A guide to applicants for Project Grants


*Please read these notes carefully before completing your application*



The Auckland Medical Research Foundation’s (AMRF) vision is to improve the health and quality of life for all New Zealanders. We aim to achieve this by providing genuine advances in health, science and medicine through funding the highest quality medical research of all kinds.


Funding area

The AMRF’s research funding area is limited to all recognised tertiary institutions, district health boards (DHBs) and Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) with sites in the greater Auckland and Northland region of New Zealand. The principal investigator/grant holder must be affiliated with a host institution within this area, and the majority of work should be undertaken within this area, but co-applicants can come from, and part of the research can be performed, outside our catchment area - either nationally or internationally.


How to apply

Use the on-line application form provided, after first creating an account.

* The application must be created and submitted from the PI's portal account.

* Once a round is closed, it is not possible to change ownership of the application from one named investigator to another (unless there are exceptional circumstances).


Purpose of the grant

To fund biomedical, clinical or population health research projects.


Value of grant

Maximum value is $180,000.


Tenue of grant

Maximum tenure is 2 years.


Number of grants awarded

Approximately 20 depending on the available funds and quality of applications.



* The PI must have tenure, or an employment contract for the term of the grant requested. If the PI's current contract does not cover the term of the grant, they should submit a letter of support from the host institution stating that if successful, they will be offered a contract for the duration of the new grant.

* An individual can be named on up to two applications within any one grant round, either as a PI on one application and a co-applicant on another, or as a co-applicant on up to two applications.

* It is an expectation of the AMRF that an individual may only be a PI on one active Project grant at a time. The individual may also be a co-applicant on one or more active grants at the same time.

* The AMRF only accepts one resubmission of a previously unsuccessful project grant application. It is an expectation that the applicant addresses all concerns raised by the referees and medical committee in their re-submission. An applicant who has been unsuccessful twice can submit further proposals in their chosen field of research, but it will need to be based on a new or substantially revised hypothesis.

* The start date of the project must be after the decision date of that round. Please check the grant rounds dates (including the decision date) on the How to Apply page on our website.

* The AMRF views applications that request direct top up funding of larger awarded grants from other funding agencies as a low priority unless the applicant can demonstrate that the AMRF proposal is using data obtained in the larger study to undertake further research. This new body of research in the AMRF application needs to stand alone and be readily identifiable as a project funded by the AMRF. The AMRF will consider joint funding on new applications.


Writing guidelines

* When you write your application, please remember that your research proposal will be reviewed by both discipline-specific referees and also by members of the Medical Committee with a broad range of experience in health research. Please structure your proposal in a clear and succinct way and if possible seek feedback from a colleague outside your immediate research area.

* *CV*: Please use the standard New Zealand MSI Curriculum Vitae template. This can be downloaded from the link within the application form. Each applicant should complete only Parts 1 and 2a, include no more than five pages in total, and list references only from the last five years.

* *Animal experimentation*: If the research involves the use of laboratory animals, the AMRF strongly recommends that you familiarise yourself with the ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments). Not all the guidelines may be relevant to your project, but you can use them to ensure that you plan your experimental design carefully and include all the relevant information in your application(s) crucial to the peer review process at the application stage, as well as providing all the experimental details, results and analysis required for publications that arise from the work.

* *Sex as a biological variable*: The AMRF supports the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s expectation that scientists will account for the possible role of sex as a biological variable (SABV) in vertebrate animal and human studies (or any material originating from animals or humans, e.g. organs, cells, tissues). The AMRF recommends that you familiarise yourself with the SABV policy. Strong justification from the scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations must be provided for applications proposing to study only one sex. Additional useful information can be found within the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines, which are a comprehensive set of guidelines for reporting of sex and gender information in study design, data analyses, results and interpretation of findings. Not all the guidelines may be relevant to your project, but you can use them to ensure that you plan your experimental design carefully and include all the relevant information in your application(s) crucial to the peer review process at the application stage, as well as providing all the experimental details, results and analysis required for publications that arise from the work.

* *Clinical Trials*: *General*

1. You are strongly encouraged to review both the SPIRIT 2013 Statement (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials) and the CONSORT 2010 Statement (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) prior to designing your trial and writing your application.

2. You must clearly define the research question that is being addressed

3. You must clearly address the NZ specific health significance

4. You must clearly address the impact on clinical care in New Zealand

5. You must clearly identify the roles, responsibilities and time commitment of all team members

6. Please clearly justify each entry in the budget table.

* *Clinical Trials*: *If your application is to fund the Auckland arm of a multi-centre/national/international trial you must also address the following:*

1. Provide clear information about the status of all sources of funding and whether the proposal is dependent on national or international funding

2. Clearly identify the total number of participants in the whole trial, then the number of patients recruited for this arm of the trial and provide costs only associated with this arm of the trial

3. Clearly define the specific role of the Auckland/NZ investigator(s), and identify any Auckland/NZ-led trial components.

