NHMRC Guidelines Basic Structure by leader6


                                             IN 2009
These guidelines have been prepared by the Research Office to assist you in completing your 2008
NHMRC Project Grant application for funding in 2009. These guidelines should be read in conjunction
to the NHMRC Project Grants Funding Policy and NHMRC Project Grants Advice and Instructions to
Applicants for funding commencing in 2009.

The NHMRC Project Grant application process is a collaborative effort, led by the Research Office with
the support of research administration personnel based at the Western Clinical School and Cumberland
campuses as well as at the Children’s Hospital Westmead, the Centenary Institute and the Heart Research
Institute. Please identify the relevant administration officer from the list below and contact them for
general enquiries, assistance and for obtaining an ID number.

Faculties of Health (other than those specified below):
Obtaining an ID:                                         Christine Anderson ph 9351 4469

General enquiries and assistance with application:       Phillip Chaplin ph 9351 3393

                                                         Yamini Sandiran ph 9351 3877

                                                         Chris Robinson ph 9351 4795

                                                         Joanne Elliot ph 9036 3148

Faculty of Health Sciences, Cumberland Campus:
Obtaining ID, general enquiries and assistance:          Paul Sims ph 9036 7321

Western Clinical School (Faculty of Medicine)
(clinical appointments only ie Area Health Service employees with USyd academic titles - those who may have their grants
administered by either SWAHS or USyd):
Obtaining ID, general enquiries and assistance:                       Mark Smith ph 9845 9027

Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School (Faculty of Medicine):

Obtaining ID, general enquiries and assistance:                       Anne O’Neill ph 9845 3013

                                                                      Amelia Hill ph 9845 1316

Centenary Institute:
Obtaining ID, general enquiries and assistance:                       Sonja Bates ph 9565 6119

Heart Research Institute:
Obtaining ID, general enquiries and assistance:                       Clare Walsh ph 8208 8912

Faculties of Science, Vet Science, AFNR, Eng IT & Architecture:
Obtaining ID                                                          Christine Anderson ph 9351 4469

General enquiries and assistance:                                     Andrew Black ph 9036 7075

Faculties of Arts, Ed & SW, E&B, Law, SCA, SCM:
Obtaining ID                                    Christine Anderson ph 9351 4469

General enquiries and assistance:                                     Annette McLaren ph 9351 4153

The Research Office is usually open between 8.30 am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday and we are located in the Main
Quadrangle, Building A14: entry via Lobby K.

When requesting an application ID number you must provide the following information:
      (a)   Name of CIA;
      (b)   Department / Institute;
      (c)   University of Sydney Staff ID number or Unikey number
      (d)   Nature of his/her affiliation with university (whether employer, clinical, conjoint, adjunct,
            honorary etc);
      (e)   Email address
      (f)   Mobile phone number or after hours number;
      (g)   Name & details of alternate contact;
      (h)   Short working title of project.
      (i)   Indicate whether this is the first time you are applying to the NHMRC Project Grant Scheme
            as Chief Investigator A
      (j)   Indicate the name of the colleague or mentor who will review your application

Strategic Advice – Individual Consultations with NHMRC Strategists.
We have assembled a team of senior NHMRC strategists with experience across many NHMRC panels
and schemes. The NHMRC Strategists will be available for individual consultations from Monday 21st
January 2008 to Friday 21st February to work with NHMRC applicants to develop their proposals
focusing in particular on strategic considerations. Researchers requesting consultations must provide key
sections of their NHMRC applications at least 2 working days in advance of the consultation. Meeting
times are limited and will be allocated on a “first come first served” basis. Appointment bookings open
Monday 14th January 2008; Consultations start Monday 21st January 2008. This pilot scheme has been
developed to help you with your project grant proposal/fellowship application for the NHMRC, if it is in
demand it will be continued in future.

To book a consultation, or for more information, contact Grant Cruchley: ph. +61 2 9351 4750; email

Grant Writing - we have appointed a Scientific Grant Writer, Tim Haydon, who will be available to assist
you with language, presentation and clarity of your proposal. If you are interested in obtaining the
assistance of Tim Haydon please contact Yamini Sandiran at the Research Office on
ysandiran@usyd.edu.au. Please note that Tim Haydon will be available commencing to-date until 29th of
February 2008.

The Research Office has a library of successful applications from previous rounds which are available for
review in hard copy on a read-only basis.

                                     PART ONE - OVERVIEW

Please note the following timeline for submission of applications. These DATES are FIRM to enable us
to review all applications and provide feedback in sufficient time for you to make changes and
corrections. In 2008 we only have a one week gap between ARC and NHMRC external due dates. We
will be submitting 750-800 applications in this timeframe. We need to work with you to avoid excessive
pressure leading up to the closing dates and minimise fatigue that leads to errors and applications being
made ineligible. In our experience >95% of applications need amendments after submission to the
Research Office.

The DVCR has requested that all NHMRC applicants arrange for their application to be reviewed by a
mentor or colleague prior to submission to the RO, preferably someone a little distant from your
immediate field or discipline. This should provide valuable feedback on the quality of your research and
the accessibility of your language and presentation. We will be asking you to identify who has reviewed
your application prior to submission.

