The objective of the Ideas Grant scheme is to support innovative research projects addressing a specific question(s).

Ideas Grants 2020 is now open for applications in Sapphire. The key dates for the 2020 Ideas Grants Scheme round have been extended. Please see the ‘Key Dates’ pane on this web page for revised dates, and the following pages for more information of the extended application period:

The expected outcomes are:

  • innovative and creative research
  • funding of researchers at all career stages, and
  • funding any area of health and medical research from discovery to implementation.

The scheme will provide particular opportunities for early and mid-career researchers. It is expected that the CIA will have the capability to lead the team in achieving the project aims. 

Only applications that address the intended objective and outcomes will be competitive for funding. The Ideas Grant scheme is not intended to support research where a clinical trial or cohort study is the primary objective. Applicants conducting projects which incorporate elements of clinical trial and/or cohort study must consider whether the project goals are more applicable to the Ideas Grant or Clinical Trials and Cohort Grant schemes. 

Applicants should also anticipate a high level of interest in this grant opportunity and it is expected to be highly competitive. Applications should be carefully scrutinised within the Administering Institution prior to submission to NHMRC to ensure that the application will have the best chance to be considered favourably during NHMRC peer review.

Resources are available to assist you in navigating Sapphire, including help, how-to videos and access to the Research Help Centre.

Funding Support

Ideas Grants may be funded by or in conjunction with other organisations. These grants offer opportunities to researchers whose work is particularly relevant to the priorities and research interests of the partner organisations. 

Information on how organisations and individuals can support NHMRC to fund health and medical research is available on the NHMRC website.

Details of partner organisations providing funding support for the current funding round is available on Grant Connect.

Peer Review of Ideas Grants

  • Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Ideas Grants peer review process has been streamlined for the 2020 round. Further information on the changes to peer review for Ideas Grants is available on the NHMRC website.
  • Applications to the Ideas Grants 2020 opportunity will be assessed in accordance with the assessment criteria set out in the Grant Guidelines (available on GrantConnect). The category descriptors are also provided within the Grant Guidelines.
  • Ideas Grants 2020 Peer Review Guidelines - available soon 
  • Please note that the Ideas Grant Peer Review process is subject to change without notice. NHMRC will endeavour to notify affected parties should circumstances change unexpectedly.

Level of funding

The amount of funding for an Ideas Grant will be based on assessment of the requested budget. Refer to the Grant Guidelines.

Grant at a glance

Duration of funding
1-5 years

Outcomes of funding rounds

Before you submit an application, please make sure you have:


Grant submission advice

Read all relevant reference material

GrantConnect GO Documents


Liaise with your Administering Institution

to identify any specific requirements that the institution may have


Ensure your application is complete and correct.