NHMRC Investigator Grants

NHMRC Investigator Grants


The NHMRC Investigator Grants scheme provide the highest-performing researchers at all career stages with funding for their salary (if required) and a research support package (RSP) for five years.

Investigator Grants will support:

  • different career stages – early career researchers, mid-career researchers and established researchers
  • researchers with clinical responsibilities (such as clinicians, public health and allied health practitioners) and
  • part-time researchers.

Investigator Grants will be offered in two categories:

  • Emerging Leadership (EL) – recipients will have the title ‘NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow’
  • Leadership (L) -  recipients will have the title ‘NHMRC Leadership Fellow’

Five levels of salary support and six tiers of RSP will be offered across the scheme.

Emerging Leadership Investigator Grants will be restricted to researchers who are ≤10 years post-PhD or equivalent on 1 March of the application year.

Assessment  Criteria

Applications for Investigator 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.

  • Track record, relative to opportunity (70%), and
  • Knowledge Gain (30%).

Track Record: NHMRC defines ‘Track Record’ for the Investigator Grant scheme as the value of an individual’s past research achievements, relative to opportunity, not prospective achievements, using evidence. Assessment of Track Record comprises peer reviewers’ consideration of:

  • Publications (35%)
  • Research Impact (20%), and
  • Leadership (15%).

Knowledge Gain: NHMRC defines ‘Knowledge Gain’ for the Investigator Grant scheme as the quality of the proposed research and significance of the knowledge gained. It incorporates theoretical concepts, hypothesis, research design, robustness and the extent to which the research findings will contribute to the research area and health outcomes (by advancing knowledge, practice or policy).

Applications are assessed relative to opportunity, taking into consideration any career disruptions, 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 Investigator Grants 2021 grant opportunity is estimated to be between $340 million and $380 million. NHMRC’s Research Committee annually reviews and recommends indicative budget amounts to be awarded across individual funding schemes.

Investigator Grants comprise a Research Support Package (RSP) and a salary component. The salary component of Investigator Grants is provided as a contribution to assist Administering Institutions with employing the successful applicant. However, an Investigator Grant recipient’s total salary is agreed through negotiation between the researcher and their Administering Institution.


Applicants to the Investigator Grant scheme select the most appropriate Level (Emerging Leader 1 - Leader 3) for their career stage and the percentage of salary required to support their research activities, while ensuring they meet eligibility requirements. If applicants request a salary, the Leadership Level selected will determine the salary awarded. Salary levels have been set at the top of current, broadly equivalent NHMRC Fellowship levels.

Research Support Packages

Successful applicants at Emerging Leadership Levels 1 and Level 2 will be awarded a fixed RSP of $50,000 and $200,000 per annum, respectively.

There are four tiers of RSP for the Leadership Investigator Grants. These have been set at $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 and $600,000 per annum and will be allocated independently of the Leadership level, based on the overall peer review score of the application. As a comparison, the average Project Grant provides approximately $200,000 per annum for three years (excluding clinical trials grants).

Research Support Packages can be used to fund Direct Research Costs.

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

Note if you are considering applying for an Investigator Grant, see your Faculty Research Office for the Expression of Interest (EOI) form and closing date.

NHMRC opening date in RGMS: Wednesday 2 October 2019
Macquarie University submission date: Thursday 31 October 2019 - All complete applications and requests
NHMRC minimum data due in RGMS: Thursday 31 October 2019
Research Services submission to NHMRC: Wednesday 27 November 2019
Anticipated notification of outcomes: May 2020


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 (NHMRC Investigator Grants) - GO3005
Funding Guidelines (MRFF Priority Round) 
Key Characteristics of an NHMRC Investigator Grant from 2019
Investigator Grant Proposal Template
Investigator Grant Partner Organisations
NHMRC Eligibility Factsheet
Check Your Eligibility

MQ Resources
MQ Investigator Grants Toolkit (updated October 2019)
Minimum Data Guide 
NHMRC Investigator Grant Track Record Template
NHMRC Knowledge Gain Template 
MQ Career Interruption Eligibility Exemption Request Template  
Successful Grants Library
PURE Quick Guide
Open Access and Funding Compliance
Pure Research Management System
MQ Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Application Checklist 


1. Introduction to the NHMRC Investigator Grant Funding Scheme
About: This workshop will provide general background information on the NHMRC Investigator 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  the application process and structure, assessment process, eligibility and research support services available to applicants.This workshop is designed to give you key information prior to you submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) form to your Faculty Research Office.
Date: Tuesday 30 July 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: 75 Talavera Road, Level 3, Continuum Room
Speakers: Courtney Bendall (Research Services)
RECORDING [Microsoft Stream]

2. NHMRC Investigator Grant Funding Scheme: Research Impact and Leadership
About: This workshop will provide in-depth walk through of the Research Impact and Leadership sections of the NHMRC Investigator Grant application. Research Impact has a weighting score of 20% and Leadership has a weighting score of 15%.
Date: Tuesday 8 October 2019
Time: 10:30 - 11:30
Location: 12 Wally's Walk, Level 8, room 801
Speakers: Courtney Bendall (Research Services)
SLIDES [PDF] RECORDING [Microsoft Stream]

3. NHMRC Investigator Grant Funding Scheme: Knowledge Gain and Publications
About: This workshop will provide in-depth walk through of the Knowledge Gain and Publications sections of the NHMRC Investigator Grant application. Knowledge Gain has a weighting score of 30% and Publications has a weighting score of 35%.
Date: Monday 14 October 2019
Time: 10:30 - 11:30
Location: 12 Wally's Walk, Level 8, room 801
Speakers: Courtney Bendall (Research Services)
SLIDES [PDF]  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
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