NHMRC applicants submitting to the USyd RO will be assigned to an RO staff member much earlier in
the process (i.e. as soon as we know an application is being prepared, via request for ID). We will
proactively contact applicants on a regular basis leading up to the closing date to provide advice and
assistance as follows:

 Due date
 17 Dec (13 weeks        RO release USyd instructions to applicants. RO requests all applicants to contact
 to NHMRC                RO or their relevant Research Administrative Officer (see Introduction) if they
 deadline)               intend applying this round.
 15th January            Applicants who are unsure if they should apply to the ARC or to the NHMRC
                         for funding should lodge a 2 page summary of the project to the Research Office.
                         The NHMRC will advise the outcome in the first week of February.
 15th January            A researcher who is a Non-Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident is able to
                         request for consideration by the NHMRC to enable them to apply as a CIA. A
                         one page statement must be submitted to the Research Office supporting their
 21 Jan (or as soon      RO staff member contacts applicant to discuss NHMRC application and
 as possible) – 8        requirements, common issues & problems to avoid.
 weeks to deadline
 29 Jan – 7 weeks        RO to follow up applicant to discuss progress, specifically re Informed Filler,
 to deadline             budget, progress reports, identify & resolve any problems/issues

to deadline
to deadline           First time applicants AND anyone not previously funded by the NHMRC
                       should submit a complete and final draft for review
                      Previously successful applicants should submit a complete Informed Filler
                       form, synopsis, publications list, progress reports and summary reports and
                       track record. The nine page project proposal and references may be submitted
                       later by 29 Feb
                      RO to review and provide feedback

29 Feb – 2 weeks   Previously successful applicants to submit completed project proposal (i.e. 9 page
to deadline        document including aims, background and research plan and references) to RO
7 March – 1 week   Last date for all applicants to submit their final & complete applications to RO
to deadline
10-13 March        RO to finalise all applications and prepare to submit to the NHMRC
14 March           Due date to NHMRC

                                         PROJECT GRANT


(1) All NHMRC Project Grant applications must be certified and submitted by the University of Sydney
      (an NHMRC registered administering institution).

(2) A Project Grant should normally have no more than six investigators. However, on occasion
      additional investigators are required. To request additional CIs, an additional CI form must be
      submitted with your application. The form is available at:

(3) Chief Investigator A: must be an Australian citizen or hold permanent residency in Australia and
      must be based in Australia for the duration of the grant.

      In exceptional circumstances the NHMRC reserves the right to consider CIAs who are not Australian
      Citizens or Permanent Residents at the time of submitting their Project Grant application. In this
      instance the CIA must submit a one page statement to support their position as CIA and must be
      submitted as a separate one page word document via email to Phil Chaplin
      (phillip.chaplin@usyd.edu.au) at the Research Office no later than 15th January 2008.

      The subject line of the email should read: NHMRC Project Grant – AppID_CIAsurnameStatement
      for example: NHMRC Project Grant - 123456_SmithStatement.

      The word document should be named: AppID_CIAsurnameStatement for example:

(4) Chief Investigators B-F: can be non-Australian citizens or permanent residents and can draw a
      salary if they are going to be based in Australia for the duration of the grant. Researchers based
      overseas can also apply to be CI B to F; however, researchers based overseas may not draw a salary
      from a Project Grant.

(5) New Investigators (or Early Career Researchers): must not be named on a current or previously
      successful NHMRC Project Grant AND must not have received competitive research funding greater
      than $55,000 from another source as a Chief Investigator (internal USYD grants are not classified as
      “competitive research funding”).

    To be considered a New Investigator application, ALL the Chief Investigators on the application
    must meet the above eligibility criteria for New Investigators.

(6) Sole Chief Investigators: Researchers must be funded at the NHMRC PSP Level 4 and above (ie.
    experienced postdoctoral researcher) or be of equivalent standing or be holders of NHMRC Career
    Development Awards to be eligible to apply for a grant as a sole CI.

(7) Overseas Investigators: Researchers based overseas are eligible to apply for a Project Grant as a
    Chief Investigator, but not the Chief Investigator A. Researchers based overseas are not eligible
    to draw a salary from a Project Grant. Applicants may request funding to support specific research
    activities to be undertaken overseas but they must be able to demonstrate that the research activity is
    critical to the successful completion of the project AND that the equipment/resources required are
    not available in Australia.

(8) NHMRC Program Grant Applicants or Investigators: Chief Investigators on a Program Grant in
    2009 can only hold one Project Grant at any given time. This means that if an applicant holds or
    already has Project Grant funding in 2009, then s/he cannot apply for another one. If the applicant
    does not have Project Grant funding in 2009, s/he can still only submit one application.

    Where a researcher is a part-time Chief Investigator on one Program Grant only, the researcher is
    permitted to hold maximum of two Project Grants and must not apply as such that this limit may be

(9) Associate Investigators: There are no eligibility restrictions for researchers named as AIs on an
    NHMRC Project Grant application. Please note, however, that a salary cannot be paid to an AI.

(10) Maximum number of grants and applications: Applicants are limited to holding a maximum of
    SIX NHMRC Project Grants at any one time. Thus, if a researcher will be continuing to receive
    funding for 3 Projects Grants in 2009, then s/he can only submit 3 applications for funding in 2009.

