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.

Sapphire Supporting Research Excellence

NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS) is approaching the end of its useful life and is being replaced by a new grants management solution, Sapphire.

Sapphire comprises a suite of technologies to provide one seamless grant application, assessment and administration solution. The over-arching objectives of Sapphire are to replace RGMS with a more intuitive and user-friendly system and provide new functionality that will reduce the burden on applicants, assessors and administrators. NHMRC’s priority during the development and deployment of Sapphire, and staged transition away from RGMS, is to minimise disruption to the health and medical research community.

Since NHMRC launched Sapphire in February 2020, Researchers and RAOs have access to view and update their profile information and many MREA and MRFF grant opportunities have received applications in Sapphire. 

Sapphire is a significant and complex project and NHMRC has taken a cautious and staged approach to its implementation. The project is continuing to develop, enhance and launch additional modules of Sapphire. To keep informed we encourage you to follow our Sapphire twitter account.

The Sapphire project is continuing to focus on completing modules for peer review and post-award grant management. Sapphire pilots are paving the way for NHMRC to complete its transition from RGMS to Sapphire in the coming months. As Sapphire development continues, the project is engaging numerous subject matter experts from across NHMRC and members of the Grant Management Solution Working Group (the external reference group for Sapphire development) in detailing business requirements and testing of the system before it is released.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback

NHMRC would like to thank all stakeholders, including Applicants, RAOs and Peer Reviewers for their ongoing contributions and feedback. In response, a number of key improvements have already been deployed to enhance Sapphire usability. Upcoming releases will continue to build on the current capability. Updates, hints and tips will be published on a regular basis and available on the Sapphire – Recent updates page.

We encourage users to provide feedback on their experience with the system, online tutorials and Help by completing the online feedback form or by contacting the Research Help Centre. This feedback will help NHMRC resolve any urgent issues and inform improvements to Sapphire.

How do I activate my Sapphire account? 

If you have an existing RGMS account you can activate your own account. Open the Sapphire landing page and click “Activate my account”. Your Sapphire ‘user name’ is your primary email address. 

If you need to use Sapphire but do not have an RGMS account

If you do not have an RGMS Profile you will need to register for an account through the form on the Sapphire landing page by clicking on “I need to register”. 

If you are a current Sapphire user

No further action is required. You may log in to Sapphire to access your account. 

If you are an RAO

If you are an RAO with a current Sapphire account, no further action is required. If you are an RAO and have not established an RAO Account in Sapphire you are required to contact the Research Help Centre.

Updating your profile information

Researchers are responsible for confirming that their Profile data is complete and up-to-date prior to submitting an application and to be considered for peer review. Researchers are advised to log in to Sapphire, click 'Profile' and review all data to confirm your information is correct. A summary of the key changes for Sapphire Profile and NHMRC's recommendations for checking your profile data is available here.

To update your Peer Review Areas:
•    Log in to Sapphire and click the Profile button, located on the ribbon
•    Click on the Peer Reviewer Information section 
•    Complete all mandatory fields, including three Peer Review Areas. 

NHMRC is now considering peer reviewer requirements for the 2021 grant rounds opening early next year. Please ensure you have completed your Peer Review Areas and Fields of Research within your Sapphire profile.  This will assist NHMRC to identify available researchers when formulating panels in the lead up to peer review.  

Nominate to participate in Peer Review for 2022

Researchers are now able to nominate themselves to be considered for appointment to NHMRC peer review panels in 2022 through Sapphire. Information on how to access and complete the self-nomination form is available from the Peer Review: Self Nominations Instructions on the Sapphire Tutorials webpage. Self-nominations must be entered in Sapphire by Thursday 30 September 2021. 

Researchers who are self-nominating for peer review must ensure their Sapphire Profile is up-to-date, and that their ‘Peer Review Area’ and ‘Field of Research’ fields are complete. Please note that the ‘Fields of Research’ dataset has been updated and there will be additional communications on this.