Sapphire – Supporting Research Excellence

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is working to reduce the grant application and assessment related burden on the health and medical research community.

To progress this commitment and address the ageing technology of the current Research Grants Management System (RGMS), NHMRC is in the process of developing the new grants management solution, Sapphire, for supporting research excellence.

The implementation of Sapphire aims to:

  • Improve the applicant user experience
  • Improve the assessor user experience
  • Improve the RAO user experience
  • Reduce the time for applicants to receive their grant decision


The project to develop Sapphire operates on a set of guiding principles for solution design:

  • Usability: The solution will be intuitive and easy to use for all users
  • Single entry: Users only need to enter data once into the solution
  • Accessibility: Outside of planned maintenance times, the solution will be continuously available to users
  • Security: User data is secure


The transition to Sapphire will comprise of several releases:

Release 1: Sapphire pilot

October 2018
Applications for funding under a smaller grant scheme are proposed to open in Sapphire as part of a pilot of the new solution.  Access will initially be controlled to a group of users so that we can assess operational use. 

Release 1.1: go live in Sapphire

November 2018
Following the pilot, we will look at on-boarding additional Grants Schemes.  Post-award functions will continue to be managed in RGMS during this time

Release 1.2: Additional grants programs released, with full access to profile/CV.

December 2018
Post-award functions will continue to be managed in RGMS

Release 2: Assessments and Post-awards go live in Sapphire

2019 – Dates TBC
We anticipate that this stage of the project will see the transition of existing funding arrangement in to Sapphire for management and reporting, and that Sapphire will be sole system used for NHMRC grant application and management moving forward.

Data Migration

ACTION: To support effective data migration, please check your primary email address in RGMS to ensure it is your current institution email address and check your other information is up to date.

To ensure continuity of information and to minimise the administrative burden of re-entering data, researcher profile and CV information in RGMS will be migrated across to Sapphire in October 2018.

Learning Materials

Resources will be made available to assist in learning Sapphire, including user guides and how-to videos. 

Research Help Centre

If you have a query about Sapphire, please contact us via the NHMRC Research Help Centre - 9am to 5pm AEDT/AEST Monday to Friday.

T:  1800 500 983 (or +61 2 6217 9451 for international callers)