Sapphire – Supporting Research Excellence

NHMRC is replacing the existing Research Grants Management System (RGMS) with Sapphire, the Agency’s new grants management solution. 

Technology has progressed significantly since RGMS was implemented in 2009. It is reaching the end of its effective life and NHMRC has decided to replace it. 

Sapphire is being built with the latest grants management technology to create an intuitive system which will streamline grant application and assessment, making it easier and less time consuming to use.

NHMRC is engaging with the academic sector while building Sapphire and has established a working group comprising research community users from a variety of backgrounds across multiple institutions and states throughout Australia. NHMRC is working closely with this group to receive advice and feedback on the usability of Sapphire at each stage of the build.

The primary focus of NHMRC is to deliver a new system that is reliable, stable and secure. A robust program of tests will be conducted, including system integration testing, user acceptance testing, security testing and performance testing. In addition, Sapphire is based on elastic compute cloud technology, which will enable NHMRC to manage performance during peak use periods.

Sapphire will also include some new features to improve your experience when using the system and address some of the concerns with RGMS. Some examples include:

  • Auto-saving: your work is saved as you go, so you no longer lose any information if the system times out.
  • Live character counting: text fields will have a character counter so you can track how many characters you have available when entering your information.

Stay updated

NHMRC will keep adding to this webpage as Sapphire progresses, by sharing updates, news and other relevant information. 

We invite you to check back regularly to keep yourself informed of the project.


Quarter Two – 2018

Development is in the final stages and is anticipated to be finished in Q2. Experts have been engaged for testing to ensure industry standards are met, especially with regard to usability, security and performance. 

Quarter Three – 2018

Testing will be finalised and data migration of researcher profile/CV information from RGMS will occur.  

Sapphire will go live in late Q3 and will be available for all new grant opportunities.  There will be a formal announcement to inform the sector of the first grant opportunity to run in Sapphire.

RGMS will continue to be used for grant opportunities already in progress.

Quarter Four – 2018

Post go-live, NHMRC will monitor and enhance Sapphire as part of its continuous improvement program.

Learning to use Sapphire

As it gets closer to the launch of Sapphire, training materials, demonstration videos and user guides will be provided to assist you in learning how to use it.

Data migration

Researcher Profile and CV information in RGMS will be migrated across to Sapphire. 

ACTION: To assist with 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.

There will be two streams of data migration to enable the transition of RGMS to Sapphire with minimal user impact.

The first data migration stream will include the transfer of Profile/CV data from RGMS to Sapphire, so that users will not have to re-enter data.  This will enable the new solution to be ready to process new grant opportunities.

The second data migration stream will support the decommissioning of RGMS and ensure all required data is moved across to Sapphire.  Decommissioning will commence following an analysis of all RGMS in-progress grant opportunities to identify their position in the grant lifecycle and determine their best cut-over point.  Once these points are identified, NHMRC will move the data into Sapphire so they can continue to be seamlessly managed in the new solution.

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)