How to apply

We employ a 2-stage application process.

The first stage is the Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI form must be downloaded from this website (see Downloads). The EOI requires interested researchers to submit a high-level summary of your project. You will have approx. 6 weeks to do this. We will review all EOIs in order to select those that are of the most interest and then invite those applicants to submit a full grant application. EOI applicants who are not selected will be advised promptly of our decision.

In the second stage, successful EOI applicants will be emailed a grant application form. Applicants will have 6 weeks in which to submit their application.

Please read the Annual Grants Program guidelines (see Downloads) before applying.

Timetable 2019 

18 March Expressions of interest (EOI) for Defence Health Foundation Research Grants opened
3 May EOIs closed
W/C 27 May Results of EOIs advised
W/C 27 May Applications for grants from successful EOI applicants opened
12 July Applications for grants closed
Jul-Sep Grant applications reviewed and assessed
October Foundation Board reviews and approved grants to be awarded
November All applicants notified of outcome
1st Qtr 2020 Grant funding distribution commences
1st Qtr 2020 2020 timetable to be advised late February 2020


  • Who can apply for a grant?

    To be eligible for a grant, you must meet all the following criteria, at the time of application:

    • You must be the chief investigator on the proposed research project that forms the basis of the application.
    • As chief investigator, you and your team must be Australian citizens or permanent residents; or New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category Visa. Applicants who have applied for (but not yet granted) permanent residency or a Special Category Visa may apply for a grant. Evidence of the appropriate status must be provided before the commencement of a grant.
    • You must have made arrangements with the head of department of the university or institute in which you propose to conduct the research to ensure fundamental infrastructure is available to conduct the research within that department.
    • You must have several years of research experience. It is desirable (but not essential) that you hold a post graduate degree, such as PhD or Masters.
  • What are the priority funding areas?

    Each year we publish the priority areas for the current round of grants on our website.  All applications that fit within our priority areas will be considered.

  • Do I have to use the EOI and application form?

    Yes, to have your application reviewed you must use the expression of interest (EOI) form available from the Downloads tab. If you proceed to stage 2 you will need to complete the application form.

  • What are the grant limits?

    Defence Health Foundation awards two types of grants.

    Establishment Grants

    Establishment Grants are awarded for a maximum period of 12 months. The grant value will be a minimum of $30,000 and a maximum of $60,000 (excluding GST).

    Booster Grants

    Booster Grants are awarded for periods of one, two or three years. The grant values are a minimum of $30,000 p.a. up to a maximum of $100,000 p.a. (excluding GST).


  • Does a grant include GST?

    Our grant funding does not include GST. As we are unable to advise applicants on their GST requirements we advise you to refer to the GST ruling on grants on the ATO website.

  • Can I submit multiple expressions of interest?

    Multiple EOI may be submitted and each will be reviewed on its own merit. If submitting multiple EOI please submit on separate EOI forms via separate emails. 

  • If I am currently receiving a grant, can I apply for a second grant?

    Generally, the Foundation requires a current grant to be successfully completed and acquitted before awarding a subsequent grant.

  • How long does the EOI and application process take?

    To make it less onerous for you, there are two stages to the application process. The expression of interest is a cut-down application which outlines the objectives and scope of the research, an estimated budget, and a summary of your experience.  Applicants have approximately six weeks to submit the EOI. After we review the EOI you may be asked to make a full application. You will have approximately seven weeks in which to do this.

  • How are applications assessed?

    Applications are independently reviewed by a panel of academic peers and the top-ranked one-third (approximately) advance through to our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC consists of six highly esteemed medical research experts who have connections with Defence. The committee will review all applications, and may refer them to other research experts in the field. The SAC will then make a recommendation to the Foundation Board on the applications deemed worthy of support. Details about the committee members can be found here.

  • Can I meet with the Foundation to provide guidance?

    No, in fairness to all we will not review or give personal input on any EOI or application.

  • Do you provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants?

    As the Foundation is run by a very small team that receives considerable interest in our funding each year, unfortunately we are unable to provide feedback.

  • Ethics approvals

    It is essential that all research funded by the Defence Health Foundation is approved by the appropriate ethics committee/s. In addition, many projects will require approval by the Department of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (DDVA HREC) and possibly other health bodies or data custodians. Such ethics approvals must follow the guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated May 2015.

    Researchers are encouraged to visit the DDVA HREC and HREC websites for additional information.

  • What if I can’t find the answer to my question?

    If you can't find the answer on our website please email your question to  or call 03 8679 1122.