Applying for Support

The Foundation awards grants that align with its mission and strategy. It considers community need and the likelihood of success when making funding decisions. The suitability of all funding requests is reviewed by our Research Advisory Committee (RAC).

About our funding

NFMRI’s funding seeks to support the translation of biomedical research projects that have strong potential in addressing unmet community needs. Funding provided by NFMRI is very different from other foundations and traditional funding sources, which is why we ask that applicants read more about the Foundation prior to submitting a proposal.

Around the beginning of each calendar year, NFMRI opens its general grant round nationally, which seeks to support innovative biomedical research projects covering all diseases and conditions. From time to time, via our partnerships, we are able to offer targeted funding rounds based around our partners’ mission and objectives. The best way to keep informed of these special purpose funding rounds is to subscribe up to our newsletter.

NFMRI recognises the valuable time researchers and reviewers spend preparing and assessing applications for support. To assist in managing this valuable resource, we ask that all applicants firstly complete and submit an expression of interest form (EOI). Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a more detailed application relevant to the portfolio selected in their EOI. Prior to completing the EOI, all applicants should read and understand the information relating to the support provided by the Foundation. Particularly, applicants should review their application’s strategic fit with the mission of the Foundation, the three research portfolios and consider how their research advances innovation, noting any nominated areas of priority.

Applicants will find the Foundation’s introduction and strategy document helpful and we strongly advise applicants to consider these when preparing an EOI.

Applicants wishing more information or wanting to know how to increase their chances of success are invited to join us at our information sessions in their area. If organisations would like to request our participation in a seminar, please see our speaker request form.

Conditions of funding:

  • The researcher who will be managing the project and spending the largest proportion of her or his time on the project should be listed as the Chief Investigator. The Foundation considers many other relevant factors apart from established track record when making funding decisions.
  • The Foundation supports biomedical, lab-based research projects that will lead to innovations such as drugs, devices, tools, therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics etc.
  • Funding requests under portfolios 2 and 3 should predominantly be to support expenses relating to the external collaborator.
  • Institutions must provide strong, demonstrable support for commercialisation and translation.
  • Only one application will be considered from each principal researcher per year.
  • Funding is to be provided only for research activities associated with this project. 
  • Grants are provided to Australian research institutions.

Funding exclusions:

  • The Foundation does not offer top-up grants to NHMRC or ARC projects.
  • The Foundation will only provide funding for specific research projects rather than salaries. Project costs may include a component for support staff salaries, but not the salary of the chief investigator.
  • The Foundation does not support general university overheads, patent costs, publication costs, travel and associated expenses.
  • The Foundation does not pay for travel or conferences.
  • The Foundation does not support companies or projects where the IP is encumbered
  • The Foundation supports pre-clinical research activities including research activities required to enable clinical trials that comply with ICH Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice.  We are however unable to support the conduct of clinical trials themselves.

Review process and timeline

Our review process and timeline can be found below for our general grant round. Please note that special purpose grant rounds may have a different process and timeline.

  • EOIs are initially reviewed by members of our RAC;
  • An initial shortlist is made. Full applications are requested from those shortlisted and all EOI applicants are notified in late May to early June;
  • Full applications for shortlisted individuals are due around the end of July, with two referee reports due around mid-August;
  • Full applications are reviewed by our RAC and recommendations are put forward to our Board;
  • Our Board makes funding decisions at its October or November meeting, with announcements to be made in late November.
  • Funding will commence once the standard grant agreements have been executed.

Submitting an EOI or application

The relevant forms for our open grant rounds are available for download below (blue icon and download links). All documents must be submitted via our online submission page.  Uploaded documents should include the surname of the chief investigator in the file name.

You must first complete all fields, upload your form and don’t forget to press submit. Once submitted, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their submission. Please note that closer to our closing date, the volume of researchers submitting their EOIs can lead to slower submission processing and delays in confirmation emails going through. 

Applications and EOIs submitted without using our online submission process may not be considered for support.

Please note, the EOI form will require use of the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Those with additional questions should first review the Frequently Asked Questions section prior to contacting the Foundation.

2020 Grant Rounds

General Grant Round (including Alzheimer’s disease) – next round will open in early 2021

NFMRI seeks EOIs from across Australia for innovative projects covering all diseases and conditions.

As part of our partnership with The Mason Foundation (managed by Equity Trustees), NFMRI also seeks EOIs for projects investigating potential treatments and/or cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Research portfolios two and three only will be considered.  A key aspect of portfolios two and three is accessing external research capability and capacity.

Cystic Fibrosis Grant Round – next round will open in early 2021

Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is partnering with NFMRI to provide research funding specific to cystic fibrosis. The grant(s) will be called the Barbara Stow-Smith CF Innovation Grant, in honour of the Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s first bequest.  Learn more. Preference may be given to portfolios two and three.

All announcements will be made via our newsletter. To find out about future funding opportunities, please subscribe to our newsletter here.