Up to $50M is available from Synergy Grants to support investigators to work together to answer questions that cannot be answered by a single investigator.


NHMRC Synergy Grants 2019

Synergy Grants support outstanding multidisciplinary teams of investigators to work together to answer major research questions, that cannot be answered by a single investigator.



NHMRC is the Australian Government’s key entity for managing investment in, and integrity of, health and medical research. The Synergy Grant scheme is a component of the Portfolio Budget Statement Program 1.1: Health and Medical Research, which contributes to Outcome 1: Improved health and medical knowledge. NHMRC works with stakeholders to plan and design the grant program according to the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 (NHMRC Act) and the CGRGs.

NHMRC awards grants through several research funding schemes to advance health and medical knowledge and to improve the health status of all Australians. NHMRC invests in the highest quality research and researchers, as determined through peer review, across the four pillars of health and medical research: biomedical, clinical, public health and health services research.

The expected outcomes are:

  • multidisciplinary research that addresses major problems in all areas of human health and medical research, from discovery to translation
  • highly collaborative teams of diverse researchers including by gender, career stage and cultural background, working together to address major problems in human health.



The provisional funding allocation for the Synergy Grants 2019 grant opportunity is estimated to be up to $50 million. NHMRC’s Research Committee annually reviews and recommends indicative budget amounts to be awarded across individual funding schemes.

A Synergy Grant provides a total budget of $5 million, paid evenly over the grant period.


Eligible Projects

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. The application does not require inclusion of a research budget.

Salary support

Synergy Grants do not include a salary component as the CIs’ salaries are normally funded otherwise. However, where required the grant money can be used to fund a CI’s salary if the CI is employed by an NHMRC Approved Administering Institution based in Australia. The salary must be based on Personnel Support Packages. Funds cannot be used to provide salary support for AIs.

Funding to support overseas grant activities and researchers

Synergy Grants 2019 funds are 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.

Duplicate funding

NHMRC may compare the research proposed in grant applications with grants previously funded, currently funded, and funded by other agencies (e.g. Australian Research Council or Department of Health) and published research. NHMRC will not fund research that it considers duplicates research that previously has been or currently is being funded.

Where NHMRC believes that a CI has submitted similar research proposals to NHMRC and has been successful with more than one application, the CI may be required to provide NHMRC with a written report clearly identifying the difference between the research aims of the research activities. If NHMRC subsequently does not consider the research activities to be sufficiently different, the applicant will be required to decline or relinquish one of the grants.


Eligible Applicants

The minimum number of Chief Investigators (CIs) allowed on a Synergy Grants 2019 application is four and the maximum number is 10 (CIA – CIJ).

Chief Investigator ‘A’ (CIA)

At the time of acceptance and for the duration of a grant the CIA must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia or have an appropriate work visa in place. The CIA must also be based in Australia for at least 80% of the Funding Period; the other CIs may be international collaborators.

Chief Investigators

The role and contribution of each CI must be described in the grant application. PhD students may be named as CIs in exceptional circumstances where the PhD student is critical for the successful completion of the proposed research. CIs are expected to remain active on the Research Activity as outlined in the application for the duration of the grant.

Associate Investigators

An Associate Investigator (AI) is defined as an investigator who provides some intellectual and/or practical input into the research and whose participation may warrant inclusion of their name on any outputs (e.g. publications). Note that AIs are not considered as part of the assessment against the Synergy and Track Record criteria. A maximum number of 10 AIs may be listed on an application.



Applications close 1 May 2019.


More Information