NHMRC is committed to supporting its administering institutions, and the health and medical research sector more broadly, to address the multiple challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic

Changes to funding schemes in 2020 and 2021

This is an uncertain time and we know many researchers are worried about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on their research, grant applications and other professional activities over the coming months – on top of the concern we all share for family, friends and the wider community.

Message from the CEO to the health and medical research sector (19 March 2020).

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and work restrictions, and in consultation with our Research Committee and peak stakeholder groups, NHMRC has made changes to a number of policies and grant schemes for 2020 and 2021. 

Varying a grant

NHMRC also recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic may be affecting the research of current grant holders. If you have received a grant and circumstances have changed - for example, there has been a delay in your Research Activity because of involvement in the clinical or public health response - you can apply to vary your grant. More information is available on our research funding page

Please work with your administering institution’s Research Administration Officers (RAOs) as your first point of contact for all grant administration matters. 

NHMRC will continue to monitor grant variation and application queries and will update the Frequently Asked Questions in response to questions received from the sector. 

Clinical trials in the context of COVID-19

COVID-19: Guidance on clinical trials for institutions, HRECs, researchers and sponsors is a joint statement by all state and territory departments of health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), NHMRC and the Clinical Trials Project Reference Group (CTPRG), of which all of these entities are members.

This guidance is published below in the Downloads section and on the Department of Health’s website

It provides general information and advice to institutions conducting or overseeing research, Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs), researchers and sponsors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is directed towards those involved in clinical trial research and other relevant clinical research, but also may be of use to institutions, HRECs and researchers in other fields.

Research involving animals

NHMRC recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic may be affecting research involving animals, including delays to existing research projects, or new research relating to the pandemic that proposes to use animals. For advice about research involving animals, visit the animal ethics page.

More information

For more information including the latest medical advice and official reports, please refer to the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert.

Find out how NHMRC has invested in Australia’s research foundations in disease preparedness and supported COVID-19 research.