Applications close 5pm Wednesday 25th September 2019

Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) is providing funding to researchers studying brain cancer and its treatment, through a number of Brain Cancer Innovation Project Grants.

Grants will be allocated via an open and competitive process. The foundation will be selecting projects on merit that are innovative and align with MHF core objectives, to promote research that decreases mortality rates and incidence of brain cancer in Australia. Up to $2 million is available in this funding round, with between $150,000 – $200,000 available per project. Projects are to be conducted over a period of two (2) years.

If applicable to the research project, applicants are encouraged to utilise the newly formed MHF Infrastructure pipelines. These provide high quality, collaborative and MHF-subsidised funding for targeted genetic and/or genomic analysis of brain cancer specimens and in vivo (orthotopic xenograft and allograft) therapeutic testing. For further information please contact Professor Rodney Scott ( for genomic/genetic analysis, or Associate Professor Viive Howell ( for in vivo modelling.

If utilised, a letter from the appropriate pipeline coordinator is required, outlining the service provided and total cost of the service and subsidised cost. This letter will need to be uploaded as part of the online application process.

General Eligibility and Conditions
  • The Chief Investigator 1 (CI-1) listed on the submitted application must be employed by an employer based in Australia.
  • A maximum of five (5) CIs are allowed per application.
  • Submitted applications must be approved by the CI-1’s employer or equivalent representative.
  • Applications must be submitted by the CI-1, who must clearly outline the intended use of funds and the benefits their project will make to brain cancer research.
  • For applications to be considered eligible, all fields must be completed, and forms submitted via the specified process.
  • Consideration will be given to applicants with co-funding from other sources (department, supervisor or institution).
  • All ineligible applications will be removed prior to assessment.

Forfeiture of Grants

  • Funding not spent in the timeframe indicated will revert to the granting body HMRI: unspent funding will be re-allocated by MHF in future grants rounds.
  • Failure to meet the conditions of funding may limit your eligibility for funding in future years.

Acknowledgement of MHF and HMRI

  • Recipients must acknowledge both MHF and HMRI for the life of the grant. This acknowledgement includes, but is not limited to, media releases, promotional materials such as brochures and newsletters, publications and articles submitted to journals, presentations at conferences, speeches, attendance at meetings and community/supporter’s events. Recipients may be requested to participate in selected public speaking and/or public appearances and media interviews to be coordinated through MHF/HMRI.
  • Acknowledgements should include the below-specified wording as per quotations: “This grant was funded by the Mark Hughes Foundation through the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).”

Reporting Requirements

  • Recipients must comply with grant reporting and compliance requirements within the specified timeframe. These reporting requirements will be outlined to recipients on award of the grant. Of note, you will be asked to submit biannual progress reports (and financial acquittal statements) during the course of your project and a Final Report (and project end financial acquittal statement) at the end date of your project.


  • Any administration fees necessary for the delivery of this project are capped at 5% of the total project budget, excluding leveraged and/or in-kind funding.
Assessment Criteria
Primary Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a scientific panel of leading scientists and cancer experts formed by the Mark Hughes Foundation, against the following primary selection criteria:

Innovation (40%: Q1.4-3)

  • Innovation of the approach (imaginative/creative use of resources, new hypothesis, outside of the box, availability of unique data set or patient resource, unusual combination of skills).
  • Applicability of the innovative approach to the research question.
  • Potential benefit and value of the innovative approach.

Scientific Quality and Team (30%: Q2 + CI Track Records)

  • Soundness of the methodology (scientifically rigorous hypothesis, the ability of the experimental approach to answer the question within the time frame of the project, appropriateness of techniques and experimental design including sample size).
  • Adequacy of the resources (includes track record of CIs relative to opportunity and in relation to expertise in brain cancer research, availability of appropriately trained personnel, facilities and time to undertake the project).
  • Appropriateness of budget (ability to undertake the project within the available budget).

Relevance and Significance for brain cancer (30%: Q1.1-3, Q1.6)

  • Relevance of the research question to brain cancer.
  • Potential impact of the question being addressed in terms of patient care, disease prevention, understanding biological processes, social policy and economic benefits.
  • Likelihood the outcomes will leverage external funding.
  • Research of excellence in medical research into brain cancer.
Secondary Selection Criteria

Grants that rate equally on the above criteria may be further differentiated based on whether the project:

  • Is cross institutional.
  • Is interdisciplinary and / or involves Chief Investigators from different research programs.
  • Has two or more of the criteria for significant outcomes (primary assessment criteria).
  • Is focused on translational clinical research.

A selection committee shall be responsible for the award of the grant/s. The selection committee shall comprise of:

  • The Executive Director of HMRI, or nominee
  • Selected members of the Mark Hughes Scientific Committee
  • External reviewers as required.


Submissions for the 2019 Mark Hughes Foundation Brain Cancer Innovation Project Grants will be managed via the HMRI Grants Online portal.

To commence an application, please download and commence the Word application form, and go to:

NOTE: If this is your first time accessing the portal, you will need to click ‘New Applicant’ to create an account. This will be your account for all future HMRI grant applications and reporting requirements.

Click here to download the application form

Click here to download employer sign off form

Full eligibility and selection criteria and submission instructions are available in the Guidelines.

Click here to download Guidelines

For assistance with the submission process, please contact HMRI’s Grants Management and Strategic Projects Team by emailing

Grants Management & Strategic Projects

Gayle Garbutt - HMRI

Gayle Garbutt

Research Services Officer
Sally Gordon

Sally Gordon

Research Services & Projects Officer
Tim Kelso

Tim Kelso

Research Services & Projects Officer
Sally Robertson

Sally Robertson

Project Officer / Management Accountant
Emma Konik

Emma Konik

Research Services & Projects Leader