The NHMRC uses a number of research classification systems to categorise research applications and assessors’ expertise including Fields of Research, Broad Research Area, Research Keywords and Burden of Disease.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Used to describe common knowledge domains and/or methodologies used in research and experimental development (R&D).

The Fields of Research (FoR) used by NHMRC are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), which was developed for use in the measurement and analysis of R&D undertaken in Australia and New Zealand. The ANZSRC was initially released on 31 March 2008. A review of the classifications was undertaken in 2019 and new classifications, which replace ANZSRC 2008, were released on 30 June 2020.

Further information about the ANZSRC FoR classification, including correspondences between ANZSRC 2020 and ANZSRC 2008 FoR codes, is available on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

Broad Research Area

Used to describe the research more broadly.

  • Basic Science
  • Clinical Medicine and Science
  • Health Services Research
  • Public Health

Research Keywords

Used to describe the research more specifically.

A list of the latest keywords is available in the Sapphire Knowledge Base, located under Researcher > My Applications > Application Keyword Library. 

Burden of Disease

Used to describe the diseases or health conditions that the research relates to. The Burden of Disease classification is based on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).


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