Centres of Research Excellence (CRE)

For Funding Commencing in 2020

Research Office Contact:

This scheme is CLOSED. Funding for CREs commencing in 2020 opened on Wednesday 23 October 2019 and closed on Wednesday 4 December 2019.

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);
  • Public 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 23 October 2019
UON Online Booking System Opens Thursday 24 October 2019
UON Eligibility and Compliance Check Booking Period* Wednesday 13 November - Wednesday 20 November 2019 
Minimum data requirements due in RGMS Wednesday 20 November 2019
UON Deadline for Final Application**5:00pm Wednesday 27 November 2019
NHMRC deadline for submission 5:00pm Wednesday 4 December 2019
Proposed peer review 29-30 April 2020

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.

Key Changes in 2019

The naming convention for CRE grant opportunities has changed. As such, the 2019 CRE for funding commencing in 2020 round is now referred to as the CRE 2020 grant opportunity.

Applicants should note the following changes to the CRE 2020 Guidelines:

  • All successful CRE applications will be awarded a fixed total budget of $2.5 million. Applicants are no longer required to submit detailed application budgets.
  • The CRE in Population Health Research stream has been renamed the CRE in Public Health Research to create consistency with NHMRC’s Broad Research Areas terminology. Renaming this stream does not affect the scope of research funded under the stream.
  • The applicant team interview has been removed from the peer review process.
  • Additional funding may be available to support health and medical research on the health effects of radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME).


The NHMRC is required to publish Grant Guidelines and all associated scheme documents on GrantConnect, the Australian Government whole-of-government, 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 research-applications@newcastle.edu.au or 4921 7733.

UON Documents