(11) Cross-scheme funding: Applicants who are unsure if they should apply to the ARC or to the
    NHMRC for funding should lodge a 2 page summary of the project TO THE RESEARCH
    OFFICE by 15th January 2008. The NHMRC will advise applicants of their decision in the first
    week of February 2008,

(12) For others questions regarding eligibility please refer to pp. 6-10 of the Project Grants Funding Policy
    available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/apply/granttype/projects/index.htm


A full NHMRC Project Grant application consists of:

The first part of the application is an electronic application in the form of an “informed filler” application
form. Sections 1 to 9 of the application are completed on this form. See Part 2.3 below for instructions
on how to download the form.

Additionally, all applications must include a Microsoft Word file saved in Rich Text Format (rtf) which is
to be attached to the informed filler application. This file contains the one page synopsis of the research

This attachment contains Section 10 - the “text” part of your application. The PDF file must not exceed 2
Mb in size. It includes information specific to the Project Grant:
             o   Detailed Background and Research Plan (9 pages maximum)
             o   References (2 pages maximum)
             o   Track Record (1 page for each investigator)
             o   Summary Reports and Progress Reports (1 page for each report)
             o   Publications over the past 5 years (i.e. January 2003 up to date of submission of

Applicants wishing to apply to additional funding sources such as the Cancer Council, Heart Foundation
etc (refer pp 5-7 & 29-30 of NHMRC Project Grants Advice and Instructions to Applicants) should
address the additional criteria and submit the information saved in the desired format and submit them
with their final NHMRC application.


Before you start, you will need to install on to your computer the software to download the full
application form. If you participated in the last round of NHMRC Research grant applications, you may
already have Informed Filler on your computer, in which case you will only need to install the
current NHMRC Research Grant Application Template: GNT2008v1.6.itp

   Instructions to download the application software and the most current Research Grant Application
    Template are found at:
   If you have problems installing the new template after following the NHMRC instructions, please
    contact the NHMRC GrantNet Help Desk on 1800 500 983 or the Research Office.
   Once you open the informed filler (filler.exe), click on ‘new’ and a brand new template of the
    application form will open. Make sure it says: Application for Research Funding Beginning in
    2009. Click the big blue button "PRESS HERE TO START" located just underneath the menus at
    the top of the page. If you don’t do this you will lose the information you have entered when attempting to save the
    form. Informed filler will start processing your application. Enter your new ID in the space provided.
    Save your file as "ApplicationID.ifm" - e.g. if your ID is 512000 save your application as ‘512000.ifm’.
    Informed Filler will reset the version number to 1.
   Set the Check On/Off button set to "On" while preparing your application. All red crosses
    which show at the top of the form need to be eliminated prior to submission to the RO. If you have
    read the instructions and are unable to get rid of a red cross, the GrantNet Help team is probably the
    best place to request help. If there's a page that you are not using, an entry consisting of even just a
    space will mean that it is 'registered' and will therefore be included in your print-out as a blank. Delete
    everything and the page will disappear. Informed Filler comes with a built-in Spell Checker
    available via the Edit menu. It will check the whole form except “display only” cells. All
    researchers should use this before submitting their hard copy for checking.
   IF you have any problems with the Informed Filler form during the preparation of your application, please contact the
    GrantNet Help Desk on 1800 500 983 or email grantnet.help@nhmrc.gov.au


All the documents that you will need to assist you in completing your application are available at:
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/apply/granttype/projects/index.htm including:

   NHMRC Advice and Instructions to Applicants
   Project Grants Funding Policy
   Information on Downloading Informed Filler Research Grants Application Form Software
   Project Grants Peer Review Process
   Research Fields and Disciplines (RFCD) and Grant Advisory Group (GAG) Structure for Funding commencing in
   Additional Chief Investigators Form
   Chief Investigator and Associate Investigator Consent Form
   Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians

Applicants for NHMRC Project Grants processes should note the following summary of important
changes this year:
     Applicants for NHMRC Project Grants are encouraged to apply for grants of up to five years
      duration. NHMRC Project Grants are available to support work from one - five years duration.
      Applicants must justify in their research plan why they require >3 years funding for their project.
     NHMRC reserves the right to offer separately allocated funding, over and above the NHMRC’s
      standard Project Grant funding, to support competitive applications in areas of strategic importance
      to the NHMRC. For 2008 applications these include, but are not limited to:
      i.   Indigenous health;
      ii. Effective Health Care;
      iii. Complementary and Alternative Medicines;
      iv. Drinking Water Quality; and
      v. Asbestos related diseases;
     Additionally, applications that address the 2006 WHO Research Agenda for Radio Frequency Fields
      are invited through the NHMRC Project Grants process. Proposals that include international
      collaborations are particularly encouraged. These applications will be assessed in the same way as
      other NHMRC Project Grants, and successful applications funded through the Australian
      Government’s levy on radiocommunication licence fees.
      The WHO Research Agenda for Radio Frequency Fields can be found at: http://www.who.int/peh-
     The assessment criteria used to rank applications are:
      •    Scientific Quality (50%);
      •    Significance and/or Innovation (25%); and
      •    Track record (relative to opportunity) (25%);
     Applicants can nominate the preferred Grant Advisory Group (GAG) to which their application will
      be allocated;
     Two independent external reviews will be sought for all applications, and the Grant Review Panel
      (GRP) Spokespersons will also provide a written assessment;
     Applicants may include graphics and tables in their applicant response;
     The Administering Institution’s Research Administration Office will obtain the signatures of all
      named Investigators (including Associate Investigators) to verify that their consent has been given to
      be named on the application; and
     In addition to the Cancer Council/National Breast Cancer Foundation and Cancer Australia, the
      following organisations are inviting applications for funding through the NHMRC Project Grant
      application process.
      •    Heart Foundation;
      •    Commonwealth Government Department of Health and Ageing, Primary and Ambulatory Care
           Division; and
      •    Commonwealth Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

