3. Scheme-specific application details

The following sections of the application form are specific to Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship (the Fellowship) applications, and must be completed as part of your application.

Step-by-step instructions for entering application details in RGMS are provided in the Research Grants Management System (RGMS) RAO User Guide - Applying for Grants.

3.1 B-AES: Application Executive Summary (the Fellowship)

In the Application Executive Summary (AES), applicants must summarise their claims against the Fellowship assessment criteria 1, 2 and 3. The AES provides an opportunity for the applicant to highlight the most compelling evidence to support their application against the assessment criteria of ‘Research output and potential’, ‘Research leadership’, and ‘Vision for the next four years’. Applicants should use these named fields to address the three criteria specifically. 

(2000 character limit per criterion, including spaces and line breaks)

All criteria are assessed relative to opportunity (see section 6.2 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017).  Guidance on specific issues that applicants may wish to address in their AES in reference to the assessment criteria is provided in Table 1 below.

Applicants are reminded:

  • do not repeat information provided in your application CV sections 
  • focus on your case for appointment to the Fellowship scheme
  • ensure the significance of your achievements relative to your field is clear

Note: This table refers to the AES only. All applicants will be assessed and scored against the more detailed assessment criteria and category descriptors in Attachment A. 

Table 1: Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Assessment Criteria and the AES

Fellowship Assessment Criteria Application Executive Summary
Criterion 1: Research output and potential for further career development in health and medical research (50%)

Guidance for the applicant:

  • provide a brief summary of your most significant contributions to your field of research
  • summarise evidence of peer recognition (publications, grants, prizes, awards, speaking invitations)
  • summarise evidence that demonstrates your growing national and international standing
  • briefly outline your most significant contributions to commercialisation of research and/or contributions to clinical or public health policy, practice or health services development
  • comment on the trajectory of your research career
  • for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants in particular, outline any additional contributions you have made that are relevant to the assessment of your research output eg. policy development, service delivery
Criterion 2: Research leadership (25%)

Guidance for the applicant:

  • highlight the significance of your community activities and linkages
  • summarise your contributions to supervision, mentoring and training
  • for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants in particular, outline any additional contributions you have made that are relevant to the assessment of your research leadership eg community activities and linkages
Criterion 3: Vision for the next four years and career development strategy, taking into account the aims of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship scheme and quality of the research environment (25%)

Guidance for the applicant:

  • provide a clear outline of your career development strategy in relation to your:
  • strategies for building research independence
  • planning for the development of your dementia research leadership capabilities
  • demonstrate cost effectiveness and value for money in the context of the objectives and desired outcomes
  • demonstrate your understanding of consumer perspectives, and the benefits of actively engaging consumers in the proposed research.

3.2 B-AI: Application Information

Priority Theme

From the drop down list, select one of the five NNIDR Priority Themes that best describes your research:

  • Prevention
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Intervention and treatment
  • Living with Dementia
  • Care

Time Commitment

From the drop-down list, indicate whether a full or part-time Fellowship is being sought. Refer to sections 4.4.2 and 4.4.3 of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Funding Rules for further information on part-time Fellowships.

Percentage

If you are applying for a part-time Fellowship, indicate the percentage of time (50-90%) you will devote to the research associated with this award. Percentage of time must be in increments of 10%. 

Non-Fellowship Time

If you are applying for a part-time Fellowship, briefly explain how your non-fellowship time will be spent. You should provide supporting statements for your request for a part-time Fellowship in relation to the specific circumstances that are outlined in sections 4.4.2 and 4.4.3 of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Funding Rules.

For example: “I am applying for a 60% Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship. One day of my non-Fellowship time will be spent on professional activities working in the Fox Field Clinic. The other non-Fellowship day will be spent caring for my children.”

(400 character limit, including spaces and line breaks)

Employer Letter of Support

If you are applying for a part-time Fellowship, using the ‘Choose File’ button, upload a PDF “Letter of Support" from your employer confirming:

  • For professional part-time applications::
    • you hold (or have been offered) a complementary salaried position for the duration of the award
    • an undertaking that this employer will release you to conduct the research associated with this Fellowship
    • an undertaking that this employer will fund the balance of your work time
    • the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) of your research position.
  • For personal part-time applications in any category:
    • you will not work full-time and all of your employed time will be spent conducting the research and work associated with the Fellowship, not other paid professional work unrelated to the Fellowship (unless you are also applying for a professional part-time Fellowship)
    • the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) of your research position.

