COVID-19 Mental Health



Notice of Intent (NOI) registration OPEN

10am, 29 Jun 2020 (Monday)

Draft Grant Proposal due to RIC for strategic review. Early submission encouraged

10am, 1 Jul 2020 (Wednesday)

Draft application due to RIC for compliance and eligibility check (including other supporting documents, if applicable)

5pm, 1 Jul 2020 (Wednesday)

Minimum Data due on Sapphire

10am, 10 Jul 2020 (Friday)

Authority to Submit due to RIC

10am, 10 Jul 2020 (Friday) - UPDATED

Final application submitted to RIC

5pm, 13 Jul 2020 (Monday)

Final application submitted to NHMRC


The objective of this COVID-19 Mental Health grant opportunity is to support research to understand how the mental health system can be enhanced to be most effective and responsive during and following the acute COVID-19 crisis. This may include consolidating data systems, helping to design and deliver new treatments, new services, and new policies both during and beyond the crisis.

The anticipated outcome of the research is to positively impact the lives of a significant number of Australians, especially those with pre-existing mental health issues and those with mental health issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis. The outcome of the research is also expected to have application beyond COVID-19 and extend to other natural disasters and widespread times of hardship.

In the context of the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the grant opportunity requires applicants to work rapidly from early 2020-21 to understand the enhancements required within the mental health system to enable it to be as effective and responsive as possible in managing the mental health and wellbeing community impacts of a crisis.

The grant opportunity compliments the Government’s broader mental health response to COVID-19, including through funding investments and the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Plan (copy available at and


For this grant opportunity, up to $3 Million is available in 2020-21 through the MRFF. The maximum amount available for a single grant is $1 million

The maximum grant period is 18 months.

$3.0mil Nil


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

- It is generally required that, at the time of application submission, the CIA is an Australian citizen or is a permanent resident in Australia (see also section 6.4 of the Guidelines). The research proposal must involve CIA being based in Australia for the duration of the grant.

- 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/complete Sapphire Profile: Each CI will need to obtain access to the Sapphire to complete this step. Applicants (including all Chief Investigators and Associate Investigators) are required to submit a registration form available on the Sapphire Landing Page. NHMRC copied RGMS users’ CV/Profile data from RGMS for migration into Sapphire on Wednesday 12 February 2020 after 5.00pm (AEDT). Any changes made to an RGMS profile after this date have not been replicated in Sapphire.
  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 Sapphire, select the relevant grant opportunity to 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. The form should include:

    • CIA and Head of Department/Institute Director signatures

    Written evidence (e.g. email) from all CIs and AIs is no longer required for applications submitted via Sapphire. Accepting an invitation to participate in an application constitutes a written agreement to be named on an application. CIAs cannot submit an application for RAO certification until all research team members on their application have accepted the invitation.

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

  9. Final Submission:
  10. On the final internal closing date, the applicant must:

    • Certify the application via the ‘Certification’ function in the left panel of your Sapphire application. The applicant will be given the opportunity to download their application and attachments prior to the two-stage confirmation prompt before submission. The application will be locked once certified and status then will be Submitted to RAO.
    • Email RIC as well as a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form.
    • Should you require further information please contact Alvin Wong on 83449352 or via email
  11. 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

Assessment Criteria

Rating Scale for Overall Value and Risk

Grant Proposal template

Addendum #1 - Instructions for completing budget beyond 12 months - NEW

RIC Documents

Summary and Tips

Grant Proposal template (with Assessment Criteria)

Authority to Submit Form

Info Session - Presentation Recording

Info Session - Presentation Slides


MRFF questions and primary email

Key Contacts

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