(1) All character limits are INCLUSIVE of spaces;

(2) All applications must comply with the NHMRC Advice and Instructions to Applicants and the Project Grants
Funding Policy - available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/apply/granttype/projects/index.htm

(3) Be aware that some fields in the Informed filler template will not respond to imported data (ie. cutting
and pasting data into fields);

(4) For applicants using much of the information supplied in previous applications, please ensure that
time sensitive data is updated – eg. funding in current year, current employment;

(5) Try to decide on the exact order of investigators before you begin entering information in the
Informed filler form. It is difficult to change the order of investigators or to delete investigators from an
application without substantial re-keying.

 Section                                                    Comments

1.2          Type of Research Grant: Select “Project Grant” from the drop-down list.

1.3          Funding source: This question indicates if you are seeking funding from the NMHMRC and/or other funding
             sources. Following options are available:

             Cancer Council (CC) / National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) Funding Only
             Cancer Australia (CA) Funding Only
             Heart Foundation (HF) Only
             NHMRC and CC/NBCF
             NHMRC and CA
             NHMRC and HF
             NHMRC and CC/NBCF and CA
             NHMRC and CC/NBCF and HF
             NHMRC and CA and HF
             CC/NBCF and CA
             CC/NBCF and CA and HF
             CC/NBCF and HF
             CA and HF
             Apply to All – NHMRC and CC/NBCF and CA and HF

             Applicants seeking funding from the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) – Innovation
             in Chronic Disease Self-management Research Grant or through the Department of Veterans’
             Affairs (DVA) must select an option at Question 1.3 that includes NHMRC (and any other
             funding organisation they wish to apply to). You also have to separately address additional

             Applications that address the 2006 WHO Research Agenda for Radio Frequency Fields are also
             invited for separate funding consideration through the NHMRC Project Grants process.
             Applicants must select an option at question 1.3 that includes NHMRC (and any other funding
             organisation they wish to apply to).

             Applicants seeking funding from the above additional granting bodies must complete a set of
             supplementary questions and submit these to the RO as a separate PDF accompanying their
             NHMRC Project grant application.
       Detailed information on this section and access to the Supplementary Questions and how to
       address additional criteria for applications seeking funding from DOHA or DVA is available
       from the NHMRC Project Grants Advice and Instructions to Applicants pp 5-7 & 29-30

1.4    New Investigator category: please refer to Q2.1 (5) above.
1.5    Is this research proposal directed primarily towards Aboriginal and/or Torres Straight Islander populations
       and/or health issues: If you answer “yes” to this question you must address The Criteria for
       Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians which can be found at:
1.6    Does the Research proposal include a discrete Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health research
       component or capacity building component: If you answer “yes” to this question you must address The
       Criteria for Health and Medical Research of Indigenous Australians which can be found at:
1.7    Access Eligibility: This question applies to centres or institutions which receive Australian
       government research funding (not infrastructure funding), such as the CSIRO, ANSTO, a CRC
       or other Commonwealth funded Centre such as COE, CCRE and Program Grant. The
       question is asking why the CSIRO etc, hasn't directly funded this research and why the
       NHMRC should provide further government funds for this research. You need to differentiate
       your NHMRC proposal from other funded research activity and reiterate that no centre
       funding has been provided for the research in your NHMRC proposal. Failure to answer this
       question and to provide relevant information will result in your application being excluded
       from further consideration.
1.9    Clinical Trials: You must answer ‘yes’ to this question if your research is to conduct a clinical
       trial, regardless of the size of your trial. The NHMRC will identify which projects involve a
       large scale clinical trial and will refer the application to the LSCT Committee.

       You can claim the administrative charge of obtaining an ISRCTN (International Standard
       Randomised Controlled Trial Number Scheme). This must be justified in the Direct Research
       Costs component of the application form. The 2007 rate is £132 per trial (US$270/€195 based
       on October 2007 exchange rates).
1.15   Nomination of assessor: Please note that nominated assessor must not to have a conflict of interest
       with the application. Eg: Should not have published together in the last 5 years.
1.16   Nomination of non-assessor: it is not sufficient to nominate someone on the basis that they have
       provided non-supportive assessments in the past, unless you can present a good case for bias.
2.2    Research Fields, Courses and Disciplines (RFCD): Applicants have the opportunity to select which
       Grant Advisory Group (GAG) their application will initially be allocated to by selecting the
       appropriate RFCD under the preferred GAG. When completing this section refer to the
       “RFCD and GAG structure” document at the following website:
       For example if you choose option “Membrane Biology” your application will be referred to

