The 2 leap-ahead Human Performance project themes are:

  • Performance Patch project
  • Cognitive Gut project

Research areas and themes

Performance Patch project

The Performance Patch project aims to advance the real time measurement and prediction of warfighter readiness and performance. More specifically to:

  • undertake innovative mechanistic and applied research that will explore the potential for molecular biomarkers with the capacity to predict cognitive and physical performance (and risk of physical injury) before and during military missions, for example in the coming 24-hr, 2-hr and 30-min time periods
  • pilot minimally invasive biofluid sampling options that might support a fieldable Performance Patch concept
  • explore the synergy of molecular biomarkers and non-invasive wearables to indicate an individual’s status to perform at optimal levels

Cognitive Gut project

The Cognitive Gut project aims to undertake innovative mechanistic and applied research that will optimise and enhance cognitive performance through interventions of the gut microbiota. More specifically:

  • What gut bacterial species have the greatest effect on military cognitive performance?
  • How can these gut bacterial species be optimised or enhanced to induce the greatest benefit to military cognitive performance?
  • What are the gut bacterial species that are most negatively affected by military-relevant stressors?
  • What are the mechanisms responsible for the gut bacterial affecting cognitive performance?

Support for successful proposals

The NGTF is investing up to $7 million over 3.5 years to deliver two parallel studies aimed at advancing either the measurement of warfighter performance, or its enhancement through modification. Funding for applicants is limited to 1.5 years in the first instance. Follow-on investment for the remaining 2 years is subject to a mid-point project review. This mid-point review will determine whether to continue, adjust or stop the project. The results of this review will also inform the case for future funding approval from NGTF.

Am I eligible?

Potential suppliers wishing to respond to this procurement will be required to fully comply with and meet the following conditions for participation:

  • Australian Citizenship for key researchers and the ability to obtain a Baseline security clearance, is required due to the potential to work with official/sensitive information
  • Applicants will be encouraged to form multi-disciplinary/multi-institution, research and development partnerships, drawing on the world class research capabilities within Australia and New Zealand
  • Defence is seeking to build enduring science capability and is looking for partners willing to co-invest in the immediate research and intending to partner over the longer term

Additional eligibility requirements for the Performance Patch project

A multi-disciplinary team of experts which is likely to require participation from multiple universities or industry partners in the areas of, but not limited to:

  • immunology
  • biological OIMC fields
  • neuroscience
  • cognitive performance
  • physiological/physical performance
  • physical injury
  • biostatistics

Additional eligibility requirements for the Cognitive Gut project

A multi-disciplinary team of experts which is likely to require participation from multiple universities or industry partners in the areas of, but not limited to:

  • gut microbiology
  • cognitive performance
  • biostatistics
  • nutrition
  • metabolomics

Research brief

DST will provide a research program brief to all interested parties via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 27 January 2021. This will provide an opportunity for clarifications and questions to be raised.

Any further questions after this brief should be provided in writing and DST will provide a written response to all parties.

To attend the briefing, please send nominations to the Contact Officer, Lisa Headley at by 25th January 2021. For security purposes, the email should include the following details for all nominated personnel:

  • full name
  • organisation
  • position
  • mobile telephone number
  • email address
  • Nominees will be provided with a Microsoft Teams invite to attend the brief.

How do I apply?

The call for proposals closes COB (AEDT) Tuesday 23 February 2021.

Submissions are to be made via AusTender.

Direct any questions or concerns you may have regarding this Request for Proposal (RFP) in writing to the Contact Officer at ehp–

Proposers may submit questions or concerns to the Contact Officer up until 5 working days prior to the Closing Time specified in the Tender Details Schedule.

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