The Hospital Research Foundation Group proudly supports researchers and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to finding new ways to diagnose, treat and cure disease and illness.
About The Hospital Research Foundation Group
The Hospital Research Foundation Group is an independent, profit-for-purpose organisation. Our ability to provide grants each year is determined by the success of our fundraising activities and money raised through The Hospital Research Foundation Group Home Lottery.
Thanks to this generous support from the community, we have become South Australia’s largest non-government funder of medical research and patient care, investing more than $30 million last year alone.
We support medical research through a variety of both competitive and strategic grants.
Our competitive grant rounds span a range of focus areas targeting unmet needs in the community. Open competitive rounds can be found atCurrent Opportunities and preliminary details of anticipated future rounds can be found atUpcoming Grants.
The THRF Group Board or CEO may also make strategic grants available through local health networks or research organisations in areas ofneedto benefit the health and wellbeing of the community.
Applying for a grant
Competitive grant rounds are announced on our website and typically involve a three-stage application process:
Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
Stage 2: Full application (by invitation based on EOI assessment)
Stage 3: Further information/interview may be requested from applicant or Administering Institution.
Stage 1 and 2 submissions are managedonline via SmartyGrants. See Frequently Asked Questionsfor the answers to common queries regarding the application process.
To receive an email notification when new competitive grant rounds are announced, register below.
Managing awarded funding
Grants are provided via a funding agreementwith the Administering Institution which describes the purpose and duration for which funding is being provided, how it should be expended, project reporting obligations, and many other things. Regular reporting ensures we have the best opportunity to show the impact of THRF Group–funded research andengage continuing community support in the fight for better health and well-being.
See Frequently Asked Questions below for answers to common queries regarding management of grants and the reporting process.
For information about requesting extensions or other variations to active grants and scholarships, please refer to our Variation Request Guidance.
Regular financial statements and acquittals from the Administering Institution will also be required for awarded projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Preparing a Submission
Yes, you may apply but you will need to make a case that your research experience is equivalent to that of a PhD or Masters by Research. Please provide evidence (for example, research project experience, publication record, clinical trials, research team leadership, and so on) for your claims of equivalence in the Biosketch.
No, students currently enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research are not eligible to apply as a Chief Investigator (CI). However, if suitable, you could be listed as an Associate Investigator or collaborator on the proposal.
Salary support may be requested for CIs and/or any other project staff as long as the request is well justified in terms of need and cost and is commensurate to the role the person will play in the project. Salary support may be requested for collaborating Associate Investigators, noting that such requests must be very well-justified.
All salary support requests must include statutory on-costs, such as leave accruals and the superannuation guarantee contribution. Such on-costs are limited to a maximum 30% of the base salary request. Applicants must verify the employing institution’s rate of on-costs before finalising budgets in the application form.
Please note that salary requests are considered carefully during assessment and may not be supported.
A unit is an item. Multiple units of the same equipment (e.g. VR headsets, iPads, specialised sensors etc.) may be requested as long as the per unit cost is less than the stipulated limit, and fits within the scheme’s overall funding envelope. Likewise, a modular system with several parts to be used together (e.g. a digital camera and a microscope for sample imaging) is allowable as long as each module is valued at under the limit.
The first-named Chief Investigator (CIA) is considered the Project Leader. As such, they bear the primary responsibility for the project and should be making a significant commitment of time and intellectual input to ensure its success. Other named CIs should provide a meaningful (intellectual; technical and/or operational) contribution to the successful delivery of the project, commensurate to their specific role. A description of the CI role/s is needed at both EOI and Full Application stages. In terms of time commitment, it is suggested researchers contributing less than 0.1 FTE may be more appropriately listed as Associate Investigators or collaborators.
Unless otherwise indicated in the relevant Guidelines, the CIA must hold a position within an eligible South Australian health and medical research provider. Other CIs may be from an interstate or international organisation.
No. Please ask your institution’s Research Office if they can share past successful applications with you.
The EOI should be written in plain English with sub-headings for Unmet Need, Project Outline and Outcomes & Impact. It is important to make your EOI easily understandable, and we suggest you avoid technical jargon – it may not be reviewed by an expert in your particular field.
Successful EOIs address each of these areas with appropriate information, describing and evaluating an unmet need in clinical practice and patient care; how that need will be addressed with the research you are proposing to conduct; and if the research is successful, what outcomes and impact the research findings could or will have on clinical practice and patient care. A well-articulated pathway to impact is an essential component of a successful EOI. Numbers, statistics and careful referencing will help you make your case for need and impact. Consumer engagement is encouraged.
We strongly recommend that the wording and weighting of assessment criteria be taken into consideration when preparing your EOI. Please note that different competitive rounds may have different assessment criteria wording and weightings, so read the relevant Guidelines closely.
Please also note that THRF Group’s mission and objectives as a community-centred charity are different from those of the NHMRC, so a “cut-and-paste” from your latest “near-miss” NHMRC application is no guarantee of success!
Yes. THRF Group is open to funding research across all stages of the translation pathway, from advancement of knowledge to “on-the-ground” healthcare implementation. However, proposals need to have a clearly articulated impact pathway that identifies and describes the next steps needed to address the identified unmet need.
No. THRF Group has moved to making specific and targeted calls for research that reflect the wishes of our supporters and align with our mission. EOIs which do not clearly align with the round Guidelines are unlikely to progress or be funded. Please read the relevant funding round Guidelines carefully before applying.
CIAs with more than one formal appointment must nominate only one of the eligible health and medical research provider organisations to be the Administering Institution (AI) – this should be the organisation which can agree to the time commitment of the CIA and ensure provision of the general facilities necessary for the project’s conduct. This normally means the CIA’s principal employing organisation will be the AI.