       GAG 1 Molecular Medicine/Cancer and Cancer Prevention.
2.3    Keywords/Phrases to describe the field more specifically: Please choose these carefully as this
       information may be used in the peer review process to assist with the selection of appropriate
       Grant Review Panel members for your application. You must enter a minimum of 3 and a
       maximum of 5. List available - www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/policy/keywords.htm. If no
       appropriate keyword can be found, you may insert a maximum of 2 new keywords or
       phrases (60 free text characters per keyword/phrase).
2.4    Keywords/Phrases - Health Issue/Disease/Clinical Condition relevant to this research: refer to keywords
       for Qns 2.3 and 2.4 and the ABS Classifications found at
       www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/policy/keywords.htm. Enter a minimum of three and a
       maximum of five.
2.9    Significance – Lay Description. Please provide a summary description of your project which would
       be understandable to an intelligent lay person.
3.1    Ethical Implications of Experiments on Humans: You must answer “yes” if your research proposal
       required submission to Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). You need to address all
       relevant issues, eg. how many subjects? How will they be recruited? Why are you using them?
       Feasibility? Ethics explanations should not just be about the science. Include sufficient detail to
       enable assessment in respect of ethical issues.
3.11   Ethical Implications of Experiments on Animals: Applicants need to address the 3Rs: Replacement,
       reduction and refinement. Be accurate with the numbers you are specifying. A useful guide to
       addressing this question is the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific
       purposes: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/_files/ea16.pdf
       NOTE – ensure that you include animal acquisition and agistment costs in your
       budget under Direct Research Costs.

4A.1   Chief Investigator A details:
       The first-named CI postal address should be:
       Address (Lines 1-3): Your address within the University (include building code)
       Suburb / Town:          The University of Sydney
       State and Postcode: NSW 2006

4A.5   Role of Chief Investigator: When describing the role, try to relate the tasks and duties of the CI to
       the aims, research plan and methods of your project and try to be as specific as you can about
       the tasks and duties. To achieve this, draw up a skills matrix (don’t include in your application!)
       and make sure you can cross-reference each requirement with a CI or AI. In some cases you
       may need to mention the name of a professional officer who will perform a specialist technique
       that is essential for the project.

4A.6   Qualifications: Put the most recent first.

4A.7        Employment: Enter the appointment period for your current period of employment. For
            previous appointments, list up to 3 chronologically from the most recent appointment covering
            the past ten years.

4A.8        Refereed journal articles which have been published or accepted for publication from January
            2003 onwards are to be included in the PDF part of your application. See also Section 10

4A.10       NHMRC Research Support: For current and past grants, ensure that you cross-reference the
            publications arising from the grant to your publication list.
            Time Commitments: For your requested grant, as a general rule we suggest that a minimum
            time commitment from the CIA should be 10%.
            The time commitment for a fellowship holder is 0% rather than 100%, because a fellowship is
            a salary rather than an actual project.
4A.15       Current Salary: Current salary amounts given in 4A.15 and in section 6.1.3 (PRPs) must include
            on-costs (currently running at about 29.6% of base salary).
4A.16       Past or present NHMRC Salary: All CIA who have received salary from the NMRC over the last
            two years or are currently receiving salary from the NHMRC must answer “yes” to this section
            and provide details of the grant/award.
5.1         Associate Investigators: in deciding whether a collaborator should be a CI or an AI, consider that
            an AI would usually provide:
        o                  Specialised intellectual input (<10% working time)
        o                  No experimental work
        o                  Credibility (via reputation/expertise)
        o                  Lab equipment and/or materials for use by CIs
        o                  Their participation warrant inclusion of their name on publications
            All named Associate Investigators must sign the Consent Form to record and confirm
            their commitment to the project.

6.1.1       Please refer to current PSP salary support packages available in Appendix One of this
            document and on the NHMRC website:

6.1.2       If the PRP to be employed on the grant has not been identified yet, enter their name as DR

7           This section is used for details of research students and technical staff to be employed on this
            grant. Graduate personnel are to be entered in Section 6.

7.1.2       If the Technical Support Staff to be employed on the grant has not been identified yet, enter

        their name as DR UNKNOWN UNKNOWN

7.1.3   Salaries for PhD students should be requested here. The salary support for a student stipend
        must be entered as 50% PSP 1.

8       Equipment: If you have an equipment request, it should be for a very particular need. Items must
        individually be over $10,000 and no more than $80,000. Quotes should accompany your
        application and will be held by the Research Office. Applicants must provide details as to why
        the equipment is not being provided by their institution in Q8.2 (justification). Equipment
        costing less than $10,000 should be included in your Direct Research Costs (Question 8.3)

8.3     Direct Research Costs:

        (1) Individual items of equipment costing less than $10,000 must be requested in quanta
        of $5000.

        (2) The total value of all other Direct Research Costs requested for each year must be in
        quanta of $5000. Thus, if the total value of your Direct Research Costs for Year 1 is
        $18,753, you will round this amount up to $20,000; in Year 2, the total amount of $16,280
        would be rounded down to $15,000.

        (3) Salaries for casual staff to be contracted at hourly rates are to be requested in this section.

        (4) Animal acquisition and agistment costs are to be included here.

        (5) Specific requests for conference travel will not be considered.

        (6) Funds cannot be used for a fee waiver for an international student.

        (7) Use of the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU): The EMU provides infrastructure and staff to
        enable the characterisation of biological materials using electron microscopy and microanalysis,
        optical and confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-Ray fluorescence and X-Ray
        diffraction. Many NHMRC projects will generate costs at the EMU. The current rate is $40 per
        hour. These costs must be included as a line-item in the budget of research proposals and
        details of how to incorporate these direct research costs in your proposal are described at:
        http://www.emu.usyd.edu.au/emu/research.php (and select the ‘ARC/NHMRC Grant
        Guidelines’ link).

