Centres of Research Excellence (CRE)

For Funding Commencing in 2019

Research Office Contact:

This Scheme is OPEN. Funding for CREs commencing in 2019 opened on Wednesday 24 October 2018 and closes on Wednesday 5 December 2018

The Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) Scheme provides support for teams of researchers to pursue collaborative research and develop capacity in clinical, population health and health services research. Funding will support three streams:

  • Clinical Research (up to six CRE grants available);
  • Health Services Research (up to four CRE grants available);
  • Population Health Research (up to four CRE grants available).

The duration of a CRE is five years and maximum funding that can be requested is $2.5M. There can be up to 10 Chief Investigators on a CRE.

The Department of Health may use the CRE grant opportunity to determine funding recipients under the MRFF Million Minds Mission. The Mission supports research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with mental health issues. Further information is available on the Department of Health webpage.

For further information please see the NHMRC web page.

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

Key Dates

Applications Open in RGMS

Wednesday 24 October 2018

UON Online Booking System OpensThursday 25 October 2018
UON Eligibility and Compliance Check Booking Period*Thursday 15 November - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Minimum data requirements due in RGMS

Wednesday 21 November 2018

UON Deadline for Final Application**

5:00pm Wednesday 28 November 2018

NHMRC deadline for submission

5:00pm Wednesday 5 December 2018

Anticipated interview week29 April - 3 May 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 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 Application Coversheet.


NHMRC Supporting Documents

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 CRE applications.

Once you have signed in to GrantConnect please review all documents with particular attention to:

  • CRE 2018 Guidelines - provide applicants with information about the NHMRC program as well as specific scheme eligibility requirements, the application, selection and approval processes, and requirements for the administration of funding.
  • CRE 2018 Guidance to Applicants - provides detailed information on how to complete and electronically submit a proposal.
  • CRE Peer Review Guidelines 2018 –the principles and obligations of the NHMRC’s peer review process for CREs.
  • Grant Proposal template – CRE 2018 – a blank proposal so you can view all the questions in one document.

If you encounter any problems accessing or downloading these documents please contact us at research-applications@newcastle.edu.au or 02 4921 7733.

UON Supporting Documents

Submission Process

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

CI and AI certifications are due by the round specific UON Deadline for Final Application along with final, submission-ready proposals and all associated documentation. Please note, the application cannot be submitted to the NHMRC until our Office has received email certifications from all named CI and AIs, as well as the fully signed Coversheet.

Minimum Data Requirement

Minimum data must be entered in RGMS by the deadline to allow the NHMRC to find suitable peer reviewers for the application. Minimum data for CREs consists of the following:

  • Application Properties (specifically the Administering Institution, Application Title, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research and Synopsis)
  • Research Classification
  • Research Team and Commitment including the names of team members if known (note: team members may be changed after the minimum data deadline until the close of applications).

Note: Failure to meet this deadline will result in the application not proceeding (see section 7.2 of the CRE 2018 Guidelines for further information).


The NHMRC is developing a new grants management system, Sapphire. The NHMRC has advised the Sapphire commencement has been deferred and RGMS will be used for applications for CREs for funding commencing in 2019.

Comprehensive information on RGMS is available from the NHMRC on the RGMS Training Program.

Access to Successful Applications

Research Grants 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 Grants office (NIER Block C) or by arrangement at HMRI.

Contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au 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 Grants staff.

Further Information

For further information on NHMRC CREs please email research-applications@newcastle.edu.au.