Please see Document Templates above.
Applicants are required to provide CI Biosketches and AI endorsements on the prescribed templates. For advice regarding the appropriate authorised delegate(s) and processes for arranging AI endorsement, please contact the Research Office at your institution.
No. THRF Group grant funding is awarded for the specific purpose detailed in a (successful) full application.
Should CIs wish to materially change the funding purpose (e.g. by pursuing a research direction different from the original research plan) they must immediately contact their institution’s Research Office to liaise with THRF Group about the potential for variation. Until a variation has been approved in writing between THRF Group and the Administering Institution, the existing project budget and timelines for expenditure must be adhered to.
If funding is used for purposes not approved by THRF Group (whether in relation to the original research plan or any subsequent approved variation), then THRF Group will suspend or terminate the project and may reclaim the project funds.
Not necessarily. THRF Group encourages interdisciplinarity and is keen to see the inclusion of researchers from other areas, such as the humanities or engineering, when their skills are integral to the success of the proposed research.
There is (currently) no formal limit, but investigator capacity is a factor in assessment of both feasibility and project team capability.
No – such requests will not be entertained. However, THRF Group does reserve the right to vary the closing date for a round in extraordinary circumstances, e.g. force majeure events such as natural disasters.
Managing Awarded Funding and Reporting
All publications must acknowledge THRF Group’s contribution to the project. A standard publication acknowledgement will suffice, such as: This work was supported by research grants from The Hospital Research Foundation Group.
For guidance on your obligations to acknowledge THRF Group via other dissemination channels, including in public announcements and public presentation of the research, please refer to your funding agreement in the first instance. If you are unsure or have any queries, please email [email protected].
You will report in SmartyGrants against the agreed milestones (normally found within the funding agreement) every 6 months and at the completion of the research project, with a follow-up report due 12 months after completion. The Administering Institution will need to certify each report, as well as provide regular financial statements of grant expenditure.
For projects awarded from 2020 and thereafter, the reporting schedule for your project is available in your funding agreement. If you are unsure or have any queries, please email [email protected].
The notification that a report is open and any subsequent reminders will be sent to the designated SmartyGrants user for the project. The report will usually be opened for submission a month before the due date.
Please see Document Templates above.
If the report is being submitted by a HDR student, please use the HDR version of the form.
Failure to complete the certification form properly will see it returned to you for resubmission. Your report will not be accepted, nor any extension requests considered, until appropriate report certification is provided.
Instructions are provided on the certification template. Please read these carefully.
The Head of Academic/Organisational Unit is the person who manages the Unit (Department/Branch/School/College) that employs the CIA (or Primary Supervisor, if a HDR student is reporting) at the Administering Institution. If the CIA/Primary Supervisor is Head of the relevant Unit, this form must be signed by the person with line management responsibility for the CIA/Primary Supervisor.
The Administering Institution Certification is commonly sought by contacting the Research Office (or the area responsible for graduate research, if a HDR student is reporting) at the AI. If the AI is a university, the signatory is most likely the DVCR or one of their authorised delegates. At a Local Health Network (e.g. CALHN) it is likely to be the CEO or one of their authorised delegates. In all other cases, it should be the person with authority to sign legal research documents at the AI.
A copy of the report that you intend to submit should be provided when seeking sign-off by your organisation. (A pdf of the report can be downloaded from SmartyGrants.) Please allow enough time within your organisation to enable sign-off before the due date for submission.
No. Reports will only be accepted via SmartyGrants, even for projects not originally applied for via SmartyGrants. You are still welcome to share timely news with us by email as we are always happy to hear from you, but the formal reports must be submitted via SmartyGrants.
All reports are reviewed with interest. The primary purposes of reporting are to:
monitor the timeliness of progress against milestones. Projects that are delayed and likely to extend beyond the anticipated end date, as defined in the funding agreement, will need to be varied to enable funds to be expended beyond that date.
communicate highlights of the research that might be of interest to our supporters and the broader community. In such cases, THRF Group’s Communications team may follow up with you and your AI.
The reports are held on SmartyGrants and used as a point of future reference for the THRF Group grants team, including in the consideration of any requests for extension or other variation.
As soon as possible. However, in the first instance please contact your Research Office to act as liaison point for these discussions. THRF Group will consider all reasonable and well-justified requests, but these need to be certified/endorsed by the AI.
The funding agreement is a legal instrument signed by THRF Group and your AI that describes the purpose and duration for which funding is being provided, how it should be expended, project reporting obligations, and many other things. It is an important document ─ if you do not have a copy, please request one from your Research Office.
IMPORTANT: SmartyGrants is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Use another bowser (e.g. Google Chrome) and save your progress every 10 to 15 minutes. The system will log you out automatically after 60 minutes if you have not saved your progress or navigated through pages.
Please contact the THRF Group Research Office at [email protected] with your new email address.
Log in to SmartyGrants and click on “My Submissions”. The first section of the page will display the “Forms in Progress”.
The project ID number and Form name should match with the information provided in the email you received announcing the report is open.
After logging in, go to “My Submissions”. In the “Submitted Forms” section, look for the project ID number of the application you are looking for.
Under the project ID number is every form that has been submitted in relation to the project. Just click on the relevant form. See example here.
Only one person can be the assigned “user” for a project in SmartyGrants and have access to the forms associated with it. If you wish to change the user for a project, please provide the name, employing organisation and email address of the new user to us via [email protected]. Both you and the new user will receive a confirmation email once the access has been swapped.
Please note: THRF Group expects the CIA of a project to oversee report submission and grant management, even if they are not the designated SmartyGrants user. It is the CIA’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of all information provided and that the report is submitted on time.
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