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

Project Grants

For Funding Commencing in 2016

Research Office contact: Shai Pritchard


The NHMRC Rebuttal process for Project Grants has now commenced. The Rebuttal process spans two periods (available below). Applicants can expect their assessor reports within the first 8 days of their allocated period.

The periods for Applicant Responses in 2015 are:

For applications being reviewed in Weeks 1-3:

  • Reports expected to be released 01 - 09 June
  • Expected due dates for reports 11 - 19 June

For applications being reviewed in Weeks 4-6:

  • Reports expected to be released 22 - 30 June
  • Expected due dates for reports 02 - 10 July

The actual date of release is dependent on the receipt of all assessor reports for the application. Applicants will be notified by email when their assessor comments are available and will have up to 10 calendar days to complete their rebuttal response.  Applicant requests for NHMRC to move applications between rebuttal periods cannot be met as allocation is based on the week in which the application will be reviewed.

Applicants should look up their response period for their submission in the NHMRC Project Grant Applicant Response Period - 2015 document, which has also been attached for your convenience, using their application number (use the Find Command, Ctrl +F keys). Please contact our Office should you need any assistance to find your rebuttal period.

Due to the tight time-frame, the Research Office will be tracking the availability of the external assessments and the submission of rebuttals in RGMS. Therefore please advise Shai Pritchard (shai.pritchard@newcastle.edu.au), if you do not intend to submit one.  Applicants are encouraged to liaise with their Chief Investigator (CI) team and Shai to make alternative arrangements if they are unavailable during the response period.

Rebuttal Process

You will be sent an email from RGMS formally inviting you to prepare your applicant response as soon as your external assessments are visible in RGMS. You will have up to ten calendar days (inclusive of weekends) to prepare and submit your response. The due date will be available in RGMS. Please submit your response in RGMS. There is no need to inform your Research Office, as it will be visible on RGMS when you submit your response.

Instructions on how to upload your Rebuttal as well as grant permission for our Office to submit a rebuttal response on your behalf are available on the NHMRC Project Grants website.

Applicants should notify NHMRC via email at projects@nhmrc.gov.au immediately should they find a discrepancy with or have a concern regarding the appropriateness of the assessor comments.

The objective of the Project Grants scheme is to support the creation of new knowledge by funding the best investigator-initiated research project plan of five years, or less, in any area relevant to human health.

A Project Grant application must outline a research proposal that describes the investigation of a new research idea/s. The proposal must support a particular set of aims and the budget must be directed to those aims. Single investigators or teams of up to ten chief investigators are supported as well as New Investigators (early career investigators).

Applications are to be drafted and submitted in RGMS.

A complete Project Grant Application must consist of the following:

  1. Completion of Parts A and B (including the Grant Proposal PDF Template) of the application form; and
  2. The relevant information in your RGMS profile and CV

Key Dates

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

Application information and templates available17 December 2014
Applications open in RGMS14 January 2015
New Investigator online forms to NHMRC5:00pm AEDT Wednesday 21 January 2015
Minimum data requirements in RGMS5:00pm AEDT Wednesday 18 February 2015
CI and AI Certification Form5:00pm AEDT Wednesday 4 March 2015
*Internal Closing Date5:00pm AEDT Wednesday 4 March 2015
Applications close 5:00pm AEDT Wednesday 18 March 2015

*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 after 4 March 2015. Applicants seeking assistance in completing their application after the Internal Closing Date will be referred directly to the Funding Rules 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.

Please review our ARC/NHMRC Grant Rounds Submission Procedures 2015 for essential information regarding application submission under this scheme.

Changes to Project Grants

Applicants should note the following changes to the Project Grants scheme-specific Funding Rules for 2015:

  • Applications which fail to complete minimum data by 5:00pm AEDT on 18 February 2015, or any applications initiated after this date/time cannot be submitted for review;
  • Changes have been made to New Investigator Eligibility (see Section 5.1.3 of the Project Grants Funding Rules);
  • Chief Investigator A (CIA) Citizenship Waivers are no longer required. For eligibility requirements regarding citizenship / residency see Section 7.2.4 of the NHMRC Funding Rules;
  • The Assessment Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians has been revised (see Section 6.2 of the NHMRC Funding Rules); and
  • Assessment Criteria Category Descriptors have been revised (Attachment A of the Project Grants Funding Rules).

