2. Introduction

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is Australia’s largest health and medical research funding body. NHMRC awards grants through several funding schemes to advance health and medical knowledge to improve the health status of all Australians. NHMRC invests in the highest quality research and researchers, as determined through peer review, across the four pillars of health and medical research: biomedical, clinical, public health and health services.

The role and functions of NHMRC are set out in the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 (the NHMRC Act). The NHMRC Act provides for NHMRC to pursue activities designed to:

  • raise the standard of individual and public health throughout Australia
  • foster the development of consistent health standards between the various States and Territories
  • foster medical research and training and public health research and training throughout Australia
  • foster consideration of ethical issues relating to health.

The NHMRC Corporate Plan includes NHMRC’s strategic directions, the major health issues for this period, how NHMRC will deal with these issues and a strategy for medical research and public health research. NHMRC investment of the Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA) is guided by the strategic direction and major health issues outlined in the NHMRC Corporate Plan, and incorporates Targeted Calls for Research and funding of other strategic priorities, on Research Committee’s advice, via NHMRC’s investigator-initiated research funding schemes.

These Funding Rules provide information about the overarching requirements and processes applicable to NHMRC funding schemes, and must be read in conjunction with the following supporting documents:

  • the scheme-specific funding rules, that set out each scheme’s objectives, critical dates, assessment criteria, eligibility rules and other scheme-specific information
  • the Guide to NHMRC Peer Review and scheme-specific peer review guidelines, that provide additional information about NHMRC’s peer review processes
  • the Advice and Instructions to Applicants and scheme-specific advice and instructions to applicants, that provides guidance to assist researchers and Administering Institutions with preparing and submitting applications
  • the Funding Agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of funding between NHMRC and Administering Institutions.

These Funding Rules and their supporting documents may be amended by NHMRC from time to time. Applicants and grantees should refer to, and must comply with, the latest versions as published on the NHMRC website.