15 February 2022

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

CEO Communique - Gender disparities in NHMRC’s Investigator Grant Scheme 


NHMRC’s CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO has released a communique analysing funding outcomes by gender in the Investigator Grant scheme.

The analysis is provided to support discussion of the funding outcomes and potential approaches to achieving gender equity in this scheme.

Professor Kelso said the Investigator Grant scheme is important to many health and medical researchers.

“The issues discussed in this communique will be high priorities on which NHMRC will seek advice from its Research Committee and Women in Health Science Committee over the coming year,” she said.

Professor Kelso will discuss the communique and potential interventions to reduce gender disparities in the scheme at two upcoming webinars:
Thursday 24 February from 2-4pm
Thursday 3 March from 12-2pm

Please register your interest and read more in the CEO Communique available on NHMRC’s website. 


Women in Health Science Committee

NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Committee has been announced, with Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin as chair.

“As discussed in the Communique analysing funding outcomes in the Investigator Grant scheme (see above), gender equity continues to be a critical issue for the health and medical research sector and is a strategic area of focus for NHMRC this triennium,” NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said.

“Our Women in Health Science Committee is highly valued. It deepens our understanding of the challenges faced by women in research today and helps NHMRC evaluate potential interventions to reduce gender disparities in funding outcomes. 

“I am delighted to announce the committee’s membership for the next three years, with Research Committee member Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin in the chair.”

NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Committee advises on gender equity in NHMRC’s grant program and strategies to increase participation, retention and progression of women in health and medical research. 

This Committee provides advice directly to NHMRC’s CEO and collaborates with NHMRC’s Research Committee to identify and analyse strategies to increase gender equity in the health and medical research sector.  

The full list of members is available on NHMRC’s website

Key Advisory Committees Appointed for 2021–2024

NHMRC welcomes new members for 2021¬–2024 to its key advisory committees: the Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus and the Consumer and Community Advisory Group.

Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus 

The Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus (PCIC) advises on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and health research issues and on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research capacity building. PCIC is chaired by Council member, Professor Yvonne Cadet-James. It brings a powerful voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers to NHMRC activities. 

More information on PCIC and its full membership for 2021–2024 is available on NHMRC’s website

Consumer and Community Advisory Group 

The Consumer and Community Advisory Group (CCAG) advises on issues of relevance to the Australian community and consumers of health care or medical research. CCAG is chaired by Council member, Ms Ainslie Cahill AM, and brings the lived experience of health consumers and community perspectives to inform NHMRC’s activities and support NHMRC’s strategy for health and medical research. 

More information on CCAG and its full membership for 2021–2024 is available on NHMRC’s website

These two key advisory committees will provide advice to NHMRC’s CEO, Council and its Principal Committees on issues of strategic importance over the 2021–2024 triennium. 

More information on NHMRC committees can be found on NHMRC’s website

Synergy Grants open this week

The Synergy Grant scheme for funding commencing in 2023 will open 16 February 2022. 

Minimum data is due 16 March 2022
Applications close 13 April 2022.

The Synergy Grants 2022 Guidelines and Peer Review Guidelines will be made available on GrantConnect and NHMRC’s website respectively, when the scheme opens.

Key changes to the 2022 Synergy Grant round will be outlined in section 2.1 of the Grant Guidelines. 

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


Investigator Grants 2022 – Minimum data requirements

Minimum data for Investigator Grants 2022 must be entered into Sapphire by 17:00 AEDT time on 16 February 2022

Completed applications must be submitted by 17:00 AEDT on Wednesday 16 March 2022.

Section 7.3 of the Investigator Grants 2022 Guidelines outlines the requirements for minimum data with further detail on minimum data fields outlined in Section 2.2 of Appendix H (Investigator Grants Guide to Applicants) and within Sapphire.

Applications that fail to satisfy minimum data requirements will not be accepted. Applicants must complete the required fields with correct information. Using placeholder text (e.g. ‘text’, ‘synopsis’, ‘xx’) is not acceptable as minimum data.

Applicants should not make any changes to minimum data fields following the minimum data deadline as NHMRC uses the data to identify appropriate peer reviewers to assess the application. Incorrect data may result in less suitable peer reviewers assessing the application.

Applicants who intend to submit applications to this round should ensure that:

  • they have an active account in Sapphire or have requested a new account by contacting help@nhmrc.gov.au. Requests for new accounts that are submitted less than 72 hours before minimum data close should note they are required for Investigator Grants but backlogs may prevent them being be actioned in time.
  • any participating institutions they intend to list as part of their application are available in Sapphire
  • if a participating institution is not available, please email help@nhmrc.gov.au as soon as possible before the close of minimum data, and include the URL and request it to be added to the system, although backlogs may prevent late requests from being actioned in time.

Further details are available on GrantConnect and NHMRC’s website.

Research collaboration opportunities with the EU 

Find out more about the following opportunities for research collaboration with the European Union:

European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research 

NHMRC is participating in the latest European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) funding call, “Understanding the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions”.

