NHMRC Research Funding Access Policy

Addressing Impediments to Collaboration and increasing investment in health related National Research Priorities

In line with its submission to the Review of Closer Collaboration between Universities and Major Publicly Funded Research Institutions, NHMRC has recently examined its arrangements for access to NHMRC competitive funding schemes by researchers employed by Publicly Funded Research Agencies.

The NHMRC is seeking to promote collaboration between researchers and is working to remove any artificial barriers to this occurring.

It has been decided that in the 2004 application round for all NHMRC funding support, there will be no separate "Access Policy". To bring this into effect, the current "Access Policy" will cease from 3 December 2003 in line with the national call for funding applications.

All applicants for funding support will need to consult the eligibility criteria for the particular scheme of interest to determine whether they are eligible to apply.

Existing eligibility criteria for schemes are reviewed to ensure they are in line with the NHMRC Act, Australian Government financial management legislation and NHMRC policy objectives.

The NHMRC acknowledges that it does not fully fund the total cost of research. Applicants are asked, therefore, to declare the source, duration and level of funding already held for research in the particular area of the application and to make a case for NHMRC funding under the policy for the particular funding scheme.

Applications must be submitted through a listed NHMRC Administering Institution.

False or Misleading Information

Applicants and Administering Institutions should be aware that misleading the Australian Government on financial matters may have serious consequences. Under s136.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, it is an offence to provide false or misleading information to an Australian Government body in an application for a benefit, punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment.

If the NHMRC determines that omissions or inclusion of misleading information have been provided deliberately in order to mislead, the NHMRC will take appropriate action. Action will include excluding the application from further consideration and referral to the Audit and Fraud Committee of the Department of Health and Ageing to pursue legal action as appropriate, including whether to refer the matter to the Australian Federal Police.