NHMRC updates grant offering to promote innovation and reduce burden

MTPConnect has welcomed the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) announcement of medical research reforms that will be set to encourage greater innovation and creativity as well as reduce burdens of the grant application process.

The reforms, set to come into place in late 2018 to early 2019, will allow for more high performing and innovative researchers at all stages of their career to apply for grants to support their work; will provide further security for researchers, with the introduction of five-year agendas that will also reduce the need to regularly re-apply for funding; and will foster greater collaboration through team diversity requirements.

Four new grants have been introduced that will replace the existing Fellowship, Program and Project grants:

  • Investigator Grants – consolidating fellowship and research support to provide high performing researchers at all stages with salary funding and a research support package
  • Synergy Grants - $5 million per grant for multi-disciplinary research teams to address complex questions
  • Ideas Grants – supporting innovative and creative research projects for researchers at all stages including early and mid-career
  • Strategic and Leveraging Grants – supporting research that addresses identified national needs, including dedicated funding for clinical trials, and including existing schemes such as Development Grants and international collaborative schemes

Limits will also be enforced on the number of applications submitted and grants held by individual researchers for Investigator, Synergy and Ideas Grants, to reduce application and review burden.

MTPConnect CEO Sue MacLeman said: “Along with the sector, we welcome the reforms to NHMRC grants program that are set to make positive changes to the medical research landscape in Australia through greater collaboration, innovation and reducing the burden of application processes.”

Visit the NHMRC website for more details.