The community research priorities portal enables consumers, community or professional groups to submit research topics to NHMRC that may be underfunded or have a significant research knowledge gap.

NHMRC values the lived experiences of consumers and community organisations, and the contributions they can make to health and medical research. Consumer and community involvement in health and medical research is a strategic priority within the NHMRC Corporate Plan 2022-23

The Community Research Priorities Portal (the Portal) allows consumers, community and professional groups to submit research topics that may warrant a dedicated funding call (grant opportunity), in the form of a Targeted Call for Research (TCR). 

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.

Research topics submitted through the Portal must detail:

  • the research knowledge gap or unmet need
  • the significance of the proposed topic
  • consultation and collaboration undertaken in identifying the research gap
  • how further research would benefit the health of Australians; and opportunities to build on existing research or government initiatives.

Making a submission

Consumers, community and professional groups are welcome to make submissions at any point throughout the year. Submissions are reviewed once a year following the end of each annual cycle. The current cycle runs from 5 February 2022 to 5pm, 30 June 2023.

Please note - Research proposals developed or driven by 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 which include the Investigator Grants, Ideas Grants, Synergy Grants, Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies, Centres of Research Excellence, Development Grants and Partnership Projects schemes.

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

Submit your proposal

Please be aware that this form cannot be saved as a draft. Once you start a submission, you must complete all fields and select Submit, located at the bottom of the form. Should you have any questions regarding making a submission or accessing the Portal please email the Targeted Research Programs team at targeted.research@nhmrc.gov.au.

Prospective submitters are encouraged to review the Guide for Proposing Targeted Calls for Research which covers development, submission and timeframes for the annual review and prioritisation or proposed topics.

Review of submissions

The NHMRC Targeted Calls for Research Prioritisation Committee (TCR Prioritisation Committee) includes members with broad scientific and consumer health and medical research expertise. The Committee conducts an annual review of submissions received through the Portal, using the Targeted Calls for Research Prioritisation Criteria Rubric and NHMRC research funding data. Following the assessment and prioritisation of submitted topics, the Committee provide recommendations to the NHMRC Research Committee on which topic/s warrant development into a TCR grant opportunity.

Indicative annual timeframes

Timeframe Milestone
First year
30 June
  • Annual cycle for submission of prospective TCR topics ends.
July/August
  • TCR Prioritisation Committee reviews and assesses eligible submissions. This includes submissions from most recent cycle and unsuccessful submissions from preceding cycle.
  • TCR Prioritisation Committee provides recommendations to NHMRC’s Research Committee on which topics should be developed into TCRs.          
November
  • Research Committee considers TCR Prioritisation Committee’s recommendations and reject or endorse the proposed TCR topics. 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.
1st quarter of subsequent year
  • 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 grant opportunity opens for applications.
3rd quarter
  • TCR grant opportunity closes.
  • Peer review assessment of applications submitted to the TCR grant opportunity 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 of successful research projects commence.

Notification of outcomes

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.

Previous submissions

Since its inception in 2016, NHMRC has received submissions on the following topics via the Portal. Topics highlighted in bold text have been selected to be developed into TCRs. Further details on these grant opportunities can be found on the Targeted Calls for Research page.

Artificial stone silicosis

Bone marrow failure syndromes

Breast density

Cerebral palsy management and treatment in adulthood

Childhood cancer research and treatment

Childhood dementia

Childhood respiratory diseases

Communication disorders in children and young people

Consumer and carer involvement in patient-centred mental health services

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Dementia Research

e-mental health services for depression

Epidermolysis Bullosa

Falls and fracture prevention

Gender dysphoria in transgender youth

Healthy lifestyle promotion and obesity prevention in pregnancy

Avoiding re-hospitalisation of individuals living with a chronic disease

Improving the health, wellbeing and lives of LGBTIQ+ people in Australia

Inclusion Body Myositis

Infection control in residential aged care facilities

Injury prevention research

Integration of targeted therapies for Asthma into standard clinical care

Lyme-like illness (See TCR Debilitating symptom complexes attributed to Ticks)

Musculoskeletal conditions across the lifecourse

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)

Neuropathy and related neurodegenerative disorders

Osteoarthritis

Patient reported outcomes of cancer survivors quality of life

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Preventative healthcare measures for people with intellectual disability

Prevention of mental disorders

Recovery and rehabilitation of stroke survivors

School-based sleep education

Understanding and improving sleep health in Indigenous Australians

Contact

targeted.research@nhmrc.gov.au

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