Early Career Health Services Research Fellowships

The intention of this scheme is to fund early career researchers within cancer health services with a focus on building capacity within cancer health services research, improving the delivery of care for patients, improving patient outcomes and improving patient experience. It is expected that applications will align to the Victorian cancer plan 2016-2020 and/or the Cancer Reform Framework.

The scheme is open to medical, nursing and allied health practitioners, health economists, behavioural scientists, statisticians, bioinformaticians, epidemiologists and other disciplines conducting health services research in cancer.

Victorian Cancer Agency Early Career Health Services Research Fellowship Guidelines 2018 (PDF 443KB)

Applications have now closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I do not have a PhD or a MD, am I still eligible to apply for an Early Career Health Services Research Fellowship?
A: Yes, applicants without a PhD or MD are eligible to apply if they have other related post-graduate qualifications and demonstrated health service research experience. You can contact us before applying if you are uncertain of eligibility.

Q: I am not employed within a Victorian cancer health service, can I apply for an Early Career Health Services Research Fellowship?
A: Yes, applicants not employed within a Victorian cancer health service can apply as long as the organisation satisfies the requirements of an administering organisation and the research is carried out within an affiliated health service. Please refer to the guidelines for requirements of administering organisation and the affiliated health service.

Q: I have a Fellowship from another funding scheme. Can I also hold a VCA Fellowship?
A: No.

Q: If I have taken a career break or worked part-time, how is time counted post completion of my postgraduate qualifications for the purposes of the Early-Career Health Service Research Fellowship?
A: During the assessment process, applications will be assessed  to accurately measure an applicant's track record relative to stage of career, including consideration as to whether productivity and contribution is commensurate with the opportunities available to the applicant. This will include considerations of career disruptions. Career disruptions are based on NHMRC definitions and are defined as follows:

A career disruption involved a prolonged interruption to an applicant's capacity to work, either due to absence (for periods of one month or greater)  and/or long-term partial return to work, to accommodate carers responsibilities or illness. The career disruption must have occurred post the date of the letter advising that the thesis was passed and resulted in significantly reduced research productivity or nil research output.

The amount of time that has passed post-PhD will be counted so as not to disadvantage you in being able to apply. The VCA will confirm your eligibility prior to assessment of your application. You can contact us before applying if you are uncertain of eligibility.


Q: Can you please advise on the suitability of my project for this funding scheme? Are there any priority areas for this funding scheme?
A: The VCA is unable to discuss the suitability of a project for a funding round, the VCA can only assist applicants to determine eligibility. Please refer to the funding guidelines for any priorities the VCA has for a funding scheme.

Q: If I have previously applied for VCA funding and been unsuccessful, can I apply again?
A: Yes.

Q: Can funding be used to extend an existing project?
A: Yes, as long as the proposal fits within the grant guidelines and indicates a discrete research objective with no duplication of funding from other sources.

Q: If I have previously received funding from the VCA, can I apply again?
A: Generally yes, however restrictions apply to some types of grants. Refer to individual grant guidelines.

Q: Can I provide references for the summary of proposed research in the application form?
A: References are required in the project description upload.

Q: Who can apply for VCA funding?
A: Any organisation or individual that is, or will be, involved in the conduct of cancer research in Victoria is eligible to apply for VCA funding. Applications must be made under the auspices of a Victorian hospital, research organisation or university. For specific eligibility requirements, see the guidelines provided for individual grants.

Q: How can I apply for funding?
A: When applications are open, we provide a link for you to apply online in the current funding scheme pages. We do not accept applications submitted in hard copy or by email.

Q: Who can I contact if I have any queries about applying for a specific grant?
A: For queries about the guidelines, deadlines, or questions in the form, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 1300 664 737 during business hours and quote your application number. For queries about using the application form, contact SmartyGrants on 03 9320 6888 during business hours or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and quote your application number.

Q: What is SmartyGrants?
A: The VCA uses SmartyGrants to administer our grants. SmartyGrants is an online grant management system that provides easy-to-use online application forms, as well as report management functions for successful applicants.

Q: Will you fund research in other states?
A: We will fund collaborative research across Victoria and interstate, but the lead agency must be based in Victoria.

Q: Will the VCA own the intellectual property (IP) of findings?
A: No. Under VCA agreements, funded parties retain ownership of their Intellectual Property. This policy is in line with industry best practice for the management of IP for publicly funded research. The VCA does ask that findings be commercialised, where appropriate, in a manner that ensures fair and reasonable access for the Victorian public. More information is available from the Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Rules (PDF 265KB). 

Q: Will there be any feedback to the applicant following the evaluation process?
A: All applicants will be notified of whether their application was successful or not. Individual feedback can be provided verbally on request.