Dollars for a healthy future

2 December 2016

The National Health and Medical Research Council has awarded 601 grants worth more than $483 million.

NHMRC 2016 funding round: click image to view an interactive infographic.


NHMRC major grants 2016: The funding announced on 2 December spreads across four NHMRC funding schemes:

To date, the 2016 NHMRC funding round has delivered 876 competitive grants totalling more than $663 million (another $40 million were awarded in NHMRC non-competitive grants).

The funding includes $451 million for 539 Project Grants, the NHMRC's largest individual funding scheme.

Across institutions, Monash University won most Project Grants, followed by Melbourne University and then the University of Sydney.

The grants were selected at an overall rate of 15.2%, up 1.5% from 2015 when 516 projects were awarded $420 million.

But as in previous years, the rate of success varied significantly between the states (and territories).

For example, Project Grant applications from Victoria - Australia's stronghold in medical science - had a success rate of 18.2%, while applications from smaller states were notably less likely to receive funding (Western Australia: 12.7%; South Australia: 11.2%; and Tasmania: 9.8%).

A reason for this may be that the NHMRC selection is biased towards projects that are supported by larger networks of researchers and organisations, which may be more difficult to establish in the smaller states.

But a low success rate can be offset by submitting more applications.

For example, applications from South Australia researchers were less likely to be selected than from Western Australia, yet South Australia won more grants overall. In fact, if population size is taken into account, South Australia was the second best performing state in attracting funding (see infographic).

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