Ideas Grants


OPENS in Sapphire 11 MAR 2020

Funding body

National Health and Medical Research Council

Internal deadlines

Faculties/IFM/IISRI/A2I2 to work with applicants to review, workshop and develop proposals M Aug 2019 - Mar 2020
Faculties/IFM/IISRI/A2I2 to collate and forward list of approved applicants M 18 Nov 2019
List emailed to Deakin Research - Grants
NOIS from Not Deakin-led applicants M 19 Feb 2020
Email to Deakin Research - Grants
Applications Open on Sapphire
11 Mar 2020 
Minimum data on SapphireM

13 May 2020

Minimum data requirements must be met on Sapphire by this date. Applications that miss this deadline will not be able to proceed with NHMRC submission.

Final application on Sapphire and certification form M

Closing date delayed by NHMRC

**New internal deadline from 13 May 2020**

Applicants will be notified of their specific internal submission date by DR-Grants

- Complete and certify application on Sapphire

- Email DU Certification form to Deakin NHMRC Submissions

O - Optional / M - Mandatory


Ideas Grants will support focussed innovative research projects addressing a specific question. They will provide funding for up to five years for creative research by investigators at all career stages, including early and mid-career investigators, in any area of health and medical research, from discovery to implementation.

Eligibility and Limits

Each Ideas Grant may have up to 10 Chief Investigators and each Chief Investigator may hold up to two Ideas Grants each, depending on concurrent grants held.

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 the NHMRC eligibility website.

For researchers holding NHMRC Fellowships, Project Grants and Program Grants, these existing grants/fellowships as at 1 January 2021 will further impact on their eligibility for Ideas Grants. Researchers can assess their eligibility by using NHMRC’s Eligibility Tool and referring to the Grant Guidelines.


The amount of funding provided will be based on the assessment of the requested budget. Funds may be spent on Direct Research Costs (DRCs) and Personnel Support Packages (PSPs). Applicants may request funding for up to 5 years.

Peer Review

Ideas Grants applications will be assessed on:

- Research Quality (35% score) - the quality of the proposed research, incorporating theoretical concepts, hypothesis, research design and robustness

- Innovation and Creativity (25% score) - health and medical research that seeks to challenge and shift current paradigms and/or have a major impact on a health research area through one or more studies that:

  • develop or use novel and creative research concepts, approaches, methodologies, technologies or interventions
  • propose a reinterpretation, refinement, improvement or new application of existing theoretical concepts, approaches, methodologies, technologies or interventions
  • integrate and adapt concepts, methodologies, technologies and approaches from other research fields or disciplines for a new purpose or in a new way.
  • Refer Ideas Grants Guidelines, Appendix D - Concept of Innovation and Creativity

- Significance (20% score) - the extent to which the research findings will be of great importance in the research area by substantially advancing knowledge, clinical and/or public health applications, policy development or change in the field

- Feasibility (20% score) - the ability to achieve the stated aims of the proposed research, incorporating resources, personnel, expertise, equipment and infrastructure

Track record, relative to opportunity, will contribute to the assessment of feasibility and will not be the emphasis of the assessment. In this way, the scheme will provide particular opportunities for early and mid-career applicants.

For further information, visit NHMRC Ideas Grants website.

How to apply

  1. Contact your Faculty/IFM/IISRI/A2I2 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. The Faculty/IFM/IISRI/A2I2 research office will forward a list of approved applicants to proceed to NOIS to DR-Grants
  3. Read the Grant Guidelines and Peer Review Guidelines
  4. Plan and draft your grant proposal early; CIs should gather their individual CV information/updates.
  5. Once the scheme is open, 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.


NHMRC documents

Please visit the NHMRC Ideas Grant website for more information

NHMRC Eligibility Tool - for current NHMRC grant and fellowship recipients

Applicants should register and log into GrantConnect to download the applicable scheme documentation once released by NHMRC.

Download Ideas Grants 2020 Guidelines

NHMRC application templates

Deakin University Templates and Documents