3 May 2021

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

Treatment for severe asthma

Tomorrow is World Asthma Day bringing attention to severe asthma, a life-threatening, global health problem that affects about 30 million people.

Ten per cent of patients with asthma have severe symptoms which account for nearly 60 per cent of Australia’s total asthma healthcare spending.

Mortality rates are similarly disproportionate. Conventional inhaled therapies often do not help these patients, which has led to the search for alternatives.

Hunter Medical Research Institute facilitated the development of targeted and effective use of the drug Mepolizumab. This is the result of over two decades of research investment by NHMRC and others into the mechanisms and subtypes of asthma.

For more information visit NHMRC’s website. 

Ideas Grants 2021

Ideas Grants close at 5:00 pm (AEST) Wednesday 5 May 2021.

NHMRC strongly recommends that those who have not submitted their applications should work with their RAO to submit as soon as possible.

Researchers listed on applications must have a Sapphire account. New account requests should have been submitted at least 72 hours prior to application close. Any account activation processes started within 72 hours of the round close are not guaranteed to be actioned by NHMRC before close.

NHMRC will not respond to any enquiries submitted after 1:00 pm (AEST) on 5 May 2021. 

NHMRC’s Research Help Centre aims to provide a reply to all requests for general assistance within two working days. This timeframe may be longer during peak periods or for more detailed requests for assistance. 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.

Development Grants 2021 

The Development Grant scheme is open. Key application dates are: 

•    Minimum data is due by 5:00 pm (AEST) on 26 May 2021
•    Applications close 5:00 pm (AEST) on 16 June 2021. 

The Grant Guidelines for the Development Grant scheme are available on GrantConnect.

Synergy Grants 2021

The Synergy Grants 2021 round closed for applications on Wednesday 21 April 2021 with 86 applications submitted. 

Potential peer reviewers will commence the process of declaring conflict of interest and suitability within Sapphire shortly. Assessments will commence in early June. 

Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development

Interdisciplinary Cutting-edge Research 2021 Grant Call

Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) has opened a Program for Infectious Diseases Research and Infrastructure (Interdisciplinary Cutting-edge Research), which supports basic research into infectious diseases. There is an opportunity for Australian researchers to participate in this call. The grant call requires the principal investigator based in Japan to have an international research counterpart. 

Applications close 21 May 2021. Information about the call can be found in the Grant Call Summary. Review the list of research projects and who to contact on AMED’s website

Note this opportunity is offered by AMED and NHMRC is not participating in the call.

Key application dates


Funding scheme Open date Minimum data due Applications close
2021 Ideas Grants 10-Mar-21 07-Apr-21 05-May-21
2021 Postgraduate Scholarships 14-Apr-21 12-May-21 09-Jun-21
Development Grants 21-Apr-21 26-May-21 16-Jun-21
MRFF – 2021 Innovative Therapies for Mental Illness 17-Mar-21 07-Jul-21 21-Jul-21
Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2 25-Mar-21 28-Jul-21 12-Aug-21
MRFF – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) – Round 1 17-Mar-21 25-Aug-21 08-Sept-21

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates


Funding scheme 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 01-Dec-21

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates

Previous editions of Tracker are available on the NHMRC website.
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