Synergy Grants



Funding body

National Health and Medical Research Council

Internal deadlines

Faculties/IFM/IISRI to work with applicants to review, workshop and develop proposals M Jul 2018 - Jan 2019
Faculties/IFM/IISRI to collate and forward list of approved applicants
03 Dec 2018
List emailed to Deakin Research - Grants
Applications Open on new NHMRC Sapphire system M 06 Mar 2019
Final application on Sapphire and certification forms

03 Apr 2019

Complete application on Sapphire

Email snapshot reports and all uploaded documents to Deakin NHMRC Submissions

Email DU Certification forms and AI consents to Deakin NHMRC Submissions

Minimum data requirements must be met on Sapphire by the relevant deadline. Applications that miss this deadline will not be able to submit an application to the NHMRC.

O - Optional / M - Mandatory


Synergy Grants will provide a fixed amount of $5 million over five years to support outstanding multidisciplinary teams of investigators to work together to answer complex research questions, that cannot be addressed by a single investigator.

These diverse teams will consist of 4 - 10 Chief Investigators and each Chief Investigator can only be named on one Synergy Grant.

Eligibility and Limits

The Synergy Grant scheme will be open to all researchers, other than those who currently hold a Program Grant.

A Chief Investigator can only apply for and hold one Synergy Grant at a time.

However, there are limits on the number of Investigator, Synergy and Ideas grants that can be applied for/held concurrently. Please refer to the table below and NHMRC eligibility website.

For researchers holding NHMRC Fellowships, Project Grants and Program Grants as at 1 January 2020, these grants will NOT impact on their eligibility for a Synergy Grant.


Synergy grants are awarded at a fixed rate of $5 million over 5 years.

Funds may be spent on Direct Research Costs (DRCs) and Personnel Support Packages (PSPs).

Peer Review

Assessment of applications will focus on each investigator’s record of research achievement as well as the collective collaborative potential and diversity of the team and its research proposal.

Synergy Grants will be assessed on:

- Track Record (40% score) - the value of an individual’s past research achievements, not prospective achievements, quantitatively scored using evidence-based components. Assessment of Track Record will be based on consideration of Publications (20%), Research Impact (15%) and Leadership (5%).

- Knowledge Gain (30% score) - 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).

- Synergy (30% score) - the quality of a diverse team’s multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to solve a major health and medical research question, as well as the capacity-building/workforce development outcomes

For further information, visit NHMRC Synergy Grants website.

How to apply

  1. Contact your Faculty/IFM/IISRI research office to register your intent to submit. Applicants  must work with their Faculty/Institute/SRC and/or School to develop a high calibre application
  2. If your Faculty/IFM/IISRI supports your application, DR-Grants will contact you regarding the submission process.
  3. Plan and draft your grant proposal early; CIs should gather their individual CV information/updates.
  4. Read the Guidelines, Instructions to Applicants and Peer Review documents. Check your eligibility.
  5. Commence your application on the NHMRC Sapphire system.
  6. Contact the DR-Grants NHMRC team if you have any queries.
  7. Organise relevant DU Certification form and AI consents.

Documents and information

NHMRC documents

NHMRC application templates


Deakin University templates and documents