Ideas Grants

For Funding Commencing in 2021

Research Office Contact:
research-applications@newcastle.edu.au

This scheme is CLOSED. 

The Ideas Grants Scheme 2021 round opened on Wednesday 10 March 2021 and closed on Wednesday 5 May 2021. 

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

The Ideas Grant scheme is to support innovative research projects addressing a specific question(s). The expected outcomes are:

  • innovative and creative research
  • funding of researchers at all career stages, and
  • funding any area of health and medical research from discovery to implementation.

The scheme provides particular opportunities for early and mid-career researchers, and it is expected that the Chief Investigator A will have the scientific leadership and skills to achieve the proposed project aims.Funding is available for direct research costs. The maximum number of Chief Investigators (CIs) allowed on an Ideas Grant application is ten.

The Ideas Grant scheme is not intended to support research where a clinical trial or cohort study is the primary objective. Applicants conducting projects which incorporate elements of clinical trial and/or cohort study should apply to the NHMRC’s Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant scheme.  Applicants conducting a project which incorporates elements of a clinical trial and/or cohort study must consider whether the goals of the project are more applicable to the Ideas Grant or Clinical Trials and Cohort Grant schemes. Where projects have elements consistent with both the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant scheme and the Ideas Grant scheme, applicants should decide where the project is predominantly suited, based on the objectives and outcomes of the respective schemes and where the application would receive the most appropriate peer review. Applicants must not submit the same research project to both schemes, otherwise both applications will be deemed ineligible.

For further information please see the NHMRC website.


Sapphire

Researchers listed on an Ideas Grant application must have a Sapphire account. New account requests should be submitted as soon as possible and at least 72 hours prior to application close. Any account activation processes started within 72 hours of the round close cannot be guaranteed to be actioned by NHMRC before close.

The NHMRC Research Help Centre will continue to respond to technical enquiries (i.e. Sapphire-related enquiries) until 1.00pm (ACT local time), 5 May 2021.

Video tutorials are available from the Sapphire Knowledge Base page and NHMRC has a dedicated Sapphire Help Desk:

T: 1800 500 983 (Australia)
+61 2 6217 9451 (International)

For more information on how to activate your Sapphire account, please visit the NHMRC website


Key dates

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

We also recommend that you download the documents from GrantConnect so that you will receive updates as they occur.

Scheme Opens in Sapphire Wednesday 10 March 2021
University Online Booking System Opens Thursday 11 March 2021
University Eligibility and Compliance Check Period Thursday 25 March - Wednesday 21 April 2021
Minimum Data Requirements due in SapphireWednesday 7 April 2021
University Deadline for Final Application9:00 am Wednesday 28 April 2021
NHMRC Scheme ClosesWednesday 5 May 2021
University Deadline for Cancer Australia PdCCRS applications1Wednesday 2 June 2021
University Deadline for Cancer Council NSW Project Grants2Wednesday 12 May 2021
Cancer Australia Deadline for PdCCRS ApplicationsWednesday 9 June 2021
CCNSW Deadline for Project GrantsWednesday 19 May 2021
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to commence their application in Sapphire ASAP after the scheme opens so that they can:
    • book their preferred day for an Eligibility and Compliance Check.
    • receive a copy of the scheme Essential Instructions developed by the Research Office to assist you in the completion of your application.
  • To enable the allocation of appropriate resourcing, bookings must be made prior to the defined scheme Eligibility and Compliance Check period. Access to book an Eligibility and Compliance Check will no longer be available once the Eligibility and Compliance Check period has commenced. This does not apply for schemes with continuous rounds (i.e. ARC Linkage Projects and NHMRC Partnership Projects).
  • The University deadline for final application (the internal deadline) requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal to the Research Office submitted via Sapphire, as well as a fully signed application coversheet.

1. The University deadline for final Cancer Australia application requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal (PdCCRS Questions in PDF format) to research-applications@newcastle.edu.au.

2. The University deadline for final Cancer Council NSW application requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal (Supplementary Questions in PDF format and Consumer Review Form in word) to research-applications@newcastle.edu.au

All applicants intending to apply for funding from Cancer Australia (CA) or Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW) must also apply through NHMRC via either the Ideas Grant scheme (CCNSW and CA) or Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies scheme (CA Category A only). In addition a separate application must be made to either CA or CCNSW which must be submitted by the Research Office on your behalf.

Changes in the 2021 round

Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria

Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria are to be addressed in Sapphire, and no longer to be included in the Grant Proposal.

Pilot data are not required

Clarification provided to emphasise that pilot data are not required for Ideas Grants (Appendix D – Guide to Applicants, section 4.7)


Application/Grants Held Limits

Limits apply to the number of NHMRC grants that a CI may concurrently hold and/or apply for.

