28 March 2022

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

SIDS Impact Case Study 

As early as 1951, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute reported to NHMRC that the sudden death of infants from unknown causes (also known as ‘cot death’) had been attributed to accidental suffocation and that the Institute was investigating the possibility of other causes.

In the 1970s it became known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and in the 1980s Dr Terry Dwyer established a research program in Tasmania, where the annual rate of SIDS was twice the national average.

The Tasmanian Infant Health Survey was a cohort study conducted across six obstetric hospitals and covering approximately 93 per cent of live births in Tasmania.

NHMRC-funded researchers at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, made a major contribution to protecting infants from SIDS by providing compelling evidence for the dangers of ‘on tummy’ sleeping.

Find out more about this work in NHMRC’s new Impact Case Study: A safer infant sleeping position.

If you would like to discuss partnering with NHMRC to document your organisation’s work as an NHMRC case study, please contact the Impact Case Studies team.


Ideas Grants key dates 

Minimum data is due on 6 April 2022
Applications close on 4 May 2022

The Ideas Grants 2022 Guidelines (including assessment criteria) and other documents to support applicants are available on GrantConnect.
Minimum data must be entered in Sapphire by 17:00 (AEST) Wednesday 6 April to allow NHMRC to start identifying suitable peer reviewers. Applicants must complete the required fields with correct information. Using placeholder text such as “text”, “synopsis”,“xx” or “Ideas Grant” etc. is not acceptable as minimum data.
Minimum data fields for Ideas Grants 2022 are outlined in the Ideas Grant 2022 Guidelines at Appendix E: Ideas Grants Guide to Applicants.
Failure to meet these minimum data requirements by the deadline will result in the application not proceeding.
RAOs are not required to certify applications for the purpose of minimum data. Applications should only be certified once they are complete and ready for submission.

Ideas Grants Peer Review Membership
Prospective peer reviewers must have all peer review information completed and up to date within their Sapphire profile. This includes Peer Review Areas, Fields of Research and Research Key Words.  Without this information, NHMRC cannot use a researcher’s expertise for peer review as they cannot be matched to applications.
NHMRC will review its peer review membership requirements following the minimum data due date. Please advise NHMRC as soon as possible of any changes to your availability for peer review. Confirmation of peer reviewer appointments will be made following the results of the conflict of interest and suitability survey, which prospective members will undertake in May.

Peer Review for Ideas Grants in 2022
The Ideas Grants 2022 Peer Review Guidelines are also available on GrantConnect.

Research Help Centre (RHC) and Sapphire Requests
Applicants who intend to submit applications to the Ideas Grant round should ensure that:

  • they have an active account or request access to Sapphire as soon as possible
  • 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, include the URL and request that it be added to the system.


Partnership Projects 2022 PRC1 close date 

Applications for Partnership Projects 2022 PRC1 close at 17:00 (AEST) Wednesday 6 April 2022.
Applicants are reminded that:

  • only applicants who completed minimum data by the 17:00 (AEST) deadline on Wednesday 23 March 2022 can submit a full application
  • applications submitted after close of round will not be accepted.

Partnership Projects 2022 PRC1 funding with other organisations

In addition to partner organisations identified in the Partnership Projects 2022 Guidelines (section 4.4), applicants may select from the following funding opportunity from the Department of Health.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Obesity Prevention Research special initiative.  This special initiative provides the opportunity for community organisations that are contributing to health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop a relationship with a researcher to strengthen the evidence in FASD and obesity research.  For further information see section 2.3 of the Partnership Projects 2022 Guidelines available via the Partnership Projects 2022 Grant Opportunity on GrantConnect.


Synergy Grants 2022 update 

Minimum data for the Synergy Grants 2022 round was due Wednesday 16 March 2022
Applications close 17:00 (AEST) on Wednesday 13 April 2022.
Compliance checks have been completed with 88 minimum data compliant applications progressing. 
Minimum data compliant applicants who intend to submit full applications to the Synergy Grant 2022 round should ensure that:

  • all researchers 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 applications close should note they are required for Synergy Grants, but backlogs may prevent them being 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 applications close, including the URL and request it to be added to the system, although backlogs may prevent late requests from being actioned in time.

Further details about the Synergy Grants scheme are available on GrantConnect and NHMRC website.

Please contact the Research Help Centre for further information or assistance.


Investigator Grants 

The Investigator Grants 2022 round closed for applications on Wednesday 23 March 2022 with 1416 applications submitted and progressing to peer review.

Potential peer reviewers will commence the process of completing their conflict of interest and suitability declarations within Sapphire shortly, ahead of assessments commencing in May.

Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 

The Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management is seeking NHMRC approval and is open for public consultation:
New and updated recommendations on pre-hospital care, dysarthria, depression and anxiety in the Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management (Stroke Foundation).  

Consultation closes 29 April 2022.


Human Research Ethics Committees annual report form – now available 

NHMRC-registered Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and NHMRC-certified institutions are required to submit annual reports to NHMRC about their activities in the preceding calendar year. The 2021 report form is now available and needs to be completed by 27 May 2022

Further details, including how to access the form, have been emailed to registered HRECs and certified institutions. 

Please contact NHMRC at HREC.admin@nhmrc.gov.au if your institution or HREC Chair have not yet received this email or require any assistance.


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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