Grants funded by the NHMRC are offered in accordance with the NHMRC Funding Agreement (31 March 2020) between NHMRC and the Administering Institution.
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, grantees must submit a variation request in accordance with the NHMRC Grantee Variations Policy.
NHMRC's Funding Agreement (version effective 31 March 2020)
The 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement replaced the October 2015 NHMRC Funding Agreement (see clause Administering Institutions – consideration of gender equity 17.2). Accordingly, the 2020 NHMRC Funding Agreement did not need to be executed by either party. This latest NHMRC Funding Agreement was finalised following our consideration of input provided through the consultation process with 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.
Compliance with laws
Under clauses 4.2, 5.7 and 24 of the NHMRC Funding Agreement, Administering Institutions must comply, and require their Participating Institutions, Research Activities and applications to comply, with any applicable Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government requirement. This includes:
- The Australian Government's Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector.
- The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations which set out a nationally consistent approach to promoting a culture of child safety and wellbeing within organisations.
- The National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (the Redress Scheme). In accordance with the requirements of the Redress Grant Connected Policy (GCP), institutions named in applications to the Redress Scheme or to the Royal Commission that have not joined the Redress Scheme or signified their intent to join within the required timeframes, will be ineligible to access NHMRC grant funding.
- More information on these and other laws and obligations is available on our laws and obligations page.
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. 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.
- Direct research costs guidelines (see Download section, below)
- Personnel and salary support packages
Approved standards and guidelines
Under the Funding Agreement, Administering Institutions must comply, and require their Participating Institutions, Research Activities and applications to comply, with NHMRC-approved Standards and Guidelines and any applicable NHMRC policies. This includes the following Approved Standards and Guidelines:
- Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018)
- Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition (2013)
- National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007, updated 2018
- Guidelines Approved under Section 95A of the Privacy Act 1988 (2014)
- Guidelines under Section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988 (2000)
- National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research (2013)
- Principles and accessing and using publicly funded data for health research (2016)
- Principles and guidelines on the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes (2016)
- Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders (2018)
- Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research (2017)
- NHMRC gender equity requirements
- NHMRC research integrity and misconduct policy (2019).