The Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) scheme provides support for teams of researchers to pursue collaborative research and develop capacity in clinical research, health services research, public health research and dementia research. 

The objective of the CRE scheme is to improve health outcomes and promote or improve translation of research outcomes into policy and/or practice. The CRE scheme will also support researchers in capacity building activities, including in specific areas of need identified by NHMRC.

The intended outcomes of the CRE scheme are to: 

  • support the conduct and development of innovative, high quality, collaborative research
  • promote effective translation of research into health policy and/or practice
  • foster and build capacity in the health and medical research workforce
  • provide opportunities to expand and improve collaborations between research teams. 

Funding will support four streams: 

  1. Clinical Research
  2. Health Services Research
  3. Public Health Research
  4. Dementia Research

Peer review of CRE grants

In 2021 the CRE panel meetings will occur by videoconference or face-to-face.

Grant at a glance

Duration of funding:
5 years

Level of funding:
CREs in Clinical Research, Health Services Research and Public Health Research - $2,500,000
CREs in Dementia Research - $3,000,000

Key changes

Applicants should note the following changes to the CRE 2021 Guidelines: 

  • Additional funding is available for CREs in Dementia Research.
  • Limits on the number of CRE applications (Section 4.2.1) – Guidance on submission of multiple applications has been clarified.
  • Assessment criteria (Section 6) – Explanatory text for assessment criterion five has been clarified.
  • Category Descriptors (Appendix B) – The seven-point assessment scale definitions have been aligned to those used in Ideas, Investigator and Synergy Grants, with subsequent minor adjustment of the category descriptor points.
  • NHMRC Relative to Opportunity policy (Appendix C) – Guidance on the typical circumstances considered under Relative to Opportunity has been clarified.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Section 2.1) – Guidance provided on the use of gender-neutral language in applications.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Sections 5.1 and 5.2) – The applicants’ record of NHMRC and Other Research Funding will not be provided to peer reviewers.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Section 5.4) – Clarification that Relative to Opportunity considerations include interruptions due to calamities such as COVID-19.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Section 6.7) – Additional guidance provided on responding to the assessment criteria.


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