All grants funded by the NHMRC are offered in accordance with the NHMRC Funding Agreement (31 March 2020) between NHMRC and the Administering Institution.

NHMRC Funding Agreement

Under the Funding Agreement, grant funds must only be spent in accordance with NHMRC’s Direct Research Cost Guidelines and for the purposes of the peer reviewed, approved research.

Where there is a need to change the approved funding proposal, such as deferring the commencement of a grant, extending the end date of a grant, or transferring the administration of an NHMRC funded grant to a new Administering Institution and/or supervisor, grantee’s must submit a variation request in accordance with the NHMRC Grantee Variations Policy.

NHMRC’s new Funding Agreement (Effective 31 March 2020)  

The 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement is provided to Administering Institutions under clause 17.2 of the October 2015 NHMRC Funding Agreement, and replaces the October 2015 NHMRC Funding Agreement. Accordingly, the 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement does not need to be executed by either party. This new NHMRC Funding Agreement has been finalised following our consideration of input provided through the consultation process with Administering Institutions. We do not anticipate the updates to the funding agreement will represent any significant change or additional burden for Administering Institutions. 

The 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement includes the following changes:

  • Amended wording to account for changes to NHMRC policies, including the discontinuation of the Administering Institutions Policy and Misconduct Policy, updates to the Grantee Variations Policy and the addition of the Integrity Policy.
  • Amended wording to account for the introduction of Sapphire through removal of references to RGMS, and replacing with ‘NHMRC’s Grants Management System’.
  • Additional terms referred to under NHMRC’s new grant program.
  • Addition of clause 2.12, in which all active Schedules (for a Research Activity) issued under the October 2015 NHMRC Funding Agreement are now taken to be Schedules under the 2020 Funding Agreement. The intention of this clause is to ease administrative burden on AIs through alignment of all Schedules to the one funding agreement.
  • Additional wording under clause 4.5 reflecting Funding Period and allowance for Research Activities to be extended beyond the Funding Period through variations in accordance with NHMRC’s Grantee Variations Policy.
  • Previously in clauses 15 and 16 (relating to Events of default and Misconduct), the Administering Institutions’ responsibilities and the NHMRC’s scope to take action under these clauses are limited to misconduct and integrity matters involving Specified Personnel (as defined in the Agreement). The wording in these clauses has been broadened to include any other Personnel working on a Research Activity who are not explicitly defined as Specified Personnel.
  • Currently, if the Administering Institution receiving funding is registered for GST, the NHMRC issue an Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI) in respect of funding provided for a taxable supply. Under the 2015 Funding Agreement there are no provisions addressing the duties, rights and privileges of each party specifically in relation to RCTIs. Clause 28 addresses this gap.  


  • All active Schedules (for a Research Activity) issued under the October 2015 NHMRC Funding Agreement are now following the issue of this notice, by virtue of the new clause 2.12, taken to be Schedules under the 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement. In aligning all Schedules to the one funding agreement, please be assured that there is no intention to disadvantage any Administering Institution.  
  • The 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement continues to include an execution page for signatures. Whilst this is not necessary for the current variation process, an execution page is required for new Administering Institutions. 

Direct Research Costs  

Under the NHMRC Funding Agreement and Deeds of Agreement, NHMRC funds for a research activity may only be expended on the approved research activity’s Direct Research Costs. The Direct Research Costs Guidelines provides advice on the expenditure of this funding. Please contact the Research Administration Officer at your Administering Institution in the first instance, if you have any questions regarding Direct Research Costs. If further clarification is required, they should contact NHMRC’s Research Administration Section.

Approved Standards and Guidelines

The following documents are Approved Standards and Guidelines as referred to in the NHMRC Funding Agreement. Please click on the links below to be taken to their respective locations on this website. 

Associated documentation


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