Eligibility to apply for, and hold, an Ideas Grant is linked to numbers of grants applied for or held from the Ideas, Investigator and Synergy Grant schemes, as well as other NHMRC grants held.

CIs may submit a total of two applications across the Ideas, Investigator, and Synergy Grant schemes in any given funding round dependent on the number of grants already held.

It is important to note:

  • That the Investigator Grant 2021 (internal deadline 24 March) and Ideas Grant 2021 (internal deadline 28 April) are considered the same funding round;
  • An Investigator Grant 2021 application will count as one of the maximum two applications across the three schemes;
  • If the Investigator Grant 2021 is successful, any Ideas Grant the Investigator Grant applicant is listed on as a CI, irrespective of whether it is CIA-CIJ, will be removed and excluded from consideration.

If any CI (CIA-CIJ) submits an Ideas, Investigator or Synergy Grant application(s) in excess of the maximum for which they are eligible to apply or hold, all Ideas, Investigator, or Synergy Grant applications on which that CI is named may be ineligible and excluded from consideration, irrespective of the scheme to which they have applied, and that CI’s position or role on the application.

CIs may hold a maximum of two grants concurrently from the Investigator, Synergy and Ideas Grant schemes, with the following exceptions:

  • CIs who hold two Ideas Grants can hold a Synergy Grant, and
  • CIs who hold two Ideas Grants can apply for and hold an Investigator Grant.
  • Investigator Grant holders cannot apply for an Ideas or Investigator Grant, unless they are in the final year of the Investigator Grant at the time of application.

Applicants are strongly recommended to access the comprehensive information on how eligibility for an Ideas Grant is affected by a CI’s grant applications and/or currently held grants by using the NHMRC Eligibility Tool And the specific scheme Guidelines.


NHMRC Ideas Grants Funding Partners

Ideas Grants may be funded by or in conjunction with other organisations. These grants offer opportunities to researchers whose work is particularly relevant to the priorities and research interests of the partner organisations. Some funding partners may require a separate application to be provided to them, or may have specific criteria and requirements, in addition to NHMRC. Applicants may contact the funding partner to identify any additional requirements.

Current NHMRC Ideas Grant Funding Partners are:

Please refer to the partner websites for information.

Preparing an NHMRC grant

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

The Research-NHMRC mailing list is managed by the Research Office and is used to communicate essential information regarding grant opportunities offered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Information regarding opportunities offered through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), regardless of who administers the grant (i.e NHMRC, Department of Health, Depart of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources), are also communicated via this list.

Internal EOI processes for limited round MRFF opportunities are also be advertised via this list.

Information about applying, minimum data deadlines, eligibility information, changes to guidelines and conditions of award, progress report requirements etc. are communicated via this list.

If you currently hold an NHMRC/MRFF grant or fellowship, or intend applying for one, the Research Office strongly recommends subscribing to this list.

Subscribe to the Research-NHMRC Mailing list (UON staff and students only)

NHMRC uses Sapphire for all grant rounds.

Resources are available to assist in navigating Sapphire, such as how-to videos.The NHMRC will update Sapphire’s web page with latest news and other relevant information. Applicants are encouraged to check back regularly to keep informed of any updates.

Researchers should confirm all Profile data is complete and up-to-date prior to submitting an application.

A summary of the key changes for Sapphire Profile and NHMRC’s recommendations for checking your profile data is available on the NHMRC Sapphire - Profile Update webpage. If you have any questions or concerns about your migrated profile data, please contact the NHMRC.

CI Eligibility Limits and Sapphire

Unlike RGMS, Sapphire does not contain the functionality to perform validations checks to alert the applicant or the Research Office to potential eligibility issues. Instead it relies on each CI to ensure they are not exceeding the eligibility requirements for the scheme.

The Research Office strongly recommends that CIAs ensure that their entire CI team carefully check to ensure they meet the eligibility requirement for the specific scheme – noting that for some schemes eligibility is limited to one application as CI. Please contact the Research Office if you are unsure of your eligibility so we can assist.

The NHMRC will rule all applications ineligible in instances where any CI (CIA-CIJ) is in excess of the maximum number of grants they are eligible to apply for or hold.

Eligibility for schemes is outlined in the scheme specific Guidelines.  CIs are advised to carefully review this information to ensure that all members of the research team to be named on an application, meet the scheme specific eligibility requirements.

CIs may submit a total of two applications across the Ideas, Investigator, and Synergy Grant schemes in any given funding round dependent on the number of grants already held.

