Our current legislative basis is the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992  (NHMRC Act). We are responsible to the Commonwealth Minister for Health.

NHMRC's functions come from the statutory obligations conferred by the NHMRC Act. The Act provides for the NHMRC to pursue activities designed to:

  • raise the standard of individual and public health throughout Australia;
  • foster the development of consistent health standards between the various States and Territories;
  • foster medical research and training and public health research and training throughout Australia ; and
  • foster consideration of ethical issues relating to health.

Other legislation, governance and administrative structure

NHMRC became an independent statutory agency within the Health and Ageing portfolio on 1 July 2006. This change brought with it an amended NHMRC Act that defines the NHMRC as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Council and committees, and the staff of NHMRC.

NHMRC also has responsibilities under the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 including the development and implementation of a program for reviewing and enhancing relevant guidelines, and the provision of administrative improvements in the licensing process.

Other than its functions as set out in the NHMRC Act, as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, NHMRC is also bound by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), the Public Service Act 1999, and other legislation and regulations as determined by the Public Service Commission.

NHMRC submissions to inquiries and reviews


Committee details Appearance date to present evidence NHMRC submission documents

Senate Community Affairs References Committee (Science of Mitochondrial Donation and Related Matters)

17 May 2018, Canberra

Submission 04

Senate Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia

4 September 2018, Melbourne

Submission 116

Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education

7 September 2018, Canberra

Submission 27

House of Representatives Inquiry into Biotoxin-related Illnesses in Australia

NHMRC appearance included with Department of Health on 12 September 2018, Canberra

NHMRC input provided in submission 56

Select Committee into the use of the Quinoline anti-malarial drugs Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in the Australian Defence Force

11 October 2018, Canberra




Committee details Appearance date to present evidence NHMRC submission documents

Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates

17 May 2017, Sydney

29 August 2017, Canberra

Submission 87

House of Representatives Inquiry into the Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia

8 September 2017, Canberra

Submission 167

Senate Committee into the current and future impacts of climate change on housing, buildings and infrastructure


Submission 18



Committee details Appearance date to present evidence NHMRC submission documents

Senate Committee on Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Prohibition of Live Imports of Primates for Research) Bill 2015

5 February 2016, Canberra

Submission 59

Joint Select committee on Trade and Investment Growth’s Inquiry into Australia’s Future in Research and Innovation

17 March 2016, Canberra Submission 52

Senate Committee on Growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for many Australian patients

20 April 2016, Canberra N/A


File type
0.02 MB
pdf / 0.02 MB Download