Investigator Grants

Critical Dates

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Applications open in Sapphire


UoM RIC Scheme Information Session via Zoom

Wednesday 17 July 2024

Minimum data due in Sapphire

Thursday 18 July 2024

Internal date for review by RIC

Monday 5 August 2024

Supporting evidence documents due to RIC

Monday 12 August 2024

Final submission due to RIC


NEW! NHMRC has updated the Direct Research Cost (DRC) Guidelines and the 2024 Personnel and Salary Support Package rates for funding commencing in 2025.

*Please note that the above dates have been updated for the upcoming round. However, the information below applies to the last Investigator Grant round and will be updated once the scheme opens on Wednesday 19th June 2024*

About the Scheme

The Investigator Grant scheme is to support the health and medical research program of outstanding investigators at all career stages. It will consolidate separate salary and research support into a single grant scheme by offering a salary component (if required) and a research support package (RSP).

To support its objective, the Investigator Grant scheme comprises two categories – Emerging Leadership (EL) and Leadership (L).

Emerging Leadership
  • The EL Category is restricted to researchers who are ≤10 years post-PhD or equivalent and comprises two salary levels, EL1 and EL2, with corresponding RSPs. Please note that the PhD Census date is 8th November 2023 (i.e. close date of the scheme) - EL1/EL2 applicants cannot have held their PhD for more than 10 years as of 8th November 2023, taking Career Disruptions into consideration.
  • The L Category comprises three salary levels (L1, L2 and L3) with an RSP of $400,000 p.a.

An Investigator Grants 2024 (for funding commencing 2025) grant opportunity is awarded for a five year term and may be awarded as either a full-time or a part-time grant.

Please note that all NHMRC documentation relating to this scheme can be found via Grant Connect (GO6477). If you don't already have one, you will need to create log in details for Grant Connect.

Further information on the Investigator Grant scheme can be found on the NHMRC website.


Changes to Capping Rules for NHMRC Investigator, Synergy, and Ideas Grants

The NHMRC have updated their capping policy for grants held and applied for across the Investigator, Synergy, and Ideas Grant schemes. The relevant changes are:

  1. The capping limit of 2 grants has been streamlined, so there are no longer exceptions for CIs holding 2x ongoing Ideas Grants to apply for a third grant. CIs will no longer be able to hold more than 2 grants (CIs currently holding 3 grants will not be required to relinquish any existing held grants). For a full breakdown of how many applications a CI can submit based on the grants they currently hold, please see the NHMRC’s Eligibility Web Tool and Eligibility FAQs page.
  2. If a CI is named on an excessive number of applications in a round, only the most recently submitted application(s) will be ruled ineligible. Previously, all applications in a round would be ruled ineligible, not just the excess application.
  3. Eligibility will now be based on original end date of each held grant at time of award (i.e. not taking variations into account). This means some applicants previously capped may now be able to apply in this round.

RIC hosted a Zoom Information Session on Thursday 7 March 2024 to summarise the key changes to the capping rules. View the video recording and the slides on the NHMRC scheme seminars webpage.

Any questions regarding eligibility to apply for the 2024 Synergy and/or 2024 Ideas Grant schemes can be sent to

How to apply

Steps to be completed by Chief Investigator A (CIA):

1. Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI)

The NOI should be completed early to provide RIC with CIA contact details.

2. Complete/update Sapphire Profile and CV

Each CI will need to obtain access to the Grant management system to complete this step. Please note that NHMRC strongly encourage researchers to start planning their applications early and ensure their Sapphire profile is up to date. Peer Review Area, Broad Research Area, Keywords and particularly Fields of Research data contained in Sapphire Profiles are essential in matching applications to peer reviewers with the optimal suitability, so it is important that this information is complete and correct.

Please note that if you do not have a Sapphire Profile, you must activate a Sapphire account and/or submit a registration form at least 72 hours prior to Minimum Data. Noting account activation processes cannot be guaranteed in this time. Click ‘Invite to Register’ to invite a colleague to complete Sapphire Registration and/or share your application with view/edit access. Enter the email address, followed by the tab key, select the corresponding option from the dropdown menu and click ‘Submit’.

3. Review the funding documents

The CIA should read the NHMRC Guidelines available for download from Grant Connect (GO6477).

4. Complete draft application

Complete the draft application in the Sapphire Grant management system.

5. Email a draft application to RIC

Send a draft application to RIC for review via email A hardcopy is not required.

  • Ensure your Sapphire application is complete so we can review it.
  • Email draft Grant Proposal (as a PDF) and saved Preview documents from Sapphire. A UOM Authority to Submit form is not required at this stage.
  • RIC will send an email upon receipt.