8.4     Justification of Direct Research Costs: Enter details of the DRC items sought and amount requested.
        Briefly discuss WHY these items are necessary to achieve your aims.

        Certification Pages - Please enter the following details:

        Head/Nominee of Administering Institution is: Dawson, Mr, Warwick, Research Office
        Verification by Research Administrative Officer: Chaplin, Mr P, Research Office
        Do not enter any information on the RAO Use Only pages

          Project Grant Synopsis: (Maximum of One Page Only) This is a ‘stand alone’ piece. It should
          be succinct and digestible. It should be a summary of the research proposal as provided in the
          Detailed Background and Research Plan (see PDF part of Application below). It must not contain
          images, diagrams or tables. It is attached to your Informed Filler as an RTF file not to your
          PDF file. This is the only file to be attached to the electronic Informed Filler application form.

Section                                                   Comments

10        There are strict instructions for formatting the attachment. Failure to comply with the
          formatting requirements may result in your application being excluded from further

          (1) Type of Attachment eg. Background and Research Plan; References etc. and page
          number must be 12 point font and positioned in top left corner of every page. Page numbers
          need to be logical - either within each section or throughout the whole pdf.
          (2) ID number must be 14 point font and positioned in top right corner of every page.
          (3) Margins must be 2cm minimum all sides
          (4) Font must be Times New Roman 12 point minimum
          (5) Line spacing must be single
          (6) Character spacing must be set to normal and set to 100%.
          (7) Graphics, Diagrams and Images: colour images and diagrams are permitted but are likely
          to be viewed in black and white by reviewing panel. Labelling of graphs and images must be in
          12 point font.
          (8) Tables: Tabulated information containing text is not considered to be an image or diagram.
          The font must be Times New Roman 12 point minimum.

          You must include in the PDF part of your application:
          (1) Detailed Background and Research Plan (9 pages max)
          (2) References (2 pages max)
          (3) Track Record (one page for each investigator)
          (4) Summary Reports and Progress Reports (one page for each report)
          (5) Publications ( from January 2003 to date of submission of application)
          (6) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Criteria (2 pages max) – only applicable if you have
          answered “Yes” to Question 1.6 of the Informed Filler application form

          Please do not convert scanned documents into PDF. All attachments are to be
          converted from the original electronic document.

Detailed Background and Research Plan (9 pages max)
Structure this section according to the following headings: Aims; Background; Research
Plan – Methods and techniques to be used; Outcomes and Significance. Diagrams,
images and tables are to be included in this section. Request for >3 years of funding must be
clearly justified. References cited in this document are to be listed in the separate References

References (2 pages max)
In standard journal format

Track Record (one page for each investigator)
This section gives you the opportunity to describe the contribution of your research to your
field over the last 10 years. It should not simply state numbers of publications. We suggest that
you focus on the scientific content of your most significant contributions (1 or 2), with a
summary sentence describing the impact on your field (an examples of citations, quotes,
etc). Where possible, demonstrate the impact by stating how other scientists view or use
your contribution. Include any information not appearing elsewhere in the application: details
of prizes, awards, honours, industry experience, editorial boards, professional associations,
keynote or invited addresses / lectures / seminars, media contacts, etc.).

Summary Reports and Progress Reports (one page for each report)
Reports are required for NHMRC Project Grants ONLY.
These are limited to one page each - and they are different to the reports due for current or
recently completed grants. There is no form, just one page of text. Use them to state what
progress has been / was made, and provide the evidence. The report is also a good place to
include manuscripts in preparation. Applicants submitting a report should note that there is still
a requirement to submit a full Progress Report in March and / or a full Final Report in June.
This section must include the ID of the project, the scientific title and a list of
publications arising from that research.
When completing Progress and Final Reports, Researchers should contact Sydnovate (02 9351
8777) if they have any questions concerning the disclosure, protection and management of
intellectual property.

Publications: When there is more than one CI, use each CI's initials for each of their entries,
which thus distinguishes between lists. E.g. AB1, AB2, AB3, CH1, CH2, CH3 etc. Only
refereed journal publications covering the last 5 years (January 2003 to date) should be
listed. Do not include papers submitted for publication but not yet accepted or abstracted. For
papers accepted but not yet published, date of acceptance must be included.
Papers in refereed journals in which CI was not co-author but which resulted from the
CI’s grants, eg. PhDs as authors but on grant of CI, should also be listed.
All other refereed publications (including book chapters) are to be included in the track record

section of the application.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Criteria. The criteria to be addressed can be found at:


A maximum of two pages is allowed to address this criteria and should be included in the PDF
section of your application.

Applications for funding from Cancer Council/National Breast Cancer Foundation,
Cancer Australia, the Heart Foundation, the DoHA – Innovation in Chronic Disease
Self-management Research Grants and or the Department if Veterans’ Affairs require a
complete set of separate set of questions to be addressed and submitted to the Research Office
at the time of submission of your NHMRC Project Grant application. Refer to pages 29 and
30 of the NHMRC Advice and Instructions for details on accessing the additional criteria for
the above funding organisations.



