability Survey (Conflict of Interest) process closed on Monday 17 May 2021.

NHMRC is currently reviewing all submitted suitability surveys to determine a final list of peer reviewers prior to the commencement of stage one assessments on 2 June 2021
Further details are available on GrantConnect and NHMRC’s website.

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

Investigator Grants 2021 

The Investigator Grants 2021 round closed for applications on Wednesday 31 March 2021 with 1,721 applications submitted. The number of Investigator Grants applications submitted to the 2020 round was 1,780.

The Suitability Survey (Conflict of Interest) process is complete and assessments are now underway, due 18 June 2021

For the 2021 round of Investigator Grants, NHMRC has used declarations from over 550 peer reviewers and applied an application-centric approach to allocate applications to the combination of peer reviewers that maximises suitability and minimises potential conflicts of interest for each application, as well as balancing workloads.

Sapphire update

2021 Postgraduate Scholarships – Submitting a supervisor report

The Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme closes at 5:00 pm (AEST) Wednesday 9 June 2021.

The CIA on the application must ensure a complete application is submitted, including supervisor report and other documents required to conduct a complete assessment of an application.

All supervisors must have a Sapphire account in order to complete a Supervisor report. New Sapphire account requests should be submitted as soon as possible and at least 72 hours prior to application close. Any account activation processes started within 72 hours of the round close cannot be guaranteed to be actioned by NHMRC before close.

NHMRC will not respond to any enquiries submitted after 1.00 pm (AEST) on 9 June 2021.

Sapphire Instructions on how to complete a Supervisor report is available within the Grant Guidelines available on GrantConnect.

Supervisors are encouraged to share the Tracker sign up information with potential applicants for future updates and news on NHMRC grant rounds. 

NHMRC  - National Institute for Health Research Collaborative Research Grants Opportunity 2021 

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 2021 commissioned research topics available to Australian researchers visit NHMRC’s website.

CIHR Healthy Cities Implementation Science Team Grant Scheme 2021 Grant Opportunity

NHMRC is considering supporting Australian researchers to participate in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Healthy Cities Implementation Science Team Grant Scheme 2021 Grant Opportunity. For details refer to the forecast opportunity on GrantConnect.

For information about the CIHR Grant Opportunity visit the CIHR website.

Guidelines International Network ANZ free webinar

The living guidelines approach – is it achievable and sustainable?

Friday 11 June 11.00- 12.00 AEST

Keeping advice current is often one criticism of clinical guidelines. The ‘living’ guidelines approach aims to respond rapidly to important new evidence and ensure the recommendations are kept up to date. Aspects of this emerging approach will be described based on projects done in stroke and diabetes management. Important learnings will be shared along with ongoing challenges and potential future opportunities.

Guidelines International Network - Webinar registration

Key application dates


Funding scheme - open  Open date Minimum data due Applications close
2021 Postgraduate Scholarships 14-Apr-21 12-May-21 9-Jun-21
Development Grants 21-Apr-21 26-May-21     16-Jun-21
MRFF - Rare Cancer Rare Disease and Unmet Need - Stream 2 12-May-21 23-Jun-21 7-Jul-21
MRFF – 2021 Innovative Therapies for Mental Illness  17-Mar-21 7-Jul-21 21-Jul-21
Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2 25-Mar-21 28-Jul-21 12-Aug-21
MRFF - Rare Cancer Rare Disease and Unmet Need - Stream 1,3,4,5,6,7 12-May-21 4-Aug-21 18-Aug-21
MRFF - COVID-19 Health Impacts of Vaccination Schedules 12-May-21 4-Aug-21 18-Aug-21
MRFF – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 1 (21.1) 17-Mar-21 25-Aug-21 8-Sep-21

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates


Funding scheme - upcoming Open date Minimum data due Applications close
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 1-Dec-21
MRFF - International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 2 (21.2) 26-Aug-21 2-Feb-21 16-Feb-22

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates

Previous editions of Tracker are available on the NHMRC website.

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