Strategic and Leveraging Grants

The Strategic and Leveraging Grant stream includes grant schemes that address identified strategic and national priorities and support leveraging funding. It includes Centres of Research Excellence, Development Grants, Targeted Calls for Research, International Collaborative schemes, Partnerships for Better Health (Partnership Centres and Partnership Projects) and other strategic initiatives.

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


Open Schemes

Scheme NHMRC Opened UON Online Booking System Opens Eligibility & Compliance Check Period Minimum Data UON Deadline for Final Application NHMRC Submission
Development GrantsWed 21 April 2021Thu 22 April 2021Thu 27 May - Wed 2 June 2021Wed 26 May 20219:00am Wed 9 June 2021Wed 16 June 2021
Partnership Projects PRC2Thu 25 March 2021Fri 26 March 2021Mon 19 - Thu 29 July 2021Wed 28 July 20219am Thu 5 August 2021Thu 12 August 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.

2021 Peer Review Cycles

Research office contact:
research-applications@newcastle.edu.au

This scheme is OPEN

Dates for 2021 Peer Review Cycles are below. Please subscribe to our NHMRC mailing list to receive updates relating to this scheme.

The objectives of the Partnership Projects scheme are to:

  • Create partnerships among decision makers, policy makers, managers, clinicians and researchers
  • Create new opportunities for researchers and policy makers to work together to define research questions and undertake research
  • Implement findings into policy and practice
  • Answer a specific research question to influence health and well-being through changes in the delivery, organisation, funding and access to health services

Partnership Projects will answer a specific research question to influence health and well-being through changes in the delivery, organisation, funding and access to health services. For further information please refer to the Partnership Projects section of the NHMRC website.

Continuous Application Process

This scheme allows applicants to apply at any time during the year to allow researchers and partner organisations to develop timely collaborations. The grant commencement date will be aligned with the timing of each peer review cycle.

Peer review meetings for applications will occur in three distinct cycles:

  • Peer Review Cycle #1 - July 2021
  • Peer Review Cycle #2 - November 2021
  • Peer Review Cycle #3 - March 2022

Applications will proceed to peer review depending on when they are submitted to NHMRC. For example, for an application to be peer reviewed in the first cycle (PRC #1); applicants must ensure minimum data requirements are met by 24 March 2021, and the application must be submitted by 7 April 2021.

Applications that have met minimum data requirements but are not submitted by the application due date will remain active. The applicant may continue to work on the application and submit to the next available peer review cycle.


Key Dates

 Peer Review Cycle #1Peer Review Cycle #2Peer Review Cycle #3
Applications open in SapphireWed 13 Jan 2021Thu 25 March 2021Thu 29 July 2021
Eligibility and Compliance Check PeriodMon 8 - Fri 19 March 2021Mon 19 - Thu 29 July 2021Mon 8 - Wed 17 November 2021
Minimum Data RequirementWed 24 March 2021Wed 28 July 2021Wed 17 November 2021
UON Deadline for Final Application9am Fri 26 March 20219am Thu 5 August 20219am Wed 24 November 2021
NHMRC SubmissionWed 7 Apr 2021Thu 12 August 2021Wed 1 December 2021
Peer Review Meetings20-21 July 202116-17 November 202122-23 March 2022
  • 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.
  • The UON deadline for final application (the internal deadline) requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal to the Research Grants Office submitted via Sapphire, as well as a fully signed application coversheet.
  • Schools and Colleges 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 College Research & Research Training Officer or College Research Development Manager for further information on School/College internal processes.

For Funding Commencing in 2021

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

This scheme is CLOSED.

Dates for Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) 2022 are yet to be announced. Please subscribe to our NHMRC mailing list to be notified of scheme dates when they are announced. 

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 four 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)
  • Dementia Research (up to three CRE grants available).

The duration of a CRE is five years and maximum funding that can be requested is $3M. There can be up to 10 Chief Investigators on a CRE.

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

2020 round dates are indicated below. 2021 round dates are yet to be announced.

Applications Open in Sapphire Wednesday 21 October 2020
UON Online Booking System Opens Thursday 22 October 2020
UON Eligibility and Compliance Check Booking Period*Thursday 12 November - Wednesday 18 November 2020         
Minimum data requirements due in Sapphire Wednesday 18 November 2020
UON Deadline for Final Application**9:00am Wednesday 25 November 2020
NHMRC deadline for submission 5:00pm Wednesday 2 December 2020
Proposed peer reviewFebruary - 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 UON deadline for final application (the internal deadline) requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal to the Research Grants Office submitted via Sapphire, as well as a fully signed application coversheet.