6. Send required evidence to RIC

We are required by the NHMRC to retain evidence to confirm the information provided in the application for the cases below (examples included for reference). Send copies of any NHMRC-required evidence for your application to RIC via email by 10am Monday 30th October 2023 for review:

  • PhD pass date [EL1/EL2 applicants only]: if applying for EL1 or EL2, you must provide evidence of your PhD thesis pass date that matches the date you have entered in your Sapphire application. This is the date you were notified of successful pass NOT submission date or conferral date.
    • Email/letter from University confirming your pass date
    • Transcript that shows pass date
  • Career disruptions [only required if claimed as part of application]: if claiming any Career Disruptions (must be carer's leave, sick leave or parental leave) from the last 10 years as part of your application, you must provide evidence of the specific dates and full-time equivalent (FTE) reduction of your career disruption.
    • Letter from employer/HR stating start and dates of leave/FTE reduction
    • Themis print out of relevant leave with start/end dates and FTE
  • Part-time employment [if requesting part-time grant]
    • Personal: letter from employer/HR confirming the reduced FTE
    • Professional: letter from employer guaranteeing the release of the applicant for the time fraction specified to conduct their research and that salary will continue to be provided for non-research time.
  • Salary declaration [if receiving salary from other grants/fellowships]
    • Provide sufficient details of the award to allow us to confirm the details of your Salary Declaration i.e. sponsor, scheme, application ID, CIA, start and end dates, source of your salary, details of any extensions/deferrals granted or applied for
    • If the award is held outside UoM, we may need you to provide the award letter/funding agreement

7. Complete the application after feedback

After taking feedback from RIC into consideration, complete the application in the Grant management system. Upload all documents and pay special attention to formatting requirements. It is suggested to seek advice from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.

8. Certify the application in the Grant management system

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.

Please note that we have observed delays within Sapphire where the approvals tab to submit applications is taking ~15 minutes to load, as such there is a risk to the timely submission of your application if it is received after the RIC Final Submission Deadline. To minimise any delays or issues with the submission of your application we advise adhering to the RIC final submission deadline for this scheme.

9. Submit the UOM Authority to Submit form

Submit Authority to Submit form to RIC via email before 10:00am on the final internal closing date, Monday 6th November 2023, but should be provided with your final application if submitting early. The form should include:

  • CIA signature
  • Head of Department/Institute Director signature

A hardcopy of the the Grant management system application is not required.

Note that this is an NHMRC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to NHMRC until RIC receives this form.

10. RIC will submit the application

RIC will submit the application NHMRC and the CIA will receive a notification from Sapphire when this has been done.

Supporting documents

NHMRC Documents

RIC Documents

RIC Seminars and Workshops

RIC will host a webinar on this scheme (11am - 12pm Friday 22nd September 2023) to present an overview of the scheme, describe any key changes in the funding rules, provide advice on how to improve your application including an overview of common mistakes, and provide an overview of the application process.

Applicants who are interested in attending this session can do so via the following zoom meeting link:

The recording will be made available here shortly after the session.

RIC will host twice weekly zoom drop in sessions on Monday and Friday at 10:30am for 30mins between Monday the 18th of September through to Friday the 3rd of November. RIC staff will also still be available to be contacted via phone and email as per normal during business hours. These drop-in sessions will provide applicants with the opportunity to gain advice on their application one-on-one with a RIC staff member. A virtual queue will be set up in a zoom waiting room and attendees will be admitted in order when a RIC staff member becomes available.

Furthermore, RIC will be partnering with representatives from Faculty Research Offices for some of these sessions, where indicated the following sessions will also include a representative from the following Faculty Research Offices in addition to a RIC staff member:

Monday 10:30am 18th Sept:       Science + RIC Staff

Friday 10:30am 22nd Sept:          RIC Staff Only

Monday 10:30am 25th Sept:       FEIT + RIC Staff

*Friday 10:30am 29th Sept:         No session due to Public Holiday

Monday 10:30am 2nd Oct:           RIC Staff Only

Friday 10:30am 6th Oct:                FEIT + RIC Staff

Monday 10:30am 9th Oct:            MDHS + RIC Staff

Friday 10:30am 13th Oct:             RIC Staff Only

Monday 10:30am 16th Oct:         Science + RIC Staff

Friday 10:30am 20th Oct:             MDHS + RIC Staff

Friday 10:30am 27th Oct:             Science + RIC Staff

Friday 10:30am 3rd Nov:               RIC Staff Only

Registration isn’t required for these sessions. Applicants who are interested in attending these sessions can do so by joining via the following Zoom meeting link:

Meeting ID: 826 1687 6023

Password: 872133

NHMRC Open Access Policy

From 1 January 2024, all NHMRC grant holders must comply with NHMRC’s Open Access Policy. The policy requires full and immediate open access for NHMRC-funded research outputs.

For more information on how to comply refer to the UoM webpage on funder open access policies.

NHMRC advice regarding use of generative artificial intelligence in grant applications

NHMRC has released some key advice regarding the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in grant application and peer review. Please note the following as per NHMRC advice:

  • Application drafting: Information provided to generative artificial intelligence (such as natural language processing models and artificial intelligence technology tools) becomes part of a public database and may be accessed by unspecified third parties. If you use generative artificial intelligence to assist with the drafting of your application, you must ensure you are aware of the potential risks involved, such as those related to security, confidentiality, intellectual property, privacy, the accuracy of information generated and possible plagiarism.
  • Peer review: Use of generative artificial intelligence in peer review Information provided to generative artificial intelligence (such as natural language processing models and artificial intelligence technology tools) becomes part of a public database and may be accessed by third parties. Peer reviewers must not input any part of a grant application, or any information from a grant application, into a natural language processing and/or artificial intelligence technology system to assist them in the assessment of applications. Use of generative artificial intelligence may compromise the integrity of NHMRC’s peer review process and be in breach of its Principles of Peer Review, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the confidentiality undertaking of peer reviewers.


Gabrielle Nagle

P: +61 3 8344 3578

Stefan Tomlins

P: +61 3 8344 4652