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.



To progress this commitment and address the ageing technology of the current Research Grants Management System (RGMS), NHMRC is in the process of developing a new grants management solution, Sapphire, for supporting research excellence.

The implementation of Sapphire aims to:

  • Improve the applicant user experience
  • Improve the assessor user experience
  • Improve the RAO user experience
  • Reduce the time for applicants to receive their grant decision


The project to develop Sapphire operates on a set of guiding principles for solution design:

  • Usability: The solution will be intuitive and easy to use for all users
  • Single entry: Users only need to enter data once into the solution
  • Accessibility: Outside of planned maintenance times, the solution will be continuously available to users
  • Security: User data is secure

NHMRC is committed to delivering a grants management solution that meets the needs of the research community.

NHMRC’s focus is on providing a modular, flexible system for application and grant activities (such as application forms, assignment of panels, application assessment and other processes). This means we can bring forward new and enhanced functionality in a step-by-step way that best supports the research community, with the end goal being all grant activities and existing funding arrangements transitioning into Sapphire.

Development Grants 2020 Pilot

Over the coming year, NHMRC is replacing RGMS with Sapphire. 

As a first step, NHMRC is planning a pilot of Sapphire for the Development Grants 2020 Round, pending final testing. The pilot will give Development Grants applicants an opportunity to provide feedback and input on Sapphire. NHMRC will engage closely with participants throughout, and you will be well supported with resources to assist in navigating Sapphire, such as user guides, how-to videos and access to the Sapphire Help Centre.  

NHMRC will announce confirmation of the pilot at a later date, once final testing is complete.

Action for Researchers and RAO’s to take:

We will be using your primary email address from RGMS for your user login for Sapphire. Your profile information contained in RGMS has been migrated into Sapphire. You should note that if you apply for a Development Grant you will be required to keep your profile up-to-date in both RGMS and in Sapphire. 

To prepare for the pilot we ask applicants for Development Grants to contact the to register. Once Sapphire is launched you will be sent an email that will enable you to log-in and access your account. 

If you are an RAO you will be contacted by NHMRC via email to establish an RAO account. 

For all other schemes, all peer review and application processes currently underway will continue to use RGMS until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, Centres for Research Excellence, Targeted Calls for Research and Investigator Grants.

We invite you to check back regularly to keep yourself informed.

Learning Materials

Resources will be made available to assist in navigating Sapphire, including user guides and how-to videos. These will be made available as Sapphire is released.