The Community Research Priorities Portal enables community and professional groups to submit research topics to NHMRC that may be underfunded or have a significant research knowledge gap.

NHMRC is the Australian Government’s primary health and medical research funding agency, responsible for dispensing about $800 million per year. In doing so, we balance the needs of the community, Government and the research sector, supporting both investigator-initiated and priority-driven research. 

The Community Research Priorities Portal (the Portal) allows community and professional groups to submit research topics that may warrant a dedicated funding call, in the form of a Targeted Call for Research (TCR). It is not the purpose of the Portal to consider submissions from individuals, academic researchers or research institutions (see further details below on other mechanisms available to these groups).

A TCR is a one-time request for grant applications, designed to stimulate research or build research capacity in a particular area of health and medical science, to the benefit of Australians. Further information on the TCR scheme is available on the NHMRC Website. 

Potential research topics submitted through the portal must address a significant research knowledge gap or unmet need and/or link to national, state and territory and/or community priorities. For further information, see the Framework for Identifying and Prioritising Targeted Calls for Research (see 'Downloads ' section below).

The Guide for Proposing Targeted Calls for Research provides advice to community and professional groups intending to submit topics for potential TCRs through the Portal (see 'Downloads'  section below). 

A template (see 'Downloads' section below), used in conjunction with the Guide, aims to assist in the drafting of submissions and ensure relevant information is provided.

Making a submission

NHMRC invites community and professional groups to make submissions throughout the year.

As noted above, Research proposals developed or driven by individuals, academic researchers and research institutions cannot be considered through the Portal process, and should instead be submitted through other mechanisms – for example, in partnership with an NHMRC Administering Institution to one of NHMRC’s investigator-initiated grant opportunities such as the Ideas Grant, Synergy Grant and Investigator Grant schemes.

Submissions from community and professional groups can be made via the Portal using its secure online form: 

Submit your proposal

Please be aware that this form cannot be saved. Once you start a submission, you must complete all fields and select Submit, located at the bottom of the form. If you would like to draft your submission before submitting, please use the offline submission template.

If you are unable to access the Portal, please complete the template provided (see 'Downloads'  section below) and submit via email: 

 Email address:
 Subject line: Community Research Priority – [ORGANISATION NAME] submission

While the Portal is open for submissions year round, submissions are reviewed once a year following the end of each annual cycle (see further details, including an indicative timeframe, below). The current cycle runs from 5 February 2022 to 5pm, 3 February 2023.

Review of submissions

The NHMRC Targeted Calls for Research Prioritisation Committee (TCR Prioritisation Committee) has been established to conduct an annual review of submissions received through the Portal, which entails:

  • assessment and prioritisation of proposed TCR topics according to the principles, and
  • providing recommendations to the NHMRC Research Committee on which topic/s warrant a TCR.

The TCR Prioritisation Committee assesses submissions using the Targeted Calls for Research Prioritisation Criteria Rubric; Framework for Identifying and Prioritising Targeted Calls for Research (see 'Downloads' section below) as well as NHMRC research funding data.

Indicative annual timeframes

Timeframe Milestone
First year
1st quarter
  • Portal closes for submissions to be considered that calendar year.
2nd quarter
  • TCR Prioritisation Committee reviews and assesses eligible submissions.
  • TCR Prioritisation Committee confirms recommendations to Research Committee.          
3rd quarter
  • Research Committee considers TCR Prioritisation Committee’s recommendations and reject or endorse the highest priority TCR topic. If endorsed, Research Committee will propose a budget allocation.
  • Research Committee’s recommendation is considered by Council and referred to the CEO.
  • NHMRC CEO considers advice from Council as to whether a TCR should be established. 
4th quarter
  • Submitters notified of outcome.
  • NHMRC begin developing the grant opportunity guidelines of the approved TCR.
Second year
1st quarter
  • TCR grant opportunity guidelines finalised and approved.
2nd quarter
  • TCR opens for applications.
3rd quarter
  • TCR closes.
  • Assessment of applications by peer review panel commences.
4th quarter
  • Peer review panel meeting.
  • Funding recommendations considered by Research Committee, Council and the CEO before submission to the Minister for Health for approval and announcement.
  • Funding commences.


Submitters will be notified of outcomes as soon as possible, which could occur after review by the various committees, as indicated in the indicative timeframes table above.

If a submitted topic is prioritised but not selected to be progressed to a TCR, it will be reconsidered in the subsequent year. If not prioritised at that time, it will not be considered again (unless resubmitted). Submitters are able to update the proposed topic in light of the continually changing research landscape for consideration.