Career Development Fellowships

Career Development Fellowships (CDFs) are highly competitive, four year fellowships that recognise and provide support for the most outstanding early to mid-career health and medical researchers in each Fellowship category. CDFs can be applied for at one of two levels depending on the applicant’s career stage – CDF Level 1 or CDF Level 2.

The specific objectives of the CDF scheme are to enable investigators to establish themselves as independent, self-directed researchers; expand capacity for clinical, population health, biomedical and bioinformatics research, and for evidence-based policy development in Australian health systems; encourage the translation of research outcomes into practice; bridge the gap between research and industry; and provide a means for Australian researchers working overseas to return to Australia to continue their career development.

Apply for funding

Applicants must use the NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS) to access/update their CV and Profile, and submit their CDF application.

Applicants who are not yet registered in RGMS should contact the Research Help Centre at for more information.
A complete CDF application consists of:

  1. Parts A and B of the application form including all required PDF uploads
  2. The relevant information in the applicant’s RGMS Profile and CV.

Prior to submission, applicants are to ensure they:

  1. Read all relevant reference material
  2. Liaise with their Administering Institution to identify any specific requirements that the institution may have
  3. Ensure their application is complete and correct. Once submitted to NHMRC, an application will be considered final and no changes can be accepted.

Applicants are advised to contact the Research Administration Officer at their Administering Institution early in the application process and are asked to direct any questions they may have to their Research Administration Officer.

Key Dates

The key dates for the CDF 2017 funding round are as follows:

  • Applications open: 18 January 2017
  • Applications close: 17:00 hrs (5:00 pm) AEDT, 8 March 2017.

Changes to the Career Development Fellowships for 2017

  • Career Development Fellowships Scheme Specific Funding Rules, Section 5 Eligibility - Clarification provided on which date to use for PhD pass (section 5.1)

  • Information relevant to an applicant’s Research Supervision and Mentoring track record will now be entered directly into RGMS, not on a separate template to upload.

Documentation to Apply for a Career Development Fellowship

These must be read in conjunction with the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017, NHMRC Advice and Instructions to Applicants 2017 and Guide to NHMRC Peer Review 2017, which have also been revised.

Recent Outcomes

Further information

If you require more information, direct your inquiry to your Research Administration Office in the first instance.

If you require assistance and are unable to satisfy your concern by seeking assistance through your administering institution, contact the Research Help Centre on 1800 500 983, or email

Archived Documentation for the Previous Round