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 and public health 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 three streams: 

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

Peer review of CRE grants

In line with the communique from the CEO on 19 March and 27 March 2020, the decision has been made to cancel the CRE peer review panel meetings in 2020. 

Applications for the current 2020 CRE round will be ranked and recommended for funding based on the initial phase of the peer review process. ‘Not For Further Consideration’ (NFFC) outcomes will not be released for this round. It is anticipated that all CRE applicants will be notified of funding outcomes in July-August 2020.

An updated version of the Centres of Research Excellence 2020 Peer Review Guidelines is available for download below.

Grant at a glance

Duration of funding
5 years
Level of funding

Key changes

The naming convention for CRE grant opportunities has changed. As such, the 2019 CRE for funding commencing in 2020 round is now referred to as the CRE 2020 grant opportunity. 

Applicants should note the following changes to the CRE 2020 Guidelines: 

  • All successful CRE applications will be awarded a fixed total budget of $2.5 million. Applicants are no longer required to submit detailed application budgets.
  • The CRE in Population Health Research stream has been renamed the CRE in Public Health Research to create consistency with NHMRC’s Broad Research Areas terminology. Renaming this stream does not affect the scope of research funded under the stream.
  • The applicant team interview has been removed from the peer review process.
  • Additional funding may be available to support health and medical research on the health effects of radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME).


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