The letter must be:

  • provided on the employer’s official letterhead
  • signed by the appropriate delegate
  • uploaded as a single PDF file using the naming convention

APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_Employer Letter of Support.pdf  

PhD approval date

Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ from the drop down list to indicate whether or not you hold a PhD.

If you answered ‘Yes’, indicate the date of the letter advising that your doctoral thesis was passed (not the date of the date of the conferral ceremony).

If you answered, ‘Yes’, use the upload field to upload a copy of your letter advising the date your PhD was passed. The letter should be uploaded as a single PDF file using the following naming convention: APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_PhD Evidence.pdf.

PhD/PhD Equivalent Evidence

If you answered, ‘No’, use the upload field to upload supporting documentation for your PhD Equivalent. This document should be uploaded as a single PDF file using the following naming convention: APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_PhD Equivalent Evidence.pdf.

This information will be used to assess your eligibility to apply for a Fellowship and it is therefore advisable that you read the eligibility criteria outlined in section 4.1.2 of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Funding Rules.

Please check that you meet the requirements for the Fellowship in relation to the maximum time elapsed since the letter advising your doctoral thesis was passed.

Refer to the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Funding Rules, section 4.1 Qualifications for further details relating to eligibility.

Head of proposed laboratory/department/workplace

State the name, position and institute of the person who will be your immediate supervisor if you are successful in obtaining a Fellowship.

3.3 B-TTC2: Research Supervision and Mentoring Summary

Click ‘New’ to start a new entry for each postdoctoral researcher or postgraduate student you have supervised and/or mentored over the past 10 years.

  • include names of any postdoctoral researchers, postgraduate and undergraduate students
  • (do not include research staff)
  • select years of involvement (e.g. 2014-2016)
  • identify your supervisory role (co-supervisor, mentor, primary supervisor)
  • select student’s level of qualification (Honours, Masters, PhD, Postdoctoral)
  • confirm whether student has completed their qualification (yes/no)
  • describe student’s current role (200 character limit)
  • include any additional comments – what was your student’s outcomes, i.e. did they receive any awards or recognition, what have they gone on to do?  (1000 character limit).

Click ‘Save’ between each entry. Do not repeat information already provided.

3.4 B-CD: Career Disruption

NHMRC is committed to ensuring that every applicant is treated fairly, and this means that we recognise that some candidates will have had career disruptions that should be considered when evaluating their track record.  You must provide supporting evidence of any career disruptions in this section of the application, unless the career disruption is of a sensitive nature (see below). 

You are also given the opportunity to provide a brief explanation of the impact of your career disruption(s) on your research and research achievements.

Supporting evidence must be provided to substantiate your claims for eligibility in terms of years since your PhD was obtained. For a definition of what is considered a career disruption, refer to section 6.2.1 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017 and section 4.4 of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Funding Rules. All career disruptions will be reviewed.

For each career disruption, click on the ‘New’ button and follow the instructions below. Create a new career disruption for every time the FTE of the career disruption changes.

Career Disruption

Enter the Start Date and End Date (RGMS will automatically calculate the number of days) and select a Reason from the drop down list, if you select ‘other’ please provide a brief reason for the career disruption (1000 character limit, including spaces and line breaks).

Full Time Equivalent of the Career Disruption

State the percentage full time equivalent (FTE) of the career disruption in accordance with your Institution’s conditions of employment. Do not enter a percentage sign. e.g. If you researched for three days/week and looked after children for two days/week, you should enter 40 as the FTE (%).

Accumulated Days

RGMS will automatically calculate the total full-time equivalent accumulated days of the career disruption. This calculation is based on calendar days.

To determine your eligibility, these accumulated days will be subtracted from the number of years (as at 31 March of the application year) since the letter advising your doctoral thesis was passed.

An example of Accumulated Days calculation is provided here: if you looked after children for two days/week from 1 April 2012 to 30 November 2012 (244 days – note that the start and end dates are included), the accumulated days of the career disruption would be 244 x 40% = 98 days.

