National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recognises excellence in the health and medical research sector through its annual Research Excellence Awards and celebrates leadership and outstanding contributions to the sector through its biennial awards.
Research Excellence Awards
Research Excellence Awards are awarded annually to top-ranked researchers and teams following peer review of applications to NHMRC's highly competitive grant schemes.
The current awards are:
NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Awards
These awards are named to honour the Australian Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth Blackburn AC FRS FAA FRSN, 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 were established to promote and foster the career development of female researchers and are awarded annually to 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 the Investigator Grants scheme.
NHMRC Peter Doherty Investigator Grant Awards
These awards are named to honour the Australian Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS FAA FMedSci, a researcher in the field of viral immunology. He received the Albert Lasker Award for basic medical research in 1995 and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Rolf Zinkernagel in 1996 for their discoveries concerning the specificity of cell-mediated immune defence. Professor Doherty was named Australian of the Year in 1997. From 2019 the Peter Doherty Awards recognise the highest ranked recipient in the Emerging Leadership and Leadership categories of Investigator Grants. Prior to 2019, the Peter Doherty Biomedical Fellowship was awarded to the highest ranked recipient of the Australian-based Early Career Fellowships in the field of biomedical/basic science.
NHMRC Frank Fenner Investigator Grant Award
This award is named to honour the achievements of Professor Frank Fenner AC CMG MBE FRS FAA (1914-2010). Professor Fenner was a distinguished virologist who oversaw the global eradication of smallpox and the introduction of the Myxoma virus to control Australia’s rabbit plague. This award recognises the highest ranked recipient in the Emerging Leadership Level 1 Investigator Grant category within the Basic Science or Public Health research areas. The grant recipient’s research focus will be in an area of international public health and will best reflect the qualities exemplified in Professor Fenner’s career.
NHMRC Sandra Eades Investigator Grant Award
This award is named to honour Professor Sandra Eades AO FAHMS FASSA, who was the first Indigenous medical practitioner to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (2003). Professor Eades is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, Western Australia. Her research career has focussed on the epidemiology of Indigenous child health in Australia. Over the past 20 years, Professor Eades has made substantial contributions to Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Aboriginal health research. This award is given to the top-ranked Indigenous researcher grant recipient in the Emerging Leadership category of Investigator Grants.
NHMRC Bernie Banton Investigator Grant Award
This award is named to honour Australian social justice campaigner Bernard Douglas Banton AM (1946-2007). He was the widely recognised face of the legal and political campaign to achieve compensation for the many sufferers of asbestos-related conditions, which they contracted after either working for the company James Hardie or being exposed to James Hardie Industries’ products. It is awarded to the highest ranked recipient undertaking research in mesothelioma and asbestosis in the Emerging Leadership category of Investigator Grants.
NHMRC Fiona Stanley Synergy Grant Award
This award is named to honour Professor Fiona Stanley AC FAA, an epidemiologist known for her contributions in researching the causes of major childhood illnesses such as birth defects and her focus on Aboriginal child health and wellbeing. Professor Stanley was the founding Director and now Patron of the Telethon Kids Institute and was named Australian of the Year in 2003. This award recognises the top-ranked Synergy Grant.
NHMRC Gustav Nossal Postgraduate Scholarship Award
This award is named to honour Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE FRS, and his pioneering work in the field of immunology. Sir Gustav is a distinguished research biologist who is noted for his contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance. This award is given to the highest ranked recipient of an NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship in the Clinical Medicine and Science research category.
NHMRC Marshall and Warren Ideas Grant (Innovation) Awards
These awards are named to honour Australian Nobel Laureates Professor Barry Marshall AC FRS FAA and Professor Robin Warren AC FAA, who were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. The Marshall and Warren Awards recognise the highest ranked Ideas Grant recipient and the most innovative and potentially transformative recipient of an Ideas Grant.
NHMRC David Cooper Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Award
This award is named to honour the achievements of Professor David Cooper AC FAA FAHMS (1949-2018). Professor Cooper was an Australian HIV/AIDS clinical researcher and immunologist whose leadership of clinical trials and work with affected communities made a lasting contribution to the treatment of HIV in Australia and around the world. This award recognises the highest ranked recipient in the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant scheme.
- 2021 Research Excellence Awards
- 2020 Research Excellence Awards
- 2019 Research Excellence Awards
- 2018 Research Excellence Awards
- 2017 Research Excellence Awards (available on Trove)
NHMRC Consumer Engagement Award
The NHMRC Consumer Engagement Award recognises an individual, a group of individuals or an organisation that has made a long-term contribution to consumer and community involvement in health and medical research.
NHMRC Ethics Award
The NHMRC Ethics Award recognises outstanding Australians for their contributions to high ethical standards in health and medical research.
NHMRC Outstanding Contribution Award
The NHMRC Outstanding Contribution Award recognises outstanding long-term contributions, individual commitment and support to NHMRC.
NHMRC Research Quality Award
The NHMRC Research Quality Award recognises excellence and outstanding contribution to ensuring the highest quality in health and medical research from an individual, group of individuals, or an organisation.
NHMRC Science to Art Award
The NHMRC Science to Art Award recognises outstanding examples of the art that can arise from the research funded by NHMRC.