12. Grant administration

12.1 Information required from Awardees

Awardees may be required to supply additional information about their Research Activity before payments commence. This will be stated in each scheme’s relevant scheme-specific funding rules and letter of offer.

12.2 Approvals and Licences

Where relevant, particularly in relation to ethics and biosafety, NHMRC-funded Research Activities must be referred for approval to the relevant institutional committees and approval bodies. This applies to both Research Support and People Support schemes.

For further information see the Administering Grants section of the NHMRC website.

12.3 NHMRC Funding Agreement

All grants are offered in accordance with the Funding Agreement (with the conditions specified in Schedules), which is an agreement between NHMRC and the Administering Institution. In accepting the Schedules, the Administering Institution is agreeing to the conditions contained in the Funding Agreement and the Schedule.

Details of the Funding Agreement can be found on the NHMRC website under Administering Grants. A grant will not commence, nor grant funds be paid, until:

  • the Funding Agreement between NHMRC and the Administering Institution is in place
  • the appropriate Schedule to the Funding Agreement is accepted by the Responsible Officer, or their delegate, and is accepted and executed by NHMRC.

12.4 Payments

Payments will commence once any outstanding obligations (e.g. conditions, eligibility rules or data requirements specified in the Schedule to the Funding Agreement, relevant funding rules or letter of offer) have been met by the CI/Fellow and the Administering Institution.

12.5 Variations

Grant variations cannot be used as a means to meet NHMRC eligibility requirements, unless allowed for in the scheme-specific funding rules.

For information on grant variation eligibility requirements, see the scheme-specific funding rules and NHMRC’s Variations Policy.

12.6 Suspensions of Award

NHMRC funding may be suspended for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to requests made by the CIA/Fellow.

The CEO or delegate may suspend funding when it is reasonable to consider there has been a failure to comply with a Policy or Guideline, on the basis of a Probity Event, or an investigation of alleged research misconduct, as set out in the Funding Agreement.

Refer to the relevant scheme-specific funding rules for information regarding particular schemes.

12.7 Reporting

Where an institution fails to submit reports (financial or otherwise) as required, NHMRC may take action under the provisions of the Funding Agreement. Failure to report within timeframes may affect eligibility to receive future funding.

12.7.1 Financial Reports

Annual financial reports are required in a form prescribed by NHMRC. At the completion of the grant, a financial acquittal is also required. Refer to the NHMRC website for details of format and timing.

12.7.2 Non-Financial Reports

The Funding Agreement requires the Specified Person (CIA for Research Support schemes or Fellow) to prepare reports for each Research Activity.  It is a condition of funding that outstanding obligations from previous NHMRC grants, including submission of a Final Report, have been met prior to time of award.  Scientific reporting requirements can be found on the NHMRC website under Administering Grants. Additional obligations may apply to some schemes – refer to the relevant scheme-specific funding rules for details.

NHMRC has designated the Research Achievements Summary in the Final Report as information that NHMRC may publicly release. Use of this information may include publication on the NHMRC website, publicity (including release to the media), and the promotion of research achievements.

All information provided to NHMRC in reports may be used for internal reporting and reporting to government. This information may also be used by NHMRC when reviewing or evaluating funded research projects, funding schemes, or designing future schemes.

12.8 Evaluation

NHMRC undertakes periodic evaluations of the performance and administration of its funding schemes to determine strengths and to identify where improvements can be made.

The NHMRC also facilitates public access to NHMRC-funded research outcomes through its policy on the dissemination of research findings (see section 9.3). This policy ensures that peer-reviewed journal publications arising from NHMRC grants, with the exception of scholarships, are freely available to the public, including for the purpose of evaluation.

12.8.1 NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research

Grantees undertaking research related to dementia must contribute their expertise to the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR), which is responsible for strategically expanding, coordinating and translating the national dementia research effort. The NNIDR will draw on the expertise of researchers and other dementia stakeholders via a membership model to drive Australia’s dementia research and translation effort, and work together to maximise the impact of research.

Additional reporting on NHMRC funded dementia research will also be sought from Administering Institutions as required to inform the Institute’s work plan and subsequent research activities.

Further information on the Institute and related developments can be found on the NHMRC website.