Our current legislative basis is the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992  (NHMRC Act). We are responsible to the Commonwealth Minister for Health.

NHMRC's functions come from the statutory obligations conferred by the NHMRC Act. The Act provides for the NHMRC to pursue activities designed to:

  • raise the standard of individual and public health throughout Australia;
  • foster the development of consistent health standards between the various States and Territories;
  • foster medical research and training and public health research and training throughout Australia ; and
  • foster consideration of ethical issues relating to health.

Other legislation, governance and administrative structure

NHMRC became an independent statutory agency within the Health and Ageing portfolio on 1 July 2006. This change brought with it an amended NHMRC Act that defines the NHMRC as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Council and committees, and the staff of NHMRC.

NHMRC also has responsibilities under the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 including the development and implementation of a program for reviewing and enhancing relevant guidelines, and the provision of administrative improvements in the licensing process.

Other than its functions as set out in the NHMRC Act, as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, NHMRC is also bound by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), the Public Service Act 1999, and other legislation and regulations as determined by the Public Service Commission.


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