It is important to note:

  • That the Investigator Grant 2021 (internal deadline 24 March) and Ideas Grant 2021 (internal deadline 28 April) are considered the same funding round;
  • An Investigator Grant 2021 application will count as one of the maximum two applications across the three schemes;
  • If the Investigator Grant 2021 is successful, any Ideas Grant the Investigator Grant applicant is listed on as a CI, irrespective of whether it is CIA-CIJ, will be removed and excluded from consideration.

If any CI (CIA-CIJ) submits an Ideas, Investigator or Synergy Grant application(s) in excess of the maximum for which they are eligible to apply or hold, all Ideas, Investigator, or Synergy Grant applications on which that CI is named may be ineligible and excluded from consideration, irrespective of the scheme to which they have applied, and that CI’s position or role on the application.

The Research Office recommends that applicants carefully review the NHMRC eligibility tool and the specific scheme Guidelines, to determine eligibility prior to commencing an application or agreeing to be a CI on an application.  Please contact our office at research-applications@newcastle.edu.au if you are unsure of your eligibility so we can assist.

For further information please see:

If you have further questions about your eligibility, please contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au.

Minimum data must be entered in Sapphire 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 the Minimum Data deadline will result in the application not proceeding.

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. It is recommended that you see Peer Review of your application also either via your faculty or through the UON Academy of Reviewers where available.

A booking must be made within the allocated E&C Check period for each scheme. Applicants are strongly encouraged to commence their application in Sapphire ASAP after the scheme opens so they can book their preferred day for an E&C Check. Bookings without a Sapphire application ID will be cancelled.

Appointed by the DVCRI and nominated by UON College 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. An internal Expression of Interest (EOI) process will be used by the Research Office to facilitate this valuable scientific content review.

Please visit the UON Academy of Reviewers webpage for a list of members of the Academy as well as a timeline for ARC/NHMRC scheme reviews.

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 for an Eligibility and Compliance Check.

Once complete, the CIA must certify and submit the application in Sapphire via the Certification page. To do this, select the ‘Certification’ page in Sapphire, select ‘Certify and submit to RAO'. This will result in the status changing to 'Submitted to RAO' - which equates to 'Research Administration Office' (NOT the NHMRC).

For NHMRC applications involving Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) patients, sites and/or HNELHD Chief or Associate Investigator(s) it is important to ensure that the appropriate HNELHD manager(s) approval has been obtained prior to the University of Newcastle internal deadline.

The HNELHD process for approval requires the completion of the HNELHD Brief Approval Template signed by the appropriate HNELHD manager(s). HNELHD recommend that applicants commence this process as soon as possible to ensure approvals are obtained prior to the University internal deadline.

Please contact the HNELHD Research office if you have any questions relating to their processes or research involving HNELHD patients or sites.

Please note that applicants who are proposing to access HNELHD patients or sites but who do not have a formal affiliation with HNELHD, will need to ensure the application team includes a HNELHD investigator in accordance with HNELHD requirements.

The NHMRC has released a Toolkit for Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research to ‘provide practical advice on engaging with consumers and the community to undertake high quality and relevant research’.

The Toolkit comprises of five individual resources available for download from the Consumer and community engagement page.

The Toolkit has been designed by the NHMRC and its Community and Consumer Advisory Group to complement the 2016 Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research

Impact Case Studies

The assessment criteria for some NHMRC schemes now include research impact wherein applicants are required to demonstrate the impact of a project or 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.

Engagement and Impact Toolkit

Research Services has developed an Engagement and Impact Toolkit which helps to provide:

  • a comprehensive overview of how research engagement and impact is increasingly influencing researcher practice, institutional strategies and practices as well as research funding;
  • strategies to support research impact at the institutional, faculty and individual level;
  • resources to support data capture and effectively communicate research impact.

A series of tiles on the EI Toolkit homepage link visitors to information and resources across major themes including An introduction to the EI Toolkit, Resources, ARC Engagement and Impact assessment, Promoting your research impact and Collecting EI data.

Citation metrics

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 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 Services staff.

Presentations

Grant Accelerator Session Recording and Presentations - available via the Research Advantage Resources Hub

Please note a University login is required to access presentation resources

All research projects that are either partially or fully supported by NHMRC funding are required, by the NHMRC Funding Agreement, to appropriately acknowledge the NHMRC contribution to research and other activities in any correspondence, public announcement, advertising material, research report or other material produced for the research project.

The acknowledgement should mention the NHMRC as a funding body, include the Grant Identification Number for the Research Activity and specify that the contents of the published material are solely the responsibility of the research institutions involved or individual authors and do not reflect the views of NHMRC.

Whilst this acknowledgement most often occurs within research outputs, such as journal publications, efforts should also be made if participating in dissemination activities such as conferences or interviews with media outlets.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.