NHMRC calls for quality not quantity

The National Health and Medical Research Council wants applicants to list their top ten research publications over the last decade, instead of everything

The intent is to focus on “the quality and contribution of the science rather than the quantity of publications.” The selection-period can extend for researchers with career-disruptions. The NHMRC states benefits include, reducing the peer review “burden” and aligning with assessment used by international and Australian funding agencies (MRFF and ARC).

The policy is in-place now – applying to Investigator Grant applications, open this month.

The announcement was not universally endorsed, with supporters suggesting it will make a big improvement to the grants process but complaints it will not improve the chances of early and mid-career researchers and that more funding is essential.

Nor is it likely to take attention away from the NHMRCs two big policy problems – anger over gender imbalance in grant awards (CMM October 25 ’21)  and the council pulling a proposal in November to require new publications and supporting data from research it funds to be immediately OA (CMM November 2 ’21).