Investigator Grants

For Funding Commencing in 2020

Research Office Contact:

This scheme is CLOSED. Funding for the Investigator Grant scheme 2020 will open on Wednesday 2 October 2019 and the UON deadline for final applications will be Wednesday 20 November 2019.

The Investigator Grant scheme is to support the research program of outstanding investigators at all career stages. It will consolidate separate salary and research support into a single grant scheme by offering a salary component (if required) and a research support package for five years. These grants will provide the investigator with flexibility to pursue important new research directions as they arise and to form collaborations as needed, rather than being restricted to the scope of a specific research project.

Investigator Grants will support:

  • different career stages – early career, mid-career and established researchers
  • researchers with clinical responsibilities (such as clinicians, public health and allied health practitioners) and
  • part-time researchers.

Investigator Grants will be offered in two categories:

  • Emerging Leadership (≤10 years post-PhD or equivalent on 1 March of the application year)
  • Leadership (unrestricted)

Five levels of salary support and six tiers of RSP will be offered across the scheme. Please see the NHMRC website for further information.

Please note: It is strongly recommended all applicants subscribe to the Research Office NHMRC mailing list for up to date information on this scheme.

MRFF Funded Investigator Grants

On 9 September 2019, Minister Hunt announced an investment of $32 million over two years to support MRFF Funded Investigator Grants at the Emerging Leadership Level (EL1 and EL2). Applications for this funding will be submitted and peer reviewed through the 2020 NHMRC Investigator Grants Round.

The objective of this grant opportunity is to support the research program of outstanding early to mid-career clinical researchers that contribute to the following MRFF priority research areas:

  1. Australian Brain Cancer Mission
  2. Million Minds Mission
  3. Genomics Health Futures Mission
  4. Ageing, Aged Care and Dementia Mission
  5. Indigenous Health Research Fund
  6. Stem Cell Therapies Mission
  7. Mission for Cardiovascular Health
  8. Traumatic Brain Injury Mission
  9. Preventative and Public Health Research
  10. Primary Health Care Research
  11. Global Health – Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

In line with the MRFF supporting and funding research translation, applicants will also need to demonstrate how the grant will influence one or more of the following:

  • best practice clinical care;
  • commercial health or medical research product/technology development;
  • health policy;
  • health system improvement.

Please note: The NHMRC have advised that applicants who apply for an MRFF funded Investigator Grant will also be considered for an NHMRC Investigator Grant.

MRFF Investigator Grants Forecast Opportunity Guideline are available from Grant Connect. Please see below for key dates for this scheme.

Key Dates

Please note that these are indicative timeframes and are subject to change.

These dates are applicable to NHMRC Investigator Grants and MRFF Funded Investigator Grants

Scheme Opens in RGMS

Wednesday 2 October 2019

UON Online Booking System OpensThursday 3 October 2019
UON Eligibility and Compliance Check Period*Thursday 24 October 2019 – Wednesday 13 November 2019

Minimum Data Requirements due in RGMS

5:00 pm Wednesday 30 October 2019
UON Deadline for Final Application**5:00 pm Wednesday 20 November 2019

NHMRC Scheme Closes

5:00pm Wednesday 27 November 2019

Please note:

* Applicants are strongly encouraged to commence their application in RGMS ASAP after the scheme opens so that they can book their preferred day for an Eligibility and Compliance Check.

** The UON deadline for final application requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal to the Research Grants Office submitted via RGMS, as well as a fully signed cover sheet.

Preparing an NHMRC grant

The NHMRC is now required to publish Grant Guidelines and associated documents on GrantConnect, the Australian Government whole-of-government, centralised, web-based, grant information system. You will need to sign in or create a User Registration account in GrantConnect to access all relevant documentation for NHMRC applications.

Once you have signed in to GrantConnect, the essential documents can be found by searching for the relevant scheme under ‘grant opportunities’ (open schemes) or ‘forecast opportunities’ (upcoming schemes). As the NHMRC often updates documents after the scheme opens, it is highly recommended that you sign up for alerts by editing your profile.

If you encounter any problems accessing or downloading these documents please contact us at or 02 4921 7733.

UON Documents

Please see the NHMRC Submission Procedure on the NHMRC Grants webpage and the Online Booking System User Guide for instructions on how to make a booking.

Once complete, the CIA must certify and submit 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).

Please note that the NHMRC requires the University of Newcastle to obtain the agreement, in the form of the following

*All CIs and AIs listed on the application agree to be named on the application, to participate in the manner described in the application and to the use of their personal information as described in the NHMRC Privacy Policy.

*The CIA does not need to provide written evidence. By certifying the application in RGMS and signing the coversheet the CIA is also agreeing to the conditions stated on the Certification Form.

A written evidence template has been created to assist.

Note: Applications cannot be submitted to the NHMRC until ALL CI/AI Certifications are provided by you as CIA in one collated email to Research Services at

The Research Office uses an online booking process to manage optional Eligibility and Compliance Checks on applications for NHMRC Schemes. Scientific content is not reviewed.

A booking must be made within the allocated E&C Check period for each scheme. Applicants are strongly encouraged to commence their application in RGMS ASAP after the scheme opens so they can book their preferred day for an E&C Check.

Minimum data must be entered in RGMS by the scheme-specific deadline to allow the NHMRC to find suitable peer reviewers for the application. Applicants must complete the required fields with correct information. Using placeholder text such as “text”, “synopsis” or “xx” etc. is not acceptable as minimum data. Minimum data requirements for each scheme are specified in the scheme Grant Guidelines.

Failure to meet this deadline will result in the application not proceeding.