Key Changes in 2021

Applicants should note the following changes for the CRE 2021 Guidelines:

  • Additional funding is available for CREs in Dementia Research.
  • Limits have been clarified for the CRE opportunity: Duplicate applications should not be submitted across multiple CRE streams. Applicants must choose which CRE stream best fits their research proposal based on the definitions provided in section 2. Duplicate applications may be ineligible and excluded from consideration.
  • Assessment criteria (Section 6) – Explanatory text for assessment criterion five has been clarified.
  • Category Descriptors (Appendix B) – The seven-point assessment scale definitions have been aligned to those used in Ideas, Investigator and Synergy Grants, with subsequent minor adjustment of the category descriptor points.
  • NHMRC Relative to Opportunity policy (Appendix C) – Guidance on the typical circumstances considered under Relative to Opportunity has been clarified.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Section 2.1) – Guidance provided on the use of gender-neutral language in applications.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Sections 5.1 and 5.2) – The applicants’ record of NHMRC and Other Research Funding will not be provided to peer reviewers.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Section 5.4) – Clarification that Relative to Opportunity considerations include interruptions due to calamities such as COVID-19.
  • Guide to Applicants (Appendix D Section 6.7) – Additional guidance provided on responding to the assessment criteria.
  • Applicants address the Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria (IREC), if applicable, in the application form instead of the grant proposal.

Documents

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

For funding commencing in 2021

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

This scheme is OPEN.

Development Grants for funding commencing in 2021 opened on Wednesday 21 April 2021 and will close Wednesday 16 June 2021. The university's internal deadline is 9:00am Wednesday 9 June 2021.

The Development Grants scheme provides financial support to individual researchers and/or research teams to undertake health and medical research within Australia at the proof of principle or pre-seed stage that specifically drives towards a commercial outcome within a foreseeable timeframe.

Scheme Objectives

The objectives of the Development Grant scheme are to:

  • Increase, facilitate and expedite the translation of health and medical research outcomes through to commercialisation, within a foreseeable timeframe.
  • Support proof-of-concept research with a feasible commercialisation pathway and a high likelihood of producing protected IP.
  • Provide a potential mechanism through which research outcomes can be progressed to a stage that makes them competitive to receive industry investment through other government schemes or from the private sector.
  • Encourage collaboration between health research, the private sector and industry (domestic and international).

Eligibility

At the time of acceptance and for the duration of a grant the CIA must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia. The CIA must also be based in Australia for at least 80% of the funding period. There is no limit to the number of Development Grant a CI can apply for or hold.

An application may be excluded from further consideration if:

  • it has a focus on the early stage or knowledge creation stages of research (for example, research that is fundable through the Ideas Grant scheme).
  • the primary objective is a clinical trial or cohort study (these applications are relevant to the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies scheme).
  • it is beyond the proof-of-concept stage, and therefore more appropriate to receive support from other government agencies or the private sector to successfully achieve a commercial outcome.

Please note that partnerships with industry/commercial partner/s for the proposed research are not essential at the application stage. However, applicants must provide comprehensive evidence of their strategies to commercialise their product and bring it to market.

Sapphire

Development Grants for funding commencing in 2021 will open in Sapphire.

If you have an existing RGMS account, NHMRC have created a Sapphire account for you - select “Activate my account” from the Sapphire page. If you do not have an RGMS account, select “I need to Register” from the Sapphire page.

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

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


Key Dates for funding commencing in 2021

Applications open in Sapphire Wednesday 21 April 2021
University Online Booking System opensThursday 22 April 2021
University Eligibility and Compliance Check PeriodThursday 27 May - Wednesday 2 June 2021
Minimum data requirements in Sapphire 5:00pm Wednesday 26 May 2021
University Deadline for Final Application9:00am Wednesday 9 June 2021
NHMRC Applications Close 5:00pm Wednesday 16 June 2021
Proposed Peer ReviewJuly - October 2021

Please note:

  • 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.
  • 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 Eligibility and Compliance Check booking system for this scheme opens on Thursday 22 April 2021 and closes Wednesday 26 May 2021.
  • The University deadline for final application requires the provision of a submission-ready proposal to the Research Grants Office submitted via Sapphire, as well as a fully signed cover sheet.

Upcoming Targeted Calls

Scheme NHMRC Opens UON Online Booking System Opens Eligibility & Compliance Check Period Minimum Data UON Deadline for Final Application NHMRC Submission
No forecast targeted calls at this time. Please subscribe to our NHMRC mailing list for up to date information on NHMRC schemes.

Past Targeted Calls


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.