NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies Grants

NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies Grants


Please note this application will be submitted via the NHMRC's new Grant Management System Sapphire. If you had an active RGMS account your CV and Profile email was migrated into Sapphire on 12 February 2020.  To login to Sapphire:

1. If you have an existing RGMS account, a Sapphire account has been created for you. Click here to Activate your account.
2. If you did not have an RGMS account, you will need to register for a Sapphire account. Click here to Register for an account.

Tutorial and training modules for Sapphire can be found here.


The objective of the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2019 opportunity is to support high quality clinical trials and cohort studies that address important gaps in knowledge, leading to relevant and implementable findings for the benefit of human health.

This grant opportunity is open to research proposals for clinical trials and/or cohort studies of any size – that is, they may be large or small clinical trials or cohort studies.

Please note that the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants scheme is not intended to provide ongoing support from NHMRC and grant funding does not support infrastructure costs.

Grantees will be required to report against milestones at twelve-month intervals. The desired outcomes of the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant opportunity are improvements in health and well-being, health care practice or policy, as a result of:

  • high-quality clinical trials that provide reliable evidence of the effects of health-related interventions on health outcomes (or appropriate surrogates), and/or
  • high-quality cohort studies that provide reliable evidence on the relation of important risk factors and other exposures to health-related outcomes.

A Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies Grants can be requested for between one and five years depending on the proposal.

Assessment Criteria

Applications for Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants are assessed by peers on the extent to which the application meets the scheme objectives. Applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria listed below. In addressing the assessment criteria, applicants should consider how the proposal addresses the associated points.

1. Significance (40%)

Significance for this grant opportunity is the extent to which the research findings will substantially advance knowledge to improve the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions, or to improve health and wellbeing.

2. Research quality (40%)

Research quality for this grant opportunity encompasses the quality and feasibility of the proposed research, incorporating theoretical concepts, hypothesis, research design and robustness.

3. Team quality and capability (20%)

This criterion is used to assess whether the CI team named in your application has the appropriate mix of research skills and experience to undertake the clinical trial and/or cohort study and achieve the stated objectives of the proposed research.

Applications are assessed relative to opportunity, taking into consideration any career disruptions and recognising applicants’ industry-relevant expertise, where applicable

It is recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants often make additional valuable contributions to policy development, clinical/public health leadership and/or service delivery, community activities and linkages, and are often representatives on key committees. If applicable, these contributions will be considered when assessing research output and track record.


The provisional funding allocation for the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2019 opportunity is estimated to be up to $70 million. NHMRC’s Research Committee annually reviews and recommends indicative budget amounts to be awarded across individual funding schemes.

The amount of funding for a Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant will be based on assessment of the requested budget. Applications must clearly justify the requested duration and budget, and how they will support the proposed outcomes of the research. Peer reviewers will consider this information and may reduce the duration and/or budget to ensure the research aims and objectives can be achieved while ensuring value with money.

Faculty Processes

Guide for NHMRC Applicants on Macquarie Approvals Process Through PURE

The Faculties have their own approval and review processes for grants under this scheme. They may also have deadlines for submission of draft applications that are earlier than Research Services deadlines. Please ensure that you contact your Faculty, as early as possible, for information on process and deadlines. Faculty contacts:

Faculty of Arts
Ph 9850 4496 (x4496), Faculty Research Manager, Dr Jan Zwar

Macquarie Business School
Ph 9850 8485 (x8485), Faculty Research Manager, Ms Agnieszka Baginska

Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences
Ph 9850 2788 (x2788), Faculty Research Manager, Dr Kyle Ratinac

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Ph 9850 8912 (x8912), Faculty Research Manager, Ms Irina Zakoshanski

Key Dates

Changes to Eligibility for DVCR Co-Funding

Eligibility for the DVCR Co-Funding Scheme is now contingent upon on-time submission of grant applications by the Macquarie University submission date.  Many applications for external funding require cash and in-kind contributions from the host institution in order to be considered for funding.  In most cases, researchers request cash contributions, such as project support funds, funding for research associates, scholarships and major equipment, from the DVCR via the DVCR Co-Funding Scheme  to support their external funding applications.  To be eligible to request this DVCR Co-Funding, grant applications must be submitted internally, via Pure, by the Macquarie University submission date.

  • Applications for major grant rounds (NHMRC) must be submitted to the Research Services Pre Award team 4 weeks prior to the external deadline.
  • Applications that do not have a Pure record and/or do not have all the appropriate approvals in Pure (Head of Department [HoD] and Associate Dean Research [ADR]) will not be submitted to the external funding body.
  • For further information see FAQs.

Dates for the 2021 Funding Round

NHMRC opening date in Sapphire: Wednesday 4 March 2020
Macquarie University Minimum Data deadline: 9am Wednesday 28 October 2020
Macquarie University submission date: 9am Wednesday 28 October 2020. All complete applications must be submitted internally by this date
Research Services submission to NHMRC: Wednesday 25 November 2020
Anticipated notification of outcomes: mid-2021


Note: NHMRC locates all their Scheme documentation in GrantConnect. You will be required to set-up a username and password to access.

Notification Of Intent (NOI)
Complete a Notification of Intent to inform your Faculty and the University Research Services teams of your intention to submit an application. After completing this NOI, you will be provided with regular updates about your funding scheme and sent valuable resources that will assist you in developing a highly competitive research grant application.

NHMRC Information
Funding Guidelines - GO3714
CTCS Proposal Template
Check Your Eligibility

MQ Resources 
Clinical Trials and Cohorts Toolkit (updated for 2020)
2020 CTCS Budget Calculator
Team Quality and Capability Statement Template 
Pure Research Management System
MQ Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

CERTIFICATIONSThese are built into Sapphire. No need to have separate certifications from CI's and AI's.


Introduction to the NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies (CTCS) Grant Funding Scheme
This workshop will provide general background information on the NHMRC CTCS Grant funding scheme. Researchers who have not applied for NHMRC funding in the past, in particular the new schemes, will benefit and are strongly encouraged to attend. The workshop will cover what is a clinical trial or cohort study, the application process and structure, assessment process, eligibility and research support services available to applicants.
Date: Thursday 28 November 2019
Time: 12:30 – 13:30
Location: Room 801, Level 8, 12 Wally’s Walk
Speaker: Courtney Bendall (Research Services)

NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies (CTCS) Grant Funding Scheme
This workshop will walk through the CTCS Grant application. From the NHMRC Grants Management System, to the Research Proposal, including Milestones & Performance Indicators, Team Quality & Capability and Chief Investigator Capability & Achievements. 
Date: Thursday 5 March 2020  
Time: 12:30 – 13:30
Location: Room 801, Level 8, 12 Wally’s Walk
Speaker: Courtney Bendall (Research Services)
RECORDING [Microsoft Stream] 

Building your Budget for the NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies (CTCS) Grant and Ideas Grant Schemes
This workshop will describe NHMRC budgetary requirements. Advice will then be provided on how to build your budget and how to justify your funding requests.
Speaker: Courtney Bendall (Research Services)
RECORDING [Microsoft Stream]

ContactsInformation and Compliance
Research Proposals Team
Research Services
Ph: +61 2 9850 4193

Strategic Advice
Ms Courtney Bendall
Research Development Manager
Research Services
Ph: +61 2 9850 4745
Back to the top of this page