Up to $380M is available from the NHMRC Investigator Grants to support the research program of outstanding investigators at all career stages.


NHMRC Investigator Grants

The NHMRC Investigator Grants scheme aims to support the research program of outstanding investigators at all career stages. It will consolidate separate salary and research support into a single grant scheme by offering a salary component (if required) and a research support package (RSP).



The expected outcomes of the NHMRC Investigator Grants are:

  • flexibility for investigators to pursue important new research directions as they arise and to form collaborations as needed
  • innovative and creative research
  • opportunities for researchers at all career stages to establish their own research programs
  • reduced application and peer review burden on researchers.

To support its objective, the Investigator Grant scheme comprises two categories – Emerging Leadership (EL) and Leadership (L).

The EL Category is restricted to researchers who are ≤10 years post-PhD or equivalent and comprises two salary levels (EL1 and EL2) with corresponding RSPs. Recipients of Emerging Leadership Investigator Grants will have the title “NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow”.

The L Category comprises three salary levels (L1, L2 and L3) with four tiers of RSP (LT1, LT2, LT3 and LT4). The tier of RSP is not tied to the level of salary (refer to section 3). Recipients of Leadership Investigator Grants will have the title “NHMRC Leadership Fellow”.



The provisional funding allocation for the Investigator Grants 2019 grant opportunity is estimated to be between $340 million and $380 million. NHMRC’s Research Committee annually reviews and recommends indicative budget amounts to be awarded across individual funding schemes. Investigator Grants comprise an RSP and a salary component. The salary component of Investigator Grants is provided as a contribution to assist Administering Institutions with employing the successful applicant to conduct the research. However, an Investigator Grant recipient’s total salary is agreed through negotiation between the researcher and their Administering Institution.

The RSP component of Investigator Grants is tiered. The RSP for EL grants is set whereas that for L1-L3 grants depends on the total overall score that an application receives during peer review.



Applications will only be accepted from NHMRC-approved Administering Institutions. A list of NHMRC-approved Administering Institutions and NHMRC’s Administering Institution policy are available on NHMRC’s website.

Applications must satisfy all the requirements set out in the Investigator Grants 2019 Guidelines.

Eligible grant activities and expenditure

  • Funding provided by NHMRC for a research activity must be spent on costs directly incurred in relation to that Research Activity. Further guidance on the expenditure of funding for a Research Activity is provided in the Direct Research Cost Guidelines on the NHMRC website.

Salary support

  • The salary component of an Investigator Grant includes salary and all salary on-costs (including payroll tax, workers compensation, superannuation, leave entitlements) for the grant recipient.

Funding to support overseas grant activities and researchers

  • The RSP component of an Investigator Grant can only be spent on direct costs of research. It must not be used to supplement the salary of the Investigator Grant recipient, but may be used for PSPs to employ research staff.
  • The RSP is for research cost expenditure in Australia. Funding may be used to support specific grant activities to be undertaken overseas if the overseas grant activity is critical to the successful completion of the project, and the equipment/resources required for the grant activity are not available in Australia.



Applications close 6 February 2019.


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