4 July 2022

Welcome to Tracker, National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) fortnightly newsletter, with the latest information on major activities and funding opportunities.


National Health and Medical Research Council roadshow to consult on options to reach gender equity in the Investigator Grant scheme

Join NHMRC CEO, Professor Anne Kelso AO, for a discussion about options to reach gender equity in the Investigator Grant scheme. 

NHMRC will release a discussion paper before the roadshow commences. NHMRC has not yet decided whether to introduce changes to this scheme or, if so, which path to take.

NHMRC will hold open forums that will include a presentation by NHMRC CEO, Professor Anne Kelso AO and a discussion with attendees on the options that have been developed.

There will be open forums in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and ACT during August. Please visit the NHMRC website for the time and location of each event. 

NHMRC’s Gender Equity Strategy 2022–2025 has been published on NHMRC’s website


Synergy Grants 2022 update

Stage One of the 2022 Synergy Grants peer review process is complete, with 21 applications progressing to Stage Two. Applicants not progressing have been notified. 

Stage Two - assessment of Track Record relative to opportunity - has commenced with assessments due 17:00 AEST Wednesday 20 July 2022.

For further details please refer to the Synergy Grants 2022 Peer Review Guidelines available on the NHMRC website.

Peer reviewers with questions about the assessment process should contact the Synergy Grants team. Technical Sapphire enquiries should be directed to the Research Help Centre by emailing help@nhmrc.gov.au.


HMRC Research Translation Symposium 2022

This year the Symposium will be held from Thursday 17 to Tuesday 22 November 2022. It will be a hybrid event with a combination of keynote/plenary, abstract and panel sessions to be held online, combined with face-to-face networking opportunities intended to be held in each state and territory, where possible. 
We expect that registrations will open and we will publish the Call for Abstracts on 18 July 2022. 

Abstract submissions will be encouraged on the theme of Embracing Diversity and any of the following sub-themes: 
•    Knowledge mobilisation: making information usable and accessible
•    Knowledge know-how: the skills and expertise needed to translate knowledge effectively
•    Impact evaluation: assessing the change that could be attributed to a particular intervention, project, program or policy
•    Implementation science: the methods used to promote the uptake of research findings.

Key dates and other updates, including information on when and how to submit an abstract, will be published in Tracker and on the Research Translation Symposium site.


2022 Partnership Projects Peer Review Cycle 2 (PRC2)

The due date for NHMRC Administering Institutions to submit partner waiver requests for applications in the 2022 Partnership Projects PRC2 is 17:00 AEST Wednesday 13 July 2022

Please direct all enquiries to the NHMRC Research Help Centre via email at help@nhmrc.gov.au


Ideas Grants

Peer Review Processes                                                                                                                                    

Assessment allocations are currently being finalised following the completion of the COI and suitability survey. It is anticipated that applications for assessment will be made available to peer reviewers in Sapphire later this week. Assessors will be notified via email as soon as they are available in Sapphire.

Peer reviewers who are not initially allocated applications to assess will be asked to be reserve assessors should additional assessors be required during peer review. All declarations provided during the COI and suitability survey contribute to the quality of the peer review process, and NHMRC appreciates the time that all peer reviewers have committed to this part of the process.

NHMRC is convening a peer reviewer briefing webinar on 12 July 2022 for Ideas Grants assessors to support them in undertaking peer review. Assessors will be contacted directly with the webinar details for participation. The webinar will be recorded and published on the website for those who cannot attend at the time. 


Peer Review Key Dates*


  • July 2022 peer reviewers assigned to applications (based on results of the COI and suitability survey)
  • July – August 2022 peer reviewers review applications and submit scores and comments against Ideas Grant assessment criteria for each allocated application
  • September 2022 outlier check performed, assessments confirmed, budget adjustments made (where required)
  • October – November 2022 funding recommendations progress through approval processes
  • November – December 2022 notification of outcomes and anticipated announcements

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

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


Public consultation on Chapter 2.1 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

Public consultation on revised draft Chapter 2.1 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research is now open. Chapter 2.1 addresses risk and benefit in research. 

The closing date for this public consultation is 17:00 AEST Monday 1 August 2022.

Further information is available from NHMRC’s website.


