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45 and Up Study Cardiovascular Research Grant



Research funding


45 and Up Study Cardiovascular Research Grant

The 45 and Up Study is one of the largest ongoing cohort studies of healthy ageing in the world and the largest in Australia.

The 45 and Up Study Cardiovascular Research Grants will provide early and mid-career researchers the opportunity to gain valuable experience working with a comprehensive dataset to generate insightful research outputs and evidence in the area of cardiovascular disease. This is an opportunity to gain experience using big data which may lead to larger studies in the future. The Study has over 15 years of survey data with linkages to MBS and PBS data which can enable time series analyses, identification of risk factors and health outcomes.

The Heart Foundation and the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study have partnered to offer access to 45 and Up Study data for up to five short-term projects (12 months access) with up to two single user annual licenses per project.

The Licenses confer access to the 45 and Up Study Data and specified linkages (MBS and PBS) via the Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE). Note access to other administrative datasets is out of scope. The 45 and Up team can assist in project feasibility and provide advice regarding obtainment of ethics for awarded projects. The team can also support planning to enhance the impact of research and knowledge mobilisation.

What is the 45 and Up study?

The 45 and Up Study is one of the largest ongoing cohort studies of healthy ageing in the world and the largest in Australia. Starting in 2005 with over a quarter of a million people from across New South Wales, the study data offers a unique opportunity for researchers.

Between 2005-2009, over 267,000 participants aged 45 and over living in NSW joined the study. All consented to take part in this longitudinal study and have their survey data linked to routine-health records. All consented to being recontacted for follow up surveys and to be invited to participate in other research projects to improve health and wellbeing.

To date, 45 and Up Study participants have completed a baseline questionnaire (2005- 2009) and all active participants were invited to complete follow-up questionnaires in 2012-2015 and 2018-2020. The fourth core survey is now in the field and will collect further valuable data between 2023 and 2025.

The 45 and Up Study also includes in depth information about the impact of the pandemic. In 2020 a supplemental survey (the 2020 COVID-19 supplement) enabled the collection of important data addressing the impact of COVID-19 from a cohort of 86,000 participants. Between 2020 and 2022 a 45 and Up sub-study called COVID Insights was conducted. This series of five surveys collected valuable information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, wellbeing, healthcare and much more from a sub-cohort of 32,000 participants.

The 45 and Up Study includes many participants from diverse groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people with chronic physical and mental health conditions; people from culturally diverse backgrounds; socioeconomically disadvantaged groups; people living in regional and remote areas; people with compromised immune systems; people with disabilities; and carers.

What data are available for the Cardiovascular Research Grant?

  • 45 and Up Surveys including 2020 COVID-19 data supplement
  • Data from two large 45 and Up sub-studies:
    • COVID Insights (Nov 2020-April 2022, n~32,000)
    • Social Economic and Environmental Factors (SEEF, 2010 n > 60,000)
  • Medicare benefits Scheme (MBS)
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • 45 and Up Deaths – registrations
  • 45 and Up Deaths – cause of death

This is an excellent opportunity for early to mid-career researchers to gain experience working with big data to generate insightful research outputs and evidence. This opportunity is expected to enable researchers to generate the research evidence required to secure further research funding for larger more comprehensive studies.

For further details on the 45 and Up Study click HERE and for information on the available datasets click HERE.


  • For the purpose of this funding program, the applicant is considered as Chief Investigator A (CIA). For applicants to be considered for funding, they must meet the following eligibility criteria:
    • CIA must be an early to mid-career researcher (less than 15 years research experience relative to opportunity).
    • CIA, or any other CI on the grant, must not currently have a contract or license to access the 45 and Up Study data.
    • CIA must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian permanent resident or have applied for Australian permanent residency at the time of the application.
    • CIA must be from an NHMRC administering institution.
    • CIA must also be based in Australia for at least 80% of the funding period.
  • The project must address a cardiovascular research area
  • Ideally projects should consider health equity and disadvantaged communities.
  • The project must produce at least one research output within the first 12 months of the Project. Outputs may include presentations of findings, reports and abstracts for conferences as well as peer reviewed papers.
  • Researchers must provide an interim progress report as well as an end of year report for the Heart Foundation and the Sax Institute.

Timeframes and grant requirements

  • The project must be ready to commence within 6 months of receipt of the award. Outside of extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the Heart Foundation, awardees may be required to forfeit their award if they are not ready to commence their project within the required timeframe.
  • Researchers are required to obtain their own ethics approvals and should submit their ethics application within one month of receipt of the award.
  • Researchers are required to organise signing of the 45 and Up Study access agreement by their institutions in a timely manner.
  • Researchers are required to sign an individual Deed Poll for responsible use of the data.
  • The 12 months access period will commence within one month of approval from the relevant ethics committees.
  • All investigators accessing data are required to complete the online SURE training module (1-2 hours) prior to receiving access to the data.
  • The agreement and deed polls must be in place prior to receiving access to data.
  • Example agreements can be made available on request. Applicants are encouraged to review the agreements prior to submitting their applications.
  • The agreement is final and no amendments can be made.

How is my application assessed?

Applications are assessed utilising the below criteria and weighted accordingly:

Quality and Feasibility of Research Proposal (40%)

Team Capacity and Potential of Outcomes (40%)

Ability to leverage the 45 & Up study (20%)

What’s the value of the Grant?

Up to two single user annual licenses (valued at $65,000 per license) to access the 45 and Up Study data

When can you apply?

Applications open: Monday 13 November 2023

Applications close: Friday 15 December 2023

How should you apply?

Click on the below link to access the application form. Once your application is completed, please submit via email to:

[email protected]

[email protected]

Last updated04 March 2022