NHMRC Development Grant Scheme information for Researchers at the University of Newcastle

Development Grants

For funding commencing in 2017

Research Office Contact:

The Development Grants scheme provides financial support to individual researchers and/or research teams to undertake health and medical research within Australia at the proof of principle or pre-seed stage that specifically drives towards a commercial outcome within a five-year timeframe.

Early stage research or knowledge creation research (this is fundable through the NHMRC Project Grants scheme) will not be funded through the Development Grants scheme.

The Development Grants scheme supports the commercial development of a product, process, procedure or service that if applied, would result in improved health care, disease prevention or provide health cost savings.

Research supported by this scheme must have experimental data that supports a demonstrated proof of principle or pre-seed concept and have a detailed feasible commercialisation strategy that takes into account the regulatory pathway, protectable IP, commercial barriers and potential routes to market.

For further information regarding NHMRC Development Grants, please visit the NHMRC website.

Key Dates

Please subscribe to the NHMRC mailing list to receive up to date information on NHMRC funding opportunities.

NHMRC Opens 5pm AEDT Wednesday 18 November 2015
Minimum Data Requirement due 5pm AEDT Wednesday 20 January 2016
Internal Closing Date 5pm AEDT Wednesday 20 January 2016
NHMRC Closes 5pm AEDT Wednesday 3 February 2016

*Please note:

  • Internal Closing Date requires provision of final, submission-ready proposals and all associated documentation. As Research Office staff will be conducting Critical Final Checks on all proposals received by the Internal Closing Date, we will be unable to provide applicants who do not meet this deadline with further advice or assistance with their application. Applicants seeking assistance in completing their application after the Internal Closing Date will be referred directly to the Funding Rules and Advice and Instructions to Applicants.
  • Schools and Faculties may have their own internal dates for the purpose of peer review/Head of School and Assistant Dean (Research) approval etc. Please contact your School Executive Officer and Faculty Research & Research Training Officer or Faculty Research Development Manager for further information on School/Faculty internal processes.

Additional documentation for application submission is provided below. 

Minimum Data Requirement

For each application, it is mandatory that minimum data requirements be entered in RGMS by 5:00pm AEST on 20 January 2016 to allow the NHMRC to start sourcing suitable assessors. Applications that fail to satisfy this requirement will not be accepted. 

Applicants are also reminded to complete the recommended fields below with correct information. Using placeholder text such as "text", "synopsis" or "xx" etc. are not acceptable as minimum data.

Minimum data for the Development Grants scheme consists of the following:

  • A-PA Home: Specifically, Administering Institution, Application Title, Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Research and Synopsis; and
  • A-RC Research Classification.

Final Submission Process

For all NHMRC Schemes

The CIA must certify the application in RGMS via the Certification tab. This will result in the status changing to 'Submitted to RAO' - which equates to 'Research Administration Office' NOT the NHMRC.

CI and AI certifications are due by the round specific Internal Closing Datealong with final, submission-readyproposals and all associated documentation. The application will not be submitted to the NHMRC until our Office has received email certifications from all named CI and AIs.


Prior to submission of an application, applicants are to ensure that they have read all relevant reference material.

NHMRC Website

Changes to the Development Grants scheme for 2016

Applicants should note the following changes to the Development Grant scheme-specific Funding Rules for 2016:

  • Involvement of an Industry/Commercial Partner is now a compulsory requirement (see Section 5.2);
  • Revised Development Grant peer review process (see below for more information).

Applicants should note the following changes to the Development Grant scheme-specific Instructions to Applicants for 2016:

  • Removal of consumer and community engagement page in Grant Proposal;
  • Career disruption has moved from the Grant Proposal to the CV; and
  • Changes made to Industry/Commercial Partner requirements (see Section 4.2).

Development Grants Applications in Indigenous Health and Well-being

Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) Process

The Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) process was introduced into the peer review of Development Grants in 2014. 

This process identifies and removes the least competitive applications received by NHMRC based on initial scores provided by the commercial and scientific spokespersons. Please refer to A Guide to NHMRC Peer Review incorporating the Development Grants Peer Review Guidelines for funding commencing in 2016 for additional information.

New Peer Review Process

NHMRC will be trialling a new peer review process for the upcoming Development Grants round, focussed on improving the effectiveness, timeliness and quality of peer review.

Key changes include:

  • The peer review process will consist of two discreet peer review phases (see Section 4);
  • Expert Peer Reviewers will no longer be required to rescue application from the Not for Further Consideration (NFFC) list (see Section 4.1.5);
  • There will be no applicant response period ('rebuttal'); and
  • Phase 2 will engage Peer Review Panel (PRP) members that will meet via videoconference (see Section 4.2).

For more information please refer to the Development Grants Scheme Specific Peer Review Guidelines and the Frequently Asked Questions – New Peer Review Development Grants.

2016 Development Grant Review Panel – Self-Nomination

Researchers interested in participating on a NHMRC Development Grant review panel can self-nominate through the Profile & CV section in RGMS. The closing date for nominations for Development Grant panels have not yet been announced.

View the Guiding Principles of NHMRC Peer Review Panel Membership Nomination and Appointments. See the RGMS User Guide - Assessment Processes for full instructions.

Researchers nominating for Development Grants should list their area of expertise in line with the Australian Standard Research Classifications and NHMRC Research Keywords, and detail any expertise in the commercialisation of health and medical research (where applicable).

Further Information

For further information regarding the NHMRC Development Grants please contact research-grants@newcastle.edu.au or phone on (02) 492 17733.