The NHMRC has developed an eligibility tool to assist researchers in determining their eligibility for funding in the first round of the new grant program.

For further information and to understand how the tool works please see:

If you have further questions about your eligibility, please contact

List of members

Appointed by the Senior DVCRI and nominated by UON Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellors, the UON Academy of Reviewers is a select and esteemed group of highly experienced researchers who will act as a reference group for the Research and Innovation Division providing comment on strategic matters as they arise.

A key strategic role for members of the Academy will be the review of draft UON grant applications in the major grant rounds, to provide tactical feedback and advice to applicants.


The UON Academy of reviewers will be providing reviews for the following schemes:

SchemeOpens EOI  Deadline Deadline for Draft Applications Seeking Academy Review* Funding Body Closing Date
ARC Future Fellowships 15 October 2018 22 October 2018 7 November 2018 21 December 2018
NHMRC Investigator Grants 5 December 2018 10 December 2018 9 January 2019 6 February 2019
ARC Discovery 13 November 2018 14 December 2018 16 January 2019 27 February 2019
ARC DECRA 15 October 2018 10 December 2018 23 January 2019 13 March 2019
ARC Discovery Indigenous 21 November 2018 14 December 2018 13 February 2019 27 March 2019
NHMRC Ideas Grants 6 March 2019 20 March 2019 27 March 2019 8 May 2019

Research Services wishes to advise that an internal Expression of Interest (EOI) process will be used to facilitate this valuable scientific content review.

If you would like your draft application reviewed, please complete the UON Academy of Reviewers EOI Form and submit to Research Services via by 5pm on the appropriate deadline.

*Please note that due to the time constraints of the Academy members whom will also be writing and mentoring their own grants submissions, it is required that applications for review will be sent to the Research Grants team 6 weeks before the Funding Body deadline with the expectation that the review will be returned to the application no later than 2 weeks before the Funding Body deadline.

List of Members

Professor Daniel Nyberg Business and Law
Professor Allyson Holbrook Education and Arts
Professor Lyndall Ryan Education and Arts
Professor Rosalind Smith Education and Arts
Professor Andrew Fleming Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Behdad Moghtaderi Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Geoffrey Evans Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Graeme Murch Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Mark Jones Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Minyue Fu Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Rick Middleton Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Rob Melchers Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Shin-Chan Han Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Sue Anne Ware Engineering and Built Environment
Emeritus Professor Terry Wall Engineering and Built Environment
Professor Alan Brichta Health and Medicine
Professor Amanda Baker Health and Medicine
Professor Billie Bonevski Health and Medicine
Professor Bob Callister Health and Medicine
Professor Clare Collins Health and Medicine
Professor Darryl Knight Health and Medicine
Professor Derek Laver Health and Medicine
Professor Geoff Isbister Health and Medicine
Professor Jodie Simpson Health and Medicine
Professor Jennifer Martin Health and Medicine
Professor Joerg Mattes Health and Medicine
Laureate Professor John Aitken Health and Medicine
Professor John Attia Health and Medicine
Professor Jon Hirst Health and Medicine
Professor Julie Byles Health and Medicine
Professor Kypros Kypri Health and Medicine
Professor Lisa Wood Health and Medicine
Laureate Professor Paul Foster Health and Medicine
A/Professor Phillip Dickson Health and Medicine
Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher Health and Medicine
Laureate Professor Rodney Scott Health and Medicine
Laureate Professor Roger Smith Health and Medicine
Professor Vanessa McDonald Health and Medicine
Professor Adam McCluskey Science
Professor Jenny Bowman Science
Professor Frini Karayanidis Science
A/Professor Greg Hancock Science
A/Professor Jenny Cameron Science
Professor Peter Greer Science
Professor Scott Brown Science
Professor Yong-Ling Ruan Science
Professor George WillisScience

The NHMRC is developing a new grants management system, Sapphire. The NHMRC has advised the planned October 2018 roll out of Sapphire has been deferred and RGMS will be used until further notice.

Researchers must continue to populate the 'Profile' and 'CV' sections within RGMS and ensure it is kept up-to-date. RGMS automatically extracts relevant information into research funding applications and the CV can also be exported for other uses.

Access to RGMS is via the NHMRC website. Comprehensive information on RGMS is available from the NHMRC on the RGMS Training Program.

Impact Case Studies

The assessment criteria for the new NHMRC Grant Program now includes research impact. Applicants are required to demonstrate the impact of a program of research.

Applicants will be assessed based on:

  • The significance and reach of their claimed research impact
  • The contribution of their research program to the research impact

NHMRC defines the impact of research as the verifiable outcomes that research makes to knowledge, health, the economy and/or society. Impact is the effect of the research after it has been adopted, adapted for use, or used to inform further research. Research impact is the verifiable outcomes from research and not the prospective or anticipated effects of the research. Research impact also includes research that leads to a decision not to use a particular diagnostic, treatment or health policy.

Please see UON Impact Case Study exemplars and other resources.

NHMRC New Schemes Presentation

A presentation covering the new NHMRC Schemes was conducted in March 2019. A copy of the recording and slides can found here

One aspect of impact evidence is represented by the recognition of scholarly research outputs. Citation metrics are a significant part of this evidence. Please see the UON Library Guides for a more detailed breakdown of this aspect of research impact.

Research Services can provide researchers with access to view successful applications where the lead Chief Investigator has provided consent. Applications must be viewed in hard copy in the Research Services office or by arrangement at HMRI.

How to Arrange to View a Successful Application

Contact to request access to view successful applications for a specific scheme. Please include preferred date(s), time(s) and location.

Confirmation of the date, time and venue will be provided to you by Research Services staff.