First time applicants AND anyone not previously funded by the NHMRC should submit a complete and
final draft for review by 15th February 2008.

Previously successful applicants should submit a complete Informed Filler form, synopsis, publications
list, progress reports and summary reports and track record by 15th February 2008. The nine page project
proposal and references may be submitted later by 29 February 2008.

Please do not submit electronically until notified by your Research Administration Officer (ie. after
you have received feedback on your hard copy submission and made changes).

Your final submission (Informed Filler form, RTF attachment, PDF attachment, Quotes (if relevant),
Investigator Consent Form and Research Proposal Clearance Form) should be made only after you have
had feedback from the Research Office or from the relevant Research Administration Officer and you
have made all necessary changes.

ONE hard copy with ORIGINAL signatures is required as soon as you have submitted electronically.
Researchers should note that the final hard copy and the electronic submission must be IDENTICAL.
You will need to send to the Research Administrative Officer in your area (see 1.2):

(1)   hard copy (including signed certification pages as well as supplementary forms if applying for other
      funding agencies)

(2)   Quotes for equipment

(3)   A Research Proposal Clearance Form. This is available at - http://www.usyd.edu.au/ro/forms/rpcf.shtml

(4)   Chief Investigator and Associate Investigator Consent Form

      Each Chief Investigator and Associate Investigator on the application must sign the “Consent Form” to record and
      confirm their commitment to the Project Grant. The Research Office is required to hold original signatures and
      provide them upon request to the NHMRC. The form can be downloaded from the following link and submitted
      with the application.

The following e-files are to be submitted to the Research Office:

        (a) Informed Filler Form (including RTF attachment)

        (b) PDF attachment

        (c) PDF documents addressing additional criteria if applying to other funding agencies

(a) Informed Filler Form:

   You MUST set the Check On/Off button in the top right-hand corner of the Informed Filler file to
    ON. If any red crosses are showing along the top line on the first page of the IFM file you see on the
    screen, these MUST be eliminated before you submit electronically. If they are not fixed, this
    prevents our electronic submission to the NHMRC. Please contact GrantNet Help at the NHMRC
    to help you fix any problems of this nature: 1800 500 983, grantnet.help@nhmrc.gov.au
   Your Informed Filler file must be saved as your ID number only. It will then show as XXXXXX.ifm
   You will need to attach the Project Synopsis as an RTF file prior to the electronic submission. This
    is the only file to be attached to your Informed Filler Form. To attach your Project Synopsis, use
    the Attach button at Section 10 (cf Page 26 of the NHMRC Advice and Instructions). It must be saved
    in Microsoft Word as Rich Text Format (rtf). Again, you can contact GrantNet Help if you are
    having any problems with this.
   Please name your Project Synopsis as your ID number.rtf: XXXXXX.rtf
   Do not use dots (.) slashes (/) brackets or spaces in your file names.
   Within the Informed Filler file, use the red "Send to RAO" button on the second line to submit your
    IFM file (including RTF attachment) to the Research Office electronically.
   You will be asked to save your file (a final check for you that you have named it correctly) and will
    then be asked for the recipient's email address. This is nhmrc@usyd.edu.au. Please note that this
    is a University of Sydney email address: Your application will be sent to the Research Office
    not to the NHMRC. The Research Office will submit your application electronically to the
    NHMRC on your behalf.
   If you are required to enter your SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), we can't help you with this -
    contact your local IT person.

(b) PDF Attachment:

   All PDF attachments MUST be sent to the University of Sydney Research Office. The Research
    Office will submit your application electronically to the NHMRC on your behalf.
   Please submit your attachment as a single PDF file. If you have problems converting your file to
    PDF, please contact the Research Office.
   The email address to send your PDF file is: nhmrc@usyd.edu.au.

   When sending your PDF attachment the email subject line should follow the sequence: [Application
    ID]_[CIA surname] eg. 512000_Brown
   When submitting your PDF file, please name your file: [Application ID#]_[CIA surname].pdf
    eg. 309999_Brown.pdf
   The PDF file must not exceed 2Mb in size.

(c) Additional Funding Agencies Attachments:

If you are applying for funding from other funding bodies as well, you will also need to attach a pdf file of
the Supplementary Questions. Please save as [Application ID]_SuppQs_[CIA Family name].pdf eg.


In the case of personnel to be supported on the grant, the provision is made up of one or more quanta.
These are provided as PSPs designed to cover all salary and salary on-costs (eg payroll tax, workers
compensation, leave loading, compulsory and contributory superannuation and long service leave) as well
as some additional support for minor operational maintenance (this might include postage, phone/fax,
printing, stationery, computer hardware and software). Six levels are available:

            PSP Level                                                              $ per annum
            PSP1 - Technical support - non-graduate personnel                      47,250
            PSP2 - Junior graduate research assistant                              59,000
            PSP3 - Experienced graduate research assistant/Junior                  64,750
            postdoctoral research officer
            PSP4 - Experienced postdoctoral researcher (i.e., a researcher who     76,500
            would normally be considered as a named investigator on the
            research application and/or approaching the NHMRC CDA
            scheme or equivalent)
            PSP5 - Senior experienced postdoctoral researcher (i.e., a             82,500
            researcher who would normally be considered as a named
            investigator on the research application and is more than 10yrs
            post doctoral and/or would be expected to have applied for or
            held an NHMRC CDA or equivalent)
            PSP6 - Senior experienced postdoctoral researcher (i.e., has applied   97,750
            to or held an NHMRC Fellowship or equivalent and must be a
            named chief investigator)

The PSPs will represent the upper limit of funds that the NHMRC will provide for personnel support.
Any additional amounts required to cover the salary and related costs of appointees will need to be found
from non-NHMRC sources.