NHMRC will support Australian researchers participating in international collaborations in neurodegenerative disease research. The focus of this call is on improving the understanding of the mechanisms and biological substrates that underlie non-pharmacological interventions in order to tailor a holistic personalised treatment approach.

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

NHMRC-European Research Council 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.

NHMRC-EU Collaborative Research Grant Scheme 2021

NHMRC has been advised that the European Commission (EC) has notified the leads of collaborative projects that have been favourably evaluated for funding through the Horizon Europe EC peer review process. 

Favourably evaluated projects involving Australian researchers based in Australia may be eligible for NHMRC support of up to $500,000.

To apply for funding, project CIAs are required to submit an application in Sapphire by 5pm AEDT on 2 March. Please contact NHMRC at international@nhmrc.gov.au with the eligible CIA name and email address as soon as possible. NHMRC will then provide access to the application form.


GACD A Life Course Approach to Common NCD Risk Factor Prevention and Reduction Funding Call 2022

NHMRC is supporting Australian researchers to participate in the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) A Life Course Approach to Common Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) Risk Factor Prevention and Reduction Funding Call.  

NHMRC will exclusively fund projects that focus on young people (10-24), which includes adolescents (ages 10-19) and youth (15-24). 

For details, refer to the Grant Opportunity on GrantConnect.


NHMRC participation in the 2022 e-ASIA Joint Research Program

NHMRC is participating in the 2022 e-ASIA Joint Research Program 11th Health Research call for research proposals in infectious diseases (and antimicrobial resistance). 

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 09:00 AEDT, 16 February 2022. Applications must be submitted via NHMRC’s Sapphire online grant management system by 17:00 AEDT, 30 March 2022. 


Ideas Grants

Is your Sapphire profile up to date?

Researchers need to ensure that all fields in their Sapphire profile are completed and kept up to date (particularly the ‘Peer Review Area’ and ‘Fields of Research’ sections). 

Please note that the ‘Fields of Research’ dataset has been recently updated. Please check that the ‘Field of Research’ field in your profile has been updated using the new dataset. 

Ensuring your profile is accurate and up to date will help NHMRC improve accuracy of expertise matching in peer review.


MRFF grant opportunities 

The Medical Research and Future Fund (MRFF) - 2022 Models of Care to Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Acute Care Grant Opportunity recently opened for applications. 

Key application dates are:
Minimum data is due by 16 February 2022.
Applications close on 2 March 2022.

Research Administration Offices are reminded that the following grant opportunities have Minimum Data or Closing Dates during February and/or March 2022.
•    2021 Cardiovascular Health 
•    2021 Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions in Children and Adolescents
•    2021 Chronic Neurological Conditions
•    2021 COVID-19 Treatment Access and Public Health Activities
•    2021 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care
•    2021 GBM AGILE
•    2021 Genomics Health Futures Mission
•    2021 Indigenous Health Research
•    2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) 21.2
•    2021 Primary Health Care Research
•    2021 Stem Cell Therapies

Applicants are reminded that:

  • only applicants who completed minimum data requirements can submit a full application
  • applications submitted after close will not be accepted.

For further details and a list of all opened MRFF grant opportunities refer to the funding calendar on NHMRC's website.

Details on how to apply for MRFF grant opportunities and close dates are available on GrantConnect.

Further information on MRFF grant opportunities can be found on NHMRC’s website

Applicants who intend to submit applications to MRFF grant opportunities should ensure that:

  • their organisation is an approved MRFF Eligible Organisation before the relevant application’s close date
  • they have an active Sapphire account, or request access to Sapphire as soon as possible
  • the participating institutions they intend to list in their application are available in Sapphire
  • if a participating institution is not available, please email Research Help Centre, include the URL and request it be added to the system. 

MRFF Application Eligibility Criteria and Compliance Checking

Applications must address all of the eligibility and assessment criteria as set out in the guidelines.

Applicants are requested to pay careful attention to Chief Investigator (CI) eligibility including limits that are in place on the number of times a person can be named as a CI on applications submitted to a grant opportunity. Please refer to the eligibility section of the relevant grant opportunity guidelines. To assist with this eligibility checking process, RAOs can access a CI Application Count Dashboard on Sapphire’s tutorial page (see Institution/Our Applications/CI - Application Count Dashboard).

Eligibility checking of applications submitted to the 2021 Indigenous Health Research grant opportunity will use information in the application and the Chief Investigator’s Sapphire Profile (refer section 3.1 of the grant guidelines). Applicants are advised to check the relevant information in their Sapphire Profile prior to submission. 

MRFF Grant Assessment Committee Self Nomination

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 your interest via NHMRC’s online portal.


Call for submissions for recognition as an NHMRC Research Translation Centre 

Applications for NHMRC accreditation have closed and are being assessed. 

We anticipate notifying applicants of the outcomes in April/May 2022. This timeframe is indicative and any updates will be published on our website. 

Information about the Research Translation Centre Initiative is available on NHMRC’s website.

Enquiries can be emailed to: AdvancedCentres@nhmrc.gov.au


Key application dates

Refer to the funding calendar on NHMRC's website.



Previous editions of Tracker are available on NHMRC’s website.

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