Impact

You have a 500 character limit (including spaces and line breaks) in which to clearly outline the impact the career disruption had on your productivity within the last five years. This field must only be used to:

  • provide a brief summary of the career disruption
  • state the impact on your research output/productivity
  • provide details of additional research outputs (those that occurred in the relevant preceding years) that you want the reviewers to consider when assessing your application
  • if applicable, indicate any national or international conferences where you were invited to give a major presentation, or other significant invitations (e.g. to join an editorial board of a major journal, or write a major review), and were not able to do so because of considerations associated with the career disruption.

Supporting Evidence

Upload documentation (see section 4.1.1 of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Funding Rules) for allowable forms of documentation and required content) supporting each claim of career disruption unless the career disruption is of a sensitive nature (see below). The evidence should be uploaded as a PDF file (2 MB maximum) using the following naming convention: APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_CD Evidence.pdf. If there is more than one career disruption, add a number suffix to the name of each PDF document that agrees with the listed order of your career disruptions (e.g. APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_CD Evidence_1.pdf, APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_CD Evidence_2.pdf, APP#######_Applicant’s Surname_CD Evidence_3.pdf).

Important: You must upload supporting evidence for EVERY claim of career disruption.

Sensitive Career Disruptions

If the career disruption is of a highly sensitive nature and an applicant does not wish to share the details with the grant review panel, details may be submitted separately to NHMRC rather than via B‑CD of their Fellowship application. For example, an applicant may consider their medical condition to be of a personal nature and therefore may wish to submit their career disruption claim details separately.

Applicants wishing to submit a sensitive career disruption should:

  1. Create a ‘New’ career disruption in B-CD of their application
  2. Select ‘Sensitive Career Disruption’ from the Reason drop down and enter the Start Date, End Date, FTE, and Accumulated Days as described above
  3. Provide details of the impact of your career disruption, indicate that the career disruption is of a sensitive nature but include details of the outputs that relate to the career disruption period claimed in your application. Provide details of additional research outputs (those that occurred in the relevant preceding years) as described above that you want the reviewers to consider when assessing your application.
  4. Upload a blank PDF as Evidence
  5. Provide details of the nature and evidence of the career disruption in a separate PDF document to NHMRC in-confidence to email address: career.disruptions@nhmrc.gov.au, Attention: Priority Driven Research Section, by the application close time. This PDF must include evidence as specified in section 4.1.1 of the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowships Funding Rules. Ensure your Application ID number is included in the PDF.

Claims for sensitive career disruptions will be reviewed and assessed by Senior NHMRC Staff. The grant review panel will be advised if the career disruption is accepted and which years should be considered, without reference to details.

Note: Where a sensitive career disruption exists, the applicant is required to make a separate submission for any new NHMRC application submitted, on which they are a named Chief Investigator.

3.5 B-GP: Grant Proposal

All applicants will be assessed and scored against the assessment criteria and category descriptors in Attachment A

Upload your Grant Proposal as a PDF file which must not exceed 2 MB in size. This document is a key source of information for assessors and must comprise the following components.

Component Page Limit
1.  Research Proposal (including references) 5 pages
2.  Research Leadership 2 pages
3.  Career Development Strategy 2 pages
4.  Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria (if applicable) 2 pages

A pre-formatted Microsoft Word Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Grant Proposal Template should be downloaded from the NHMRC website. Applicants must use this template to complete their Grant Proposal.

Naming, size and formatting requirements are set out in section 10.3.3 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017. Applications that fail to comply with these requirements or the above page limits will be excluded from consideration (see section 10.7 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017).

Applicants and Research Administration Officers are advised to retain a copy of the PDF file. If printing the PDF file for the purposes of checking formatting and page length, ensure that Page Scaling is set to ‘None’ in the print settings.

A brief description of each component is provided below.

  1. Research Proposal – maximum five A4 pages

Provide a brief research plan. The plan should:

  • describe your research vision for the next four years
  • outline the proposed research objectives, basic methodologies and expected outcomes
  • describe the importance of the problem to be researched, the planned outcome of the research plan, and the potential significance of the research
  • describe how you intend to support your proposed research (e.g. intended funding requests, current funding, institutional support).

