Career Development Fellowship

Career Development Fellowship

Funding body


Key Dates

Applications open: 20 January 2016
Internal closing date: 24 February 2016
Application due at NHMRC: 9 March 2016


There are two levels of CDFs to apply for:

  • CDF Level 1 (at least 2 and must have less than 7 years post-doctoral experience);
  • CDF Level 2 (at least 7 and must have less than 12 years post-doctoral experience)

Note: Applicants with less than seven years from the date of the letter advising that their PhD thesis was passed are eligible to apply at either CDF Level 1 or CDF Level 2, but not both.

Both levels are four year awards. In 2017 the salary support package for the first year will be:

  • CDF Level 1 - $106,262; and
  • CDF Level 2 - $117,536.

For part-time Fellowships, annual payments are adjusted pro-rata.


Applicants who are successful in obtaining a Fellowship are expected to commence their Fellowship on 1 January of the first year of the award.


Summary of Changes to the 2015 Fellowship Round

Several changes have been made to the Career Development Fellowships Scheme-Specific Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2017 including:

  • The CDF Assessment Criteria have been revised and a seven point scoring scale has been implemented.

  • The Statement of Expectations has been revised and the Research Performance Descriptors have been removed.
  • Guidance has been given on the information that must be included in evidence documents for career disruptions.
  • Current/former NHMRC Research Fellows or Practitioner Fellows are not eligible to apply for a CDF.
  • Short term support funding for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Researchers is now only available in the Early Career Fellowship and Postgraduate Scholarship schemes.

For a full list of changes to the CDF scheme, please refer to Section 2 of the Career Development Fellowships Scheme-Specific Funding Rules. Also note that changes have been made to the NHMRC Funding Rules 2016, for example changes to the wording surrounding career disruptions and citizenship, which may affect some CDF applicants.

Application Process

  1. Read How to apply for a NHMRC scheme and Prepare a proposal before you start
  2. Read the NHMRC reference material
  3. Gain access to RGMS
  4. Complete the application in RGMS
  5. Create application in RGMS and submit draft proposal to Research Grants and Contracts by internal closing date
  6. Complete Research Proposal Clearance Form
  7. Submit complete final application by final application due date

As referee reports and external assessments are no longer part of the CDF peer review process, the requirements to nominate an independent referee and researchers you do not wish to assess your application (i.e. non-assessors), have been removed.


Copies of successful applications from previous years are available at the Research Portfolio Reception Desk, Level 6, Jane Foss Russell Building. Call 8627 8111

Career Development Fellowships info seminar: