2020 Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Development



Notice of Intent (NOI) registration OPEN

10am, 4 Mar 2020 (Wednesday)

Draft Application due to RIC for strategic and compliance review. Early submission encouraged.

10am, 10 Mar 2020 (Tuesday)

Authority to Submit due to RIC

10am, 10 Mar 2020 (Tuesday)

Final application submitted to RIC

5pm, 11 Mar 2020 (Wednesday)

Final application submitted to NHMRC


The objective of this Novel Coronavirus Vaccine grant opportunity is to accelerate research into development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19

Given the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, applicants must propose research that will support the rapid development of a vaccine, including demonstration of partnerships that will provide access to critical resources necessary to complete the project. Applicants should provide details of how funding will leverage other complementary funding sources as part of their application.

The intended outcome of the research funded under this priority is to accelerate the development of a safe, effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.


The Australian Government has announced a total of $633 million for the EPCDR Initiative. For this grant opportunity, up to $2 million of funding is available in 2019-20.

There is no maximum grant amount but grants cannot exceed the amount of available funds.

The project must be completed by 30 June 2023.

$2.0m Nil Nil Nil


- A person must not be named as a Chief Investigator (CI) on more than one application submitted to this grant opportunity.

- You are not eligible if your research proposal was submitted to the MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaboration (ICTC) Program and it is currently being assessed, or is included in the ICTC Merit List. Chief Investigators on an application submitted to the ICTC Program that is currently being assessed or is included in the ICTC Merit List are eligible to submit a different research proposal to this grant opportunity.

- The proposed research should not duplicate research previously or currently being undertaken. The NHMRC may compare the research proposed in grant applications with grants previously or currently funded by the MRFF, NHMRC or other agencies (e.g. Australian Research Council) and published research (see also section 4.7 – Other ineligible expenditure)

How to apply

  1. Notice of Intent: Please register your Notice of Intent if you are considering applying for the this grant opportunity.  RIC-MRFF team will then contact each applicant with further information.
  2. Update RGMS Profile: Each CI must obtain access to RGMS and update profile information (see RGMS information)
  3. Review documentation: Review the grant guidelines and category descriptors available below and at Grant Connect.
  4. Create and Complete the application:  Log in to RGMS select "MRFF - Research Grant" from Initiatives and then select the Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Development from Round and complete the application.
  5. Submit “Review Ready” application to RIC: Submit application to RIC within the RIC internal submission period for review.
  6. Complete application: After taking feedback from the RIC team into consideration, complete the application in RGMS. It is suggested advice is sought from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.
  7. Submit the UoM Authority to Submit Form:
  8. This form must be submitted to RIC electronically by the final internal closing date. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of all CIs and AIs
    • Signature of Head of Department of CIA

    Electronic signatures and email consent are permitted.

    This is an NHMRC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to NHMRC until received.

  9. Final Submission:
    • On the final internal closing date, the applicant must:
    • Submit finalised application by clicking ‘Submit to RAO’ in RGMS
    • Email RIC enquiries-mrff@unimelb.edu.au as well as a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form.
    • Should you require further information please contact Alvin Wong on 83449352 or via email
  10. RIC will submit the application: Once the application has been submitted to NHMRC, you will receive an email from RIC confirming submission.

Supporting documents

NHMRC Documents

Grant Guidelines

Grant Proposal template

Assessment Criteria

Rating Scale for Overall Value and Risk

RIC Documents

Summary and Tips

Grant Proposal template (including assessment criteria)

Authority to Submit Form

Wording for written consent


MRFF questions and primary email

Key Contacts

Alvin Wong and Catherine Nobes
T: Alvin - +61 3 8344 9352; Catherine - +61 3 8344 1471