Up to $150,000 is available from the National Blood Sector R&D Program to support world-class R&D that contributes to optimising the use of blood products, and improve patient outcomes.

National Blood Sector R&D Program

National Blood Sector R&D Program

The National Blood Sector Research and Development (R&D) Program forms an important component of the National Blood Authority’s blood sector research and development framework and aims to facilitate world-class research and development in Australia that contributes to optimising the use, management and administration of blood products, and improve patient outcomes.



In December 2011, the Jurisdictional Blood Committee (JBC) agreed to the development of a strategy to promote blood sector specific research. In 2013, the National Blood Research and Development Strategic Priorities 2013-2016 (Version 4.1, 5 March 2013) were published on the National Blood Authority (NBA) website following broad consultation and stakeholder input.

During 2014 and 2015 a two-step business case for a blood sector specific research and development framework was completed, and JBC endorsement was obtained for a Pilot to inform the development of a National Blood Sector Research and Development Program.

The Program is focussed on research areas that have been identified by pre-existing strategic programs of the National Blood Authority and governments in the blood sector. They are:

  • Patient Blood Management  evidence gaps, as identified in the National Blood Authority’s Patient Blood Management Guidelines, and
  • efficient and effective use of immunoglobulin products, as highlighted through the Immunoglobulin Governance Program.



The objectives of the National Blood Sector Research and Development Framework are to:

  • Enhance the sustainability and affordability of the national supply of blood products, including through increased efficiency and reduced blood product usage and wastage
  • Identify appropriate use and reduce inappropriate use of blood products
  • Maintain or enhance clinical outcomes for patients

by providing evidence or new knowledge to:

  • Understand the biological action of blood products
  • Identify optimum treatment, dosing or indications for use for blood products, and
  • Compare the use of blood products with alternative strategies and treatments.

It is proposed that pursuing these objectives will enhance opportunities for blood sector specific research and build research capacity through:

  • Encouraging priority-driven research related to the use and management of blood products
  • Funding research aimed at addressing gaps in evidence, including where that will inform policy development and program implementation
  • Fostering collaboration between researchers and other stakeholders to build Australia’s research capacity  relating to the use and management of blood products
  • Facilitating translation of research to improve patient outcomes and cost effectiveness.

The continuous improvement objectives of the Program are to:

  • Confirm that a potential blood sector specific Research and Development Program will be able to deliver on its stated objectives
  • Develop and test administrative processes to support various research components, including potential Program documentation and promotion, application rounds, evaluation of applications, funding of projects, and contract management and reporting
  • Develop and test governance processes for oversight of research application and funding programs.



Grants are offered under three categories as outlined below:

Project Grants, typically $30,000 to $150,000 per year to be expended over a period of up to three years. Applications should be for an entire, discrete research project proposal.

Seed Grants, typically under $50,000 to be expended over one year.  Applications for seed funding should be for early stages of innovative new research, or for effort generation of preliminary data needed to support future grant applications.

Scholarships, typically $25,000 to $30,000 to be expended over one year.  Scholarship grants are intended to support medical researchers in the attainment of a PhD or Master’s degree or postdoctoral research fellow research.



A Grant Recipient must be a legal entity and have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company
Number (ACN) to receive funding under the program.

Grant Recipients must be listed on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) as an Administering Institution.

Project and Seed Grants require the Principal Chief Investigator to be an Australian Citizen or a Permanent Australian Resident. It is required that, at the time of submitting an application and for the duration of a grant, that Scholarship grant recipients must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia, or a New Zealand citizen with Special Category Visa (subclass 444) status.

The National Blood Authority may waive this requirement where it can be demonstrated that the research is based in Australia and will benefit health and medical research in Australia.

Administering Institutions are responsible for certifying and ensuring that these requirements are met. The National
Blood Authority may request further information in relation to these requirements, including evidence of residency and/or citizenship.

Applicants are required to provide information on all current grants and concurrent grant applications.

Applicants and Administering Institutions are required to indicate their full or partial agreement with the draft Grant Funding Agreement. Scholarship applicants are also required to complete a Scholar Acknowledgement form if

The NBA must be assured that the funding request is unique to the research requirements contained within the submitted application. Salaries from concurrent grants should not exceed an individual’s full time salary.

For Project grants, funding will only be provided for direct research costs. The principles below should be applied to
determine if a cost is a ‘Direct Research Cost’.

  • The cost must be integral to achieving the objectives and outcomes of the Research Activity as set out in the Application for Funding for that Research Activity;
  • The cost must be directly related to the grant proposal as set out in the Application for Funding for that Research Activity; and
  • The cost must not be for a facility or an administrative cost that would be provided by an institution in the normal course of undertaking and supporting health and medical research.



Applications close 1 June 2018.


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