Changes to New Investigator eligibility process for 2015 Project Grants

Significant changes have been made to the New Investigator eligibility process for the 2015 Project Grants funding round. Applicants will now be required to complete the New Investigator online eligibility form. The early application and notification process is intended to allow applicants time to adjust the CI team if they do not meet the eligibility criteria. For further information refer to the Additional Guidance document (see below).

For further information on the New Investigator eligibility criteria see Section 5.1.3 of the Project Grants Funding Rules.

Please note: Currently, the online form is available for information purposes only. Notification will be sent to RAOs and applicants when eligibility submissions will be accepted.

Minimum Data Requirements

For each application, it is mandatory that minimum data requirements be entered in RGMS by 17:00 hrs AEDT on 18 February 2015 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 Project Grants scheme consists of the following:

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


Prior to submission of an application, applicants are to ensure they have read all relevant reference material outlined on the Project Grants page on the NHMRC website, including:

Research Classification Guide including Broad Research Area, Fields of Research & NHMRC Keyword ⁄ Phrases

Applications in Indigenous Health and Well-being


Our Office will release eligibility checklists in January based on the updated funding rules:


Submission Process

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. This process locks the application to allow an eligibility and compliance review.  

CI and AI certifications are due 4 March 2015 along with final, submission-ready proposals 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.

NHMRC Reporting

If you have any outstanding NHMRC Progress or Final Reports, please complete these and forward to Rebecca Ford as soon as possible. Your application may be ruled ineligible if you have any outstanding obligations.

Funding by Other Organisations

External Funding Schemes

In 2015, organisations offering funding through the NHMRC Project Grants scheme include:

While the funding of applications is managed by the external funding organisation, NHMRC conducts the peer review process. Applicants may select one or more funding organisation/s on their application form to indicate that the application/s are to be forwarded to the organisation for consideration of funding. NHMRC is unable to forward the application to an external funding organisation without the applicant's permission. Following the peer review of applications NHMRC provides the nominated organisation/s with the outcomes of the assessment process for applications that are considered fundable, but not funded by NHMRC. Any additional/supplementary questions required by the organisation are to be submitted directly to that funding organisation.

For more information on how to apply for funding from these external funding parties, applicants should refer to their websites and to the Project Grants Funding Rules.

Gap Funding

External organisations may have funding available to support research in specific areas and use the NHMRC Project Grants scheme to identify such projects. External organisations that have expressed an interest in providing funding for suitable Project Grant applications are:

Gap funding is aimed at supporting fundable research proposals that are unsuccessful through the NHMRC Project Grants scheme. Applications that address specific research areas identified by the funding organisation may be funded through this mechanism. The decision to 'gap-fund' a fundable Project Grant application that is not funded by NHMRC, is made by the partner organisation which may request additional information from potentially suitable applicants. The duration, budget and award requirements for gap funding will vary according to the organisation.

Please forward the completed Additional/Supplementary Questions relevant to the other funding organisations to Martina Asvestas phone ext. 15305 by 4 March 2015.

Not For Further Consideration (NFFC) Process:

The NFFC process identifies the least competitive applications received by NHMRC based on initial scores provided by the primary and secondary spokespersons and aims to remove them from progressing further through to the face-to-face GRP process. The NHMRC has indicated that the percentage of NFFC Projects Grants will be increased in this round to 50%.


Comprehensive information on RGMS is available at the NHMRC RGMS webpage. Further resources are being developed via User Guides.

The RGMS Training Program contains the RGMS User Guide, My Profile and CV Requirements, video tutorials and RGMS Off-line forms (including CV).

*Please note: RGMS automatically allocates an application number on commencement of the application in RGMS. You are no longer required to obtain an application ID from the Research Office.

Further Information

The Research Office holds copies of successful NHMRC Project grant applications. If you would like to make an appointment to view these please contact Martina Asvestas phone ext. 15305. While these are worthwhile reading, it is important to note that application requirements change significantly each year.

For further information on the NHMRC Project Grants please email Martina Asvestas.