NHMRC funds research through institutions that it has approved to administer NHMRC grants.

These are referred to as Administering Institutions. In order to be eligible to apply for and administer NHMRC funding, institutions are required to obtain the status of NHMRC Administering Institution (AI). 

Requirements for AI status

To be eligible to be granted AI status, institutions must:

  • engage in health and medical research as one of their main objectives
  • have a physical location in Australia where they conduct health and medical research
  • have an independent governing board or council with scientific and administrative experience, skills and qualifications
  • be able to clearly demonstrate the ability to comply with NHMRC policies, approved standards and guidelines.

Section 4 of the Administering Institutions application form (see downloads) provides a full overview of applicable requirements. 

Once approved AIs are required to have a signed Funding Agreement in place.  

AI application process

Institutions that are not already an NHMRC AI can apply for AI status by completing the Administering Institutions application form (see downloads).

The AI application form collects data about the institution and asks for declarations to be made by the institution’s CEO/Vice-Chancellor that it meets specified requirements.

The AI application process distinguishes between universities that are specified as listed providers in Section 16-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HES Act) and other institutions. Table A and Table B providers under the HES Act are eligible to become AIs and apply for NHMRC funding once they have provided the required business information and signed the required declarations in the Administering Institutions application form (except question 4). 

Please refer to NHMRC’s website to ensure your institution is able to comply with NHMRC’s requirements for AI Status comprising:

Completed forms should be submitted to: administering.institutions@nhmrc.gov.au.

Incomplete applications will not be assessed. 

Please note that: 

  • NHMRC reserves the right to ask the applicant institution to provide additional information to support its claims of suitability to administer Australian Government funding if needed
  • NHMRC endeavours to complete the application review in 30 days and institutions should take this timeframe into account
  • The applicant institution will be notified of the assessment outcome in writing. 
  • AIs cannot be named as a partner on a Partnership Project application, unless they: (1) are an organisation which primarily delivers health policy and/or health services, and (2) obtain a waiver from NHMRC. Refer to Partnership-Projects for further information. 

Participating institutions

If your institution does not meet the requirements for AI status, you may wish to partner with an existing AI as a Participating Institution (PI) in order to receive funding. A PI is an organisation that contributes to the Research Activity in accordance with its Formal Agreement with, and under the leadership of, the AI. Further information about PIs is available in chapter 5 and several other clauses of the Funding Agreement.

Retaining AI Status

Current AIs do not need to re-apply to retain AI status.

All AIs must:

  • update contact information when changes occur and must review their provided details annually
  • report yearly on compliance in the Institutional Annual Compliance Report, including those that did not administer NHMRC funds during the reporting calendar year. 

If your institution no longer requires AI status (as you do not have staff who will be applying for NHMRC or Medical Research Future Fund grants, and this status is not required for any other reason) then please request this change of status via a letter from your chief executive to: administering.institutions@nhmrc.gov.au 

Further information

A list of current NHMRC AIs is available to download (see Approved Administering Institutions below in downloads).

Please direct any enquiries about Administering Institution status to: administering.institutions@nhmrc.gov.au.


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