Note that an annual indexation may be applied to the PSPs.

                   RECORD (SECTION 10 : TEXT PAGES)

 Applicants should aim to give an impression of importance – a combination of content and
  perception → this project is worth doing
 There should be some measurable health outcome
 Aim & hypothesis – strong and bold
 Language is critical: make it active, exciting – “doing, not being”
 Avoid: attain, evaluate, obtain, assess – these words are process, instead use words about outcome
  such as determine, develop, design, establish, etc.
 Turn negatives or shortcomings into opportunities. eg. “challenges that need tackling” or “problems
  that need solving” – if possible, set up your proposal such that this can be achieved or partly
  achieved. This leads to innovation.
 Avoid unnecessary repetition, and where you do have to repeat, try to avoid verbatim
 Introduction – SMH, background – yr 12/ 1st year uni, methods – technical. Avoid jargon.

 Start with a short intro (5-6 sentences) outlining the broader theme and its significance (use stats –
   talk about people if you can rather than just numbers), what the issue/crisis is, what the specific
   problem is, how the project fits into this, then straight into aims and hypothesis.
 Aims will determine what is relevant/irrelevant to background and also help prioritise issues in your
 Background puts ‘meat’ on the bones of the intro and aim. Include some more relevant general
   background but then into relevant specifics. This section establishes ‘current state of play’. Keep it
 Clear and strong link between aims and methods – “The aims will be achieved by dividing the project
   into three distinct phases...” or “To achieve the aims, the project employs a three-stage strategy, each
   designed to…” . Dividing the project into parts will help the assessor appreciate what will be done
   and when. Use phase or stage, not experiment. Use bold key words in the aims and repeat them in
   the heading of the relevant phase if you can.
 Significance and outcomes section – don’t forget it!
 Outcomes: Discuss both short-term outcomes, specific to project, measurable at the end of the
   project and long-term outcomes, which have a wider impact and may not be measurable for years.
   Longer-term outcomes would include national benefit.
 Balanced argument - don’t hide the negatives at end of proposal
 Use sub headings, diagrams, graphs, flow charts, dot points – break up text. Make sure diagrams are
   not too small and are clearly titled and simple.
 Where possible, use subheadings to help convey the important point of that section – e.g. instead of
   “lack of exercise“, try “lack of exercise results in obesity”
 Where necessary, make sure the important point is made in the first sentence of a paragraph, not at
   the end.
 Rule of thumb – there should not be a single page of just text. i.e. more white space.
 Brownie points – try to finish your proposal in 8.5 pages – i.e. don’t fill up the last page!

 Problems or obstacles can be key indicators of innovation – to overcome these obstacles, something
  different needs to be done than was done before – herein lies the innovation.
 The ‘how’ and the ‘what’
 Incremental change or how an improvement is achieved
 Not just the big - the small as well
 Not just the outcome but also the process
   The whole document should have a feeling of innovation. Use words such as: new, novel, unique,
    original, for the first time, break new ground, innovative, never before, etc.

 What new knowledge are you creating? Think beyond the end-user. Think outside the field. Think
  about process and not just outcomes. Think laterally.
 Who will be interested in this new knowledge?
 Language – avoid ‘understanding’, ‘address’, ‘consider’. Even ‘investigate’ is a bit weak. Use
  “determine the efficacy” or “establish a link” or “create new knowledge”

 ‘NOW’ factor – why should this project get funded now?
 Impact – i) end-user ii) field of research iii) wider – think big picture and laterally
urgency – a problem is worsening, there is a small window of opportunity, there’s a crisis, etc.
 Strategic – will this project lead to bigger and better things?
National Research Priorities – find the appropriate sub-class and work into your argument.
 Discuss this in outcomes and significance section.

 Go back over the proposal and with an objective eye, ask yourself, is the NHMRC going to get a
   good return on their investment for this project?

TRACK RECORD – this is an opportunity to say additional things about your self
 Track record relative to opportunity - don’t be negative. “In addition to the papers reported here, I
  teach 3rd year anatomy and 4th year biochemistry, as well as supervise x PhD students…”, not “I have
  a heavy teaching workload and demanding administrative responsibilities…”
 Select a few seminal papers and mention the citation/year rate for them
 Demonstrate wider interest in your work - “my work has been cited in several fields, not just
  biochemistry, such as…”
 Do NOT ‘inadvertently’ put in an extra year of your papers – only include publications covering the last five
  years i.e. 2002 – to-date
 Accepted papers need the date they were accepted. Do NOT include ‘submitted’ papers.
 Be careful about book chapters – have they been reviewed?
 Avoid “leader”, “pioneer’ type labels – demonstrate by objective assessment/outcomes such as
  awards, prizes, elected to this board or that council, etc.
 Don’t be too grandiose about achievements but rather use more impersonal statement of fact. “Our
  group developed this method, which is now being used in labs in Cambridge and MIT.

 Make sure that you can justify your subject numbers well; no obvious clangers or standouts


To top