References relating to the Research Proposal must:

  • be in an appropriate standard journal format
  • list authors in the order in which they appear in PubMed
  • not include links to external websites, apart from references to published or peer reviewed journal articles that are only available online. Where links are included, provide the URL in full
  • only include references to cited work.
  1. Research Leadership - maximum two A4 pages

Relative to opportunity and to your field, demonstrate exceptional performance in relation to:

  • research higher degree (Honours, PhD candidate) supervisions and completions
  • mentoring
  • contribution to training
  • outline your potential to build/further build a research team
  • peer review contributions to grant schemes and journal publications
  • community engagement activities associated with health research, practice or policy.
  1. Career Development Strategy - maximum two A4 pages

Provide an outline of your vision for the next four years and career development strategy. The plan should include the following:

  • strategies for building research independence
  • planning for the development of your dementia research leadership capabilities
  • understanding of consumer perspectives, and the benefits of actively engaging consumers in the proposed research.

Together with your Research Proposal and CV information, this section will be used to assess your application against Assessment Criterion 3 (see Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Peer Review Guidelines, Attachment A).

  1. Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria (if applicable) - maximum two A4 pages

If at least 20% of your research effort and/or capacity building relates to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health and you answered ‘yes’ to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research question at A-PA: Application Properties, you will need to:

  • describe and demonstrate what proportion of the research effort and/or capacity building activity will be directed to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health
  • address the Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria as set out in section 6.3 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017.

3.6 B-PB: Proposed Budget – DRC and Equipment

Enter details of the budget you seek as NHMRC funding, bearing in mind any limits on level and duration specified in the scheme-specific Funding Rules. Further details on permitted uses of NHMRC funds and setting of budgets can be found in the NHMRC Direct Research Costs Guidelines (DRCs), the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017 and the scheme-specific Funding Rules.

For all other budget items, you must enter:

  • the item type (e.g. Direct Research Cost, Equipment, etc)
  • the name/description of the item
  • the total value of the item requested for each year
  • a justification for the particular item requested. This information must be aligned with the proposed aims of the study, be detailed on a yearly basis and be fully justified (including, in the case of equipment, why the equipment cannot be provided by the Institution).

(Maximum of 500 characters including spaces and line breaks).

The total annual amount requested for each line item will be automatically rounded to the nearest $5,000 by the application form. The final rounded number is available at the ‘summary’ tab of the application form.

Please note:

  • NHMRC funds the direct costs of research based on advice from peer review. Applications with poorly justified budget proposals may have their budget adjusted, in accordance with section 8.1 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017
  • funding cannot be used for infrastructure
  • there will be no provision to increase funds for any reason.

Salary Support

Applicants should note that they can only draw one salary from one NHMRC grant/award. It is the CI’s responsibility to inform the NHMRC as to which NHMRC grant/award they will be receiving their salary from (refer to section 7 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017).

As part of the project component of your Fellowship, both full-time and part-time applicants are able to request Personnel Support Packages (PSP), within the maximum research project funding amount of $250,000. PSPs should be requested separately under A-RT: Research Team.

3.7 B-PPRC: Publications, Papers, Reports & Contribution

Most significant contributions in the last five years

In the space provided, comment on up to four of your most significant publications, papers, reports or other contributions in the last five years (or equivalent full time research if career disruptions exist). The reason for including these should be outlined. For any multi-author papers you include, specify your role in/contribution to these papers.

(2000 character limit, including spaces and line breaks)

Most significant contributions over the course of your career

In the space provided, comment on up to four of your most significant publications, papers, reports or other contributions over the course of your career. The reason for including these should be outlined. For any multi-author papers you include, specify your role in/contribution to these papers.

(2000 character limit, including spaces and line breaks)

Note the following points when answering the above questions:

  • Applicants can highlight the citations rate of their most significant publications in this section. If they wish to do so, applicants can state the citation rate of other publications relevant to their research in B-GP: Grant Proposal
  • NHMRC no longer uses the impact factor of journals as a part of its assessment processes.  Therefore, the impact factor of each publication should not be included. Further explanation of NHMRC’s decision to cease using impact factors of journals can be found on the NHMRC Website.

3.8 B-COL: Collaboration

Past collaborations

Provide details of past collaborations, including your role (e.g. initiator) and any resulting outcomes (e.g. publications, patents, translation into policy or practice, primary health care).

(2000 character limit, including spaces and line breaks)

Current collaborations

Provide details of current collaborations, including your role (e.g. initiator) and any resulting outcomes (e.g. publications, patents, translation into policy or practice, primary health care). Be specific about your role in or contribution to any multi-author publications you include.

(2000 character limit, including spaces and line breaks)