Clinician Researcher Fellowship Scheme

The Fellowships are intended to support Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre clinicians to undertake research linked to their practice.

The aim of the Fellowship is to provide protected, guaranteed time for a clinician to undertake research.Through the Fellowship scheme, the Centre effectively ‘purchases’ a portion of a clinician’s time, allowing them to devote a percentage of their time to research activity.

The scheme recognises that clinician researchers (including doctors, nurses, dentists, allied health practitioners and clinical scientists) are best placed to identify health challenges that can benefit from research, lead patient centred research discoveries and facilitate improved service delivery and quality of care through research translation.

Applicants to the scheme must hold a salaried appointment in a clinically related role with one of the Hospital and Health Service Members of TAAHC.


Important Dates


Funding outcomes are anticipated to be released early September 2023 for projects to commence in January 2024.

Funding Rules

Applicants should review the scheme funding rules before preparing and submitting their application. The scheme funding rules can be found below.

How to submit your application

Application must be submitted through the SmartyGrants Portal. A preview of the online application form is available below.

Online Information Sessions

TAAHC will hold virtual information sessions for potential applicants to explain the application process and the scheme funding rules, with an audience Q&A. Session dates and times are below:

Thursday 1 June 2023 3:30pm - 4:30pm AEST. A recording of this session is available HERE.

Monday 12 June 2023 11am - 12pm AEST. Session not recorded due to low attendance.

Sessions will be recorded for those unable to attend.

View the PowerPoint slides for these sessions HERE.

Register HERE.


If you have received TAAHC Clinician Researcher Fellowship funding previously, can you apply again?

See Section 2.4 - Eligibility of the scheme Funding Rules.

Early Career clinician researcher - applicant does not hold a Higher Degree by Research; <3 peer reviewed publications as first author; and has not held an external competitive research grant as Lead or Chief Investigator

Applicants who have previously held a Fellowship in the experienced clinician researcher category within the last two years (as of the time of application) are ineligible to apply for and receive a Clinician Researcher Fellowship.

An ‘external competitive research grant’ is a research grant that is awarded by an external organization (i.e. not your own organization) following an application-based, competitive peer review process (so this includes TAAHC research funding).

If a staff member works part time, can they access the funding over a period greater than 12 months.

See Section 2.1 - Category and duration of funding of the scheme Funding Rules.

The minimum fellowship duration for all categories is three months, up to a maximum duration of 12 months.

Is there any flexibility to the requirements of 2.6 – Funding use “The Fellow’s total salary (drawn from all sources) is not to exceed the salary the Fellow would have received in their substantive clinical position, i.e. the Fellow cannot use Fellowship funds to pay for a stipend that increases their substantive clinical position salary.

This can be drawn to the attention of the TAAHC Clinical Leadership Group and Board for consideration in future funding rounds, but there is no flexibility in the current round.

Can salary costs be used flexibly, such as 1 day a week or in compressed blocks, or a combination of both?

See Section 2.1 - Category and duration of funding of the scheme Funding Rules.

The Fellowship will support research activity for up to and including 20% Full Time Equivalent for the duration of the Fellowship up to a maximum funding amount of $50,000.

The Fellow must spend the designated (awarded) time on their Fellowship over the duration of the Fellowship, but the Funding Rules are silent as to the actual pattern of work. It is therefore possible to undertake the Fellowship in a compressed block, up to 0.2FTE per week or a combination of both.

Can research mentors be from non-TAAHC Members?

See section 2.5 – Research Mentor of the scheme Funding Rules. Research mentors must meet the eligibility requirements of the TAAHC Mid_Career Fellow Category - hold a research higher degree (PhD or *equivalent) and be up to 10 years post-award at the closing date of the Fellowship scheme OR have published a minimum of three peer-reviewed publications within the last four years, with at least one publication as lead author; or have held an external competitive research grant as Chief or Lead Investigator.

As per these eligibility requirements, the research mentor does not need to be from a TAAHC Member.

*An equivalent research higher degree is a research qualification that is equivalent to the level 10 criteria of the Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition January 2013