* *Clinical Trials*: *The AMRF will not fund:*

1. The Auckland arm of a study where the investigators have had no role in the design of the main trial

2. Overheads

3. A trial where the standard of care arm is not available or funded by Pharmac in New Zealand.


Budget guidelines

* Project grant applications should follow a guideline of only requesting up to $90,000 per annum for the two year period of the grant, unless clear justification for exceeding this annual limit is provided.

* Project grant applications should follow a guideline of only requesting up to $25,000 per annum of working expenses, unless clear justification for exceeding this annual limit is provided.

* Where a grant is awarded that incurs high costs in a reduced time frame (for example 1 year or 1.5 years) because the limit of grant funding has been reached, the PI will not be eligible to hold another active grant until the standard project duration of 2 years (or an appropriate length of time determined by the AMRF) has elapsed from the start date.

* If salary costs are being requested for a named person or persons and they are critical to the success of the project, then they must be included in the project team and their CV(s) must be provided. This is highly relevant to postdoctoral research fellows, but may also apply to others.

* The AMRF's policy is to pay the salary that staff, technical or other, would receive if they were employed by the Host Institution. It is essential to quote the correct salary rate and grading. Applicants must accommodate salary increases within their budget and should adjust salaries to include anticipated increases due to the annual rate of inflation (we recommend a minimum of 3% p.a., but please check with your host institution for the correct value). The AMRF will not cover unbudgeted salary increases.

* Please ensure you set the correct ACC levy for your host institution.

* Please include or leave empty Kiwisaver/superannuation as appropriate.

* The AMRF will only cover the salary/salaries of the PI and/or co-applicant(s) who are dependent on them securing some or all of their salary from external funding agencies (so called “soft” or "external" funding). Where an applicant has secured partial funding from their host institution or another funding agency, the AMRF will cover the remaining salary up to 1 FTE. If partial salary support is requested then full disclosure of their research/employment activities and source of funding for the remaining fraction of the FTE is required. Where salary is requested, for each person you must provide information about what percentage of that person's salary is provided for by the host institution and what percentage is dependent on external funding.

* Requests for items of equipment (maximum value $5,000) should include a justification for the equipment and a quotation. Items under a value of $2,000 should be classed as consumables.

* The AMRF will allow costs of domestic travel where this is a key element of the project.

* Provision may be included for reasonable expenses of appointment of essential staff.


The AMRF will not fund

* Any element of overhead recovery, including salary buyout.

* Costs of rental accommodation, heating, lighting and what might be termed the usual office facilities and accessories.

* Computers.

* Major items of equipment costing more than $5,000.

* Costs of attending conferences either within NZ or overseas. Travel to conferences to report on the research must be applied for separately through a Travel Grant application.

* The AMRF will not accept project grant applications from undergraduate or postgraduate students (honours, Masters, PhD or MD students). PhD or MD students (not undergraduate, honours or Masters) can be named as a co-applicant, but cannot be a PI or co-PI.

* Project grants are not available for the support of Masters or PhD stipends. (Support for PhD candidates is available through the AMRF Doctoral Scholarship Programme).

* The AMRF does not provide retrospective funding.


Regulatory approval

* Experimentation or questionnaires involving human subjects requires approval from an HRC accredited ethics committee. Experimentation with animals requires approval from a registered animal ethics committee. Either attach the approval(s) to the application, or indicate that approval is being sought.

* All appropriate regulatory approvals must be in place before the grant can be activated.

* If the project involves a clinical trial, please indicate if the trail is registered and with which clinical trial registry. Please also provide details of your data safety monitoring committee if applicable.

* Applications will not be considered unless the Applicant Agreement is completed.


Publicity declaration

The AMRF is supported by private donations and therefore has an obligation through the news media, and its own newsletters to members and supporters, to report research that it supports. By becoming a recipient of an AMRF grant, you automatically agree to the mention of your name to media and stakeholders.

The AMRF raises awareness of its aims with the general public, by inviting AMRF funded researchers to discuss their research with local interest groups (Rotary, U3A etc). By becoming a recipient of an AMRF grant, you automatically agree to be included on a list of available guest speakers.


Submission procedure

Log into the AMRF Portal at funding.medicalresearch.org.nz and create a new application. Ensure all the required details are entered and all necessary documents have been attached.

Clicking ‘Submit’ on your application form sends it to your host institution. They will then complete their requirements, before officially submitting it to the AMRF. Your host institution compliance process takes time so please adhere to internal deadlines to ensure your application reaches the AMRF by 5 pm on the closing date.

Please refer to the _Application process_ help page for details of what happens to your submitted application.

Additional information can be found in the Grant Proposal template.


Our contact details

EMAIL ADDRESS[mailto:amrf@medicalresearch.org.nz,amrf@medicalresearch.org.nz]

POSTAL ADDRESSResearch Programme Manager

Auckland Medical Research Foundation

P O Box 110139

Auckland Hospital

Auckland 1148

TELEPHONE+64 9 923 1701
COURIERThird Floor, 81 Grafton Road
Auckland 1010

If you can't find the information you need, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to send an inquiry to the Auckland Medical Research Foundation.

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