Key dates for NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2020 (for funding in 2021)

  • Release of Funding Rules: 4 March 2020
  • Proposals open in Sapphire: 4 March 2020
  • UQ Research and Innovation (UQ R&I) Notice of Intent (NOI) close: 21 October 2020
  • UQ Research and Innovation (UQ R&I) information session: TBA
  • Minimum data requirements in Sapphire: 4 November 2020
  • Applications due to UQ R&I: 04 November 2020
  • Applications close with NHMRC: 25 November 2020
  • ​Proposed peer review: February-April 2021


The objective of the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies scheme is to support high-quality clinical trials and cohort studies that address important gaps in knowledge, leading to relevant and implementable findings for the benefit of human health. Teams of up to 10 Chief Investigators may seek funding for up to five years. Laboratory-based research or mechanistic studies that are not clinical trials or cohort studies should be directed to other grant opportunities, such as the NHMRC’s Ideas Grant Scheme. 

How to apply

Step 1. Internal notice of intent process

All researchers intending to submit an NHMRC CTCS Grant 2020 for funding in 2021 are required to submit an internal Notice of Intent. NOIs will be collated centrally and distributed to Faculties and Institutes in order to provide maximum support to the UQ research community.

Step 2. Sapphire updates and scheme reading

  • Register for Sapphire and update your full profile 'My Profile and CV'. NHMRC has announced that the 2020 Synergy Grants round will be run in their new grants management system, Sapphire, which replaces RGMS. If any team members are new to Sapphire and need a login/password, start early.
  • Familiarise yourself with the key National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and The University of Queensland (UQ) documentation.

Step 3. Completing the application

Step 4. UQ R&I internal review and feedback

  • Ahead of internal review, ensure all online components are complete/valid in Sapphire and save your application.
  • To initiate internal review, email your completed Funding Coversheet to UQ R&I at
  • Also provide completed UQ Certification Proforma.
  • Internal review by UQ R&I/feedback provided (compliance/eligibility/grantsmanship).

Step 5. Final submission

  • Final submission by UQ R&I to NHMRC.

Readership and researcher support

Before applying, we recommend you:

Key documents


The NHMRC documentation will be available from GrantConnect, the Australian Government grants information system. You need to be a GrantConnect registered user to download the NHMRC Synergy Grants documentation prior to starting your application in Sapphire.

Funding Partners