Medical Research Future Fund - Grant Opportunities Closing for Applications

Research Administration Offices are reminded that the following grant opportunities have Closing Dates during July 2022.

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 open 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.

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 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. 


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.


Sapphire Update – ‘My Profile’ Enhancements

In response to feedback from users, NHMRC has introduced a number of enhancements to ‘My Profile’ capabilities in Sapphire. These include functional and user interface improvements for researchers as well as changes to better support NHMRC activities that rely on Profile information. 
Researchers are strongly encouraged to review and update their profiles in Sapphire as soon as possible, taking particular note of mandatory fields within the Personal, Academic and Peer Review information sections. 

Further detail regarding the Profile changes and links to relevant training resources can be found on NHMRC's website

Please contact the Research Help Centre via email for further information or assistance if required. 


Scientific Reporting Obligations – Further Reminder

RAOs and Chief Investigators (CIs) are reminded that Progress Reports and Final Reports for applicable MREA and MRFF grant opportunities must be submitted in the timeframes and format specified by NHMRC. As this information can vary between grant programs, please refer to the Grant Schedule, relevant Grant Guidelines and the Scientific Reporting page on NHMRC’s website to determine the specific reporting requirements and submission methods that apply. 

As part of these obligations, all CIs are expected to update their Sapphire Profile annually by the end of June each year, including linking outputs and outcomes to the relevant NHMRC grant ID. Sapphire tutorials on how to update Profile information as well as how to complete and submit milestones (including Progress Reports and Final Reports for MREA schemes) can be found in the Sapphire Knowledge Base under the Researcher and Institution menus. 


Nominations Open: NHMRC Biennial Awards

NHMRC is seeking nominations of outstanding individuals and groups from our health and medical research sector for consideration for its 2023 Biennial Awards. NHMRC Biennial Awards recognise outstanding leadership, innovation and sector contribution, and comprise the following:  
•    NHMRC Research Quality Award  
•    NHMRC Consumer Engagement Award  
•    NHMRC Ethics and integrity* Award  
•    NHMRC Outstanding Contribution Award** 
*The Ethics and Integrity Award was previously named the Ethics Award. 
** Nominations for the NHMRC Outstanding Contribution Award are invited from NHMRC Council and Principal Committee Members only. 
NHMRC also seeks submission from the sector of digital scientific images for the NHMRC Science to Art Award — a competition that highlights the artistic beauty of Australian health and medical research.   
Nominations for the 2023 NHMRC Biennial Awards close at 16:00 AEST on Friday 28 October 2022. More information and the online nomination form can be found on the NHMRC website.  


Forecast Opportunity - Targeted Call for Research: Involving cultural, ethnic and linguistically diverse communities in dementia research

NHMRC is considering opening a grant opportunity in the second half of 2022 that will specifically stimulate research on dementia in Australians from cultural, ethnic and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This will improve the quality and representativeness of Australian’s evidence based on dementia and inform best practice approaches for research involving people from cultural, ethnic and linguistically diverse backgrounds. It will also inform the development of clinical pathways for the diagnosis, early intervention, treatment, and management of dementia that meet the needs of people from cultural, ethnic and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as support for their families and carers. 

Full details of this Forecast Opportunity (FO) are available on GrantConnect. Interested parties can watch the FO (by clicking the star icon) to be alerted via email of any updates to the notice, including publication of grant guidelines. 
Please contact the Research Help Centre for further information or assistance. 


NHMRC Impact Case Studies

Insulin delivery

The ability to make insulin was one of the great medical breakthroughs of the 20th Century. However, it quickly became clear to clinicians and researchers how complicated the human body’s systems were for regulating and using blood sugar. In the absence of a deep understanding of these systems, providing insulin could have dangers. 

Supported by funding from NHMRC, researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research made significant contributions to knowledge about insulin delivery and fundamentally changed and improved clinical practice worldwide.

Safer birthing for First Nations families

Birthing on Country services offer a culturally safe, holistic approach to the design of maternity services for First Nations peoples and a strategy to improve maternity care outcomes. 

NHMRC-funded projects led by researchers from Charles Darwin University, The University of Sydney, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health services and others have actively applied this approach to developing and evaluating a range of maternity services to deliver improved health outcomes for First Nations mothers, babies and communities.

Find out more about this work from the NHMRC Impact Case Studies homepage.

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


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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