27 March 2023

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

Six women standing and smiling

NHMRC awards to celebrate commitment to and excellence in research

This Wednesday, 29 March 2023, NHMRC will recognise exceptional researchers from our sector, both established and emerging, at the 2023 Research Excellence and Biennial Awards.

Anticipation is growing for the announcement of the next four recipients of our Research Excellence Awards named to honour Australian Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth Blackburn AC (last year’s recipients are pictured above).

Professor Blackburn is a molecular biologist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 jointly with Professor Jack Szostak and Professor Carol Greider for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

The awards in Professor Blackburn’s honour were established to promote and foster the career development of female researchers, and recognise the highest ranked female recipient (Leadership category) in each of the Basic Science, Clinical Medicine and Science, Public Health and Health Services research areas of our Investigator Grant scheme.

Read more about the Research Excellence and Biennial Awards. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates during the awards. A special edition of Tracker will be issued on Thursday to provide a full update.

Image: Last year’s Elizabeth Blackburn awards recipients with NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO and NHMRC Council Chair Professor Caroline Homer AO - Professor Louise Baur AM (far left), Professor Julie Redfern (second from left), Laureate Professor Clare Collins (second from right) and Professor Susan Ramus (far right).

Investigator Grants – Key peer review dates

The Investigator Grants 2023 round closed for applications on 22 March 2023 with 1510 applications submitted (up from 1416 in 2022).

The conflict of interest and suitability survey process for peer reviewers is scheduled to begin on Friday 31 March 2023 and to be completed by Monday 17 April 2023, with the assessment process to begin in mid-May.

Peer review key dates*

  • By 17 April 2023: Peer reviewers disclose conflicts of interests and suitability against applications.
  • By mid-May 2023: Peer reviewers are assigned to applications (based on results of the conflicts of interest and suitability survey). Support for peer reviewers includes a peer reviewer mentor video, Q&A sessions with mentors and a peer reviewer briefing webinar.
  • By mid-June 2023: Peer reviewers assess applications and submit scores against Investigator Grant assessment criteria and written comments for each allocated application.
  • 1 week only in June 2023 (dates TBC): Peer reviewers will be provided an opportunity to view the de-identified comments provided by other assessors of their assigned applications.

* NHMRC will notify peer reviewers of any timing changes.

Please email help@nhmrc.gov.au for further information or assistance.

Ideas Grants - upcoming minimum data deadline

Minimum data for Ideas Grant applications are due Wednesday 5 April 2023 17:00 AEST.

Minimum data allows NHMRC to start identifying suitable peer reviewers.

Applicants must complete the required fields with correct information. Use of placeholder text will not be accepted. For more information on minimum data requirements, refer to Appendix E in the Ideas Grant 2023 Guidelines (available on GrantConnect).

Failure to meet the minimum data requirements by the deadline will result in the application not proceeding. New applications cannot be started after the minimum data deadline.

Applications close Wednesday 3 May 2023 17:00 AEST.

Research Help Centre (RHC) and Sapphire requests

Applicants should ensure:

  • their Sapphire account is active or access to Sapphire has been requested, and
  • any intended participating institutions are listed in Sapphire or request that a new participating institution be added by emailing help@nhmrc.gov.au, including the institution's website address (URL) and ABN (if applicable).

Please email help@nhmrc.gov.au for further information or assistance.

NHMRC-EU Collaborative Research Grant Scheme 2023

The NHMRC-EU Collaborative Research Grant Scheme supports Australian participation in international collaborative research under Horizon Europe, the European Union’s (EU) key funding program for research and innovation.

  • Stage 1 applications close Thursday 13 April 2023 17:00 BST (Friday 14 April 02:00 AEST)

Projects which involve Australian-based researchers and are chosen by the EU for funding in 2023 may be eligible for NHMRC support. NHMRC will support Australian-based researchers for a limited number of Horizon Europe topics.

For more information, visit GrantConnect and Horizon Europe.

NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grant Scheme 2023 – Stage 1 applications close this week!

Stage 1 applications close on Wednesday 29 March 2023 13:00 BST (Wednesday 29 March 2023 23:00 AEDT)

The NHMRC-National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaborative Research Grants scheme supports Australian participation and collaboration in leading international collaborative research through the United Kingdom’s NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. The HTA Programme funds independent research about the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests.

NHMRC will invite Australian-based researchers who are listed on the successful applications submitted during Stage 1 to apply to NHMRC for support of the Australian component of the research.

Further details are available from GrantConnect and the NIHR website.

NHMRC e-ASIA 2023 Joint Research Program – Applications close this Thursday 

Applications for the NHMRC e-ASIA 2023 Joint Research Program will close on Thursday 30 March 2023 17:00 AEDT.

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

Please email help@nhmrc.gov.au for further information or assistance.

Human Frontier Science Program (HSFP) 2024 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program 

HFSP postdoctoral fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study.

The HFSP fellowship program supports proposals for frontier, potentially transformative research in the life sciences. The program is seeking applications for projects that address an important problem or a barrier to progress in the field, are interdisciplinary in nature, and challenge existing paradigms by using novel approaches and techniques.

  • Applicants must submit their Letter of Intent by Thursday 11 May 2023 13:00 EDT (Friday 12 May 2023 03:00 AEST).

For more information on the two fellowships available and the application process, visit HFSP Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Webinar – GRADE for Guidelines

The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) chapter of the Guidelines International Network is holding a free webinar on Wednesday 26 April 2023 15:00 – 16:00 AEST on GRADE for Guidelines.

This webinar is an introduction to the use of GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach and methods in systematic reviews and guidelines. The GRADE approach is mandated for all developers of guidelines seeking NHMRC approval.

Presenters: Professor Zachary Munn (Adelaide GRADE Centre) and Dr Sue Brennan (Melbourne GRADE Centre).

Register for the webinar.

NHMRC is a member of the Guidelines International Network.

Seeking community input on research priorities

Do you know of a knowledge gap on a health issue, and/or of a topic for which research is underfunded?

NHMRC’s Community Research Priorities Portal allows consumers, community representatives and health organisations to propose health and medical research topics for consideration for our Targeted Calls for Research (TCR) scheme. Submissions are reviewed to assess whether a TCR would stimulate research that would benefit the health of Australians.  

NHMRC strives to fund health and medical research that reflects consumer and community priorities and responds to unmet or emerging health needs.   

The current cycle closes Friday 30 June 2023 17:00 AEST. Consumers, community and professional groups are encouraged to make submissions through the portal. 

More information on the portal and how to make a submission can be found on the Community Research Priorities Portal webpage.

Upcoming MRFF grant opportunities and webinar

The following Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant opportunity has a close date approaching: 

2022 Mental Health Research (GO5915)

  • Applications close 29 March 2023 at 17:00 AEDT

Details on how to apply for MRFF grant opportunities and all MRFF close dates are available on GrantConnect. Applicants are reminded that minimum data must be completed before the due date to be able to submit an application. It is also the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they meet all eligibility requirements, including limits on the number of times a person can be named as a Chief Investigator on applications submitted to a grant opportunity.

Applicants should ensure:

MRFF Research Administration Officers Webinar

  • Thursday 30 March 2023 14:00 - 15:00 AEDT

Hosted by staff from the Department of Health and Aged Care’s Health and Medical Research Office. Topics: consumer involvement and the MRFF; recent changes to the MRFF assessment criteria; the MRFF monitoring, learning and evaluation strategy; and assessment of MRFF impact.

Register for the RAO webinar. Watch the previous RAO webinar.

MRFF Grant Assessment Committee self-nomination

Register your interest to become a member of MRFF grant assessment committees.

Key NHMRC grant program dates

Please see Funding schemes and calendar.


See previous editions of Tracker.

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