Transitional arrangements

These arrangements have been developed to smooth transition to future steady-state eligibility to apply for and hold grants in the new grant program. 

  • All existing grants will be honoured.
  • Existing Project and Program Grants will affect eligibility for Ideas Grants and/or be offset by reductions applied to the Investigator Grant RSP
  • These effects will cease once the existing grants cease.
  • Eligibility caps and RSP reductions due to existing grants will allow more grants to be funded across all schemes in the new grant program.
  • Link to the Eligibility tool for 2020 funding round. 

Steady state

The following table shows the eligibility to apply for and hold grants under the new grant program once steady state is reached – that is, once all grants under the current grant program have expired. Each row details the combination and number of grants a researcher can apply for and hold. For example, a researcher may apply for and hold one Investigator Grant and one Synergy Grant OR two Ideas Grants.

Grant Type
Steady State Investigator Grant Synergy Grants Ideas Grants 
Apply  1 1 0
1 0 0
0 1 0
0 1 1
0 0 2
1a 0 1
Hold 1 1 0
1 0 0
0 1 0
0 1 1
0 0 2
1 0 2b
0 1 2c

A maximum of two grants may be held concurrently by any individual, with the following exceptions and conditions:

a Individuals may apply for an Investigator Grant concurrently with an Ideas Grant; if both applications are successful, only the Investigator Grant will be awarded.

Individuals who hold two Ideas Grants may apply for and hold an Investigator Grant, but their RSP will be reduced by 50% for one Ideas Grant and by 100% for two  Ideas Grants until the Ideas Grant/s have ended.

Individuals who hold two Ideas Grants may hold concurrently a Synergy Grant.

Transition arrangements for the new grant program

To ensure equitable access across the sector, the transitional arrangements impose a limit on the research support that a researcher may apply for and hold under the new grant program based upon their existing grant portfolio. This limit is achieved for Investigator Grants by reducing the RSP and for Ideas Grants by reducing the number of grants that can be applied for and held. These arrangements are to the greatest extent possible symmetrical between the Investigator Grant and Ideas Grant schemes – that is, researchers pursuing funding through either scheme will be affected to similar extents by their existing grant portfolio.

As is currently the case, researchers may be able to apply for funding in the final year of their current grant/s to enable continuity of funding. This is extended to the penultimate year for current Fellowship holders applying for Investigator Grants.

Eligibility of current or previous NHMRC Fellows for Investigator Grants 

Eligibility to apply for an Investigator Grant at each level based on the highest level of NHMRC Fellowship previously or currently held is available here.

Eligibility tool for 2020 funding round  

This tool indicates a researcher’s eligibility to apply for funding in Investigator Grants, Ideas Grants and Synergy Grants in the second round of the new grant program. Applications for these schemes will open in late 2019-early 2020, for peer review during 2020 and funding commencing in 2021. This is deemed the '2020 grant round'. 

To use the tool, select your NHMRC grant portfolio as it will be on 1 January 2021. This will display the grants you may be eligible for, noting that this eligibility is indicative only and may vary based on NHMRC funding rules or other policies. 

When using the tool please pay attention to any specific conditions of eligibility stated in the boxes and the footnotes. 

Try eligibility tool for 2020 funding round

Glossary of terms

  • RSP = Research Support Package
  • CI = Chief Investigator