AAMRI e-news | 16 April 2020

AAMRI e-news | 16 April 2020

16th April, 2020

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – JobKeeper Program update
  2. Government update – Consultations currently open
  3. Sector news –  The COVID-19 Expert Database – register now
  4. NHMRC update –  FAQs on COVID & NHMRC
  5. MRFF update – Funding announcements
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – 2020 Academy Awards
  7. Reports & resources – COVID-19: guidance on clinical trials

Do you have something that you would like featured in a future newsletter? Send it through to communications@aamri.org.au

To help keep you up to date, we are currently producing our e-news fortnightly. As news, policies and funding announcements are updating faster than usual, so will your e-news.

– AAMRI Team

1. AAMRI news

AAMRI welcomes changes to the JobKeeper Program criteria

This fortnight we’ve seen the JobKeeper program announced, and then also rules modified to allow medical research institutes a fairer chance of applying for the program.

The move to allow charities to include donations as part of the calculation on whether revenue has fallen, or is likely to fall, by 15% is a sensible change. Previously the formula didn’t allow institutes to include fundraising as part of their revenue that had decreased, and the overall fall had to be 30%.

For some institutes the new rules mean the difference between being able to continue critical medical research, some of which has been going on for years, or having to stop due to a lack of research support funds.

AAMRI Member Networks

AAMRI operates a variety of member networks in key business areas that discuss issues, share ideas and network at an annual event.

How to join our Networks

AAMRI’s staff networks connect professional staff at AAMRI member institutes with their counterparts to discuss common challenges and issues facing the medical research sector. There are currently ten active AAMRI staff networks – HR, Research Governance, Research Strategy, IT, Research Administration Officers (RAO), Philanthropy & Fundraising, Operations Network, Legal Counsel, Finance, and COVID-19. For information on AAMRI Networks, upcoming network events and how to join, visit the AAMRI website.

Change of date – AAMRI 2020 Convention, 09 – 10 December

Changes in the Parliamentary Calendar have necessitated a change in date for the Convention. It will now take place on 9-10 December 2020 (previously 25-26 November). To be held at QT Canberra, more details to come as we launch our new revised format.

2.  Government update 


Draft Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has released the draft Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19 for ongoing public consultation. You can view and comment on them online, but will need a MagicApp account.

Lessons to be learned in relation to the Australian bushfire season 2019-20

The Senate referred the inquiry to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in 2021. Closes 22 May 2020.

3.  Sector news

COVID-19 Expert Database — call to register

The database brings together 3,000 of the nation’s best scientists, researchers and other experts for governments, the business sector, the research sector, and other decision-makers to easily access the expertise they need to inform their decision making. Led by the Australian Academy of Science and Australia’s learned academies. Register here.

Australian Charities & NFPs Commission (ACNC) – COVID-19 update

The ACNC compliance page now addresses some issues on repurposing grant funding and insolvency. They have also also re-assessed their compliance approach as they relate to the governance and external conduct standards.

Funding announcements:

4.  NHMRC update

FAQs on COVID-19 outbreak and NHMRC processes

Released on April 09, These FAQs are intended to address frequently asked questions from NHMRC stakeholders about the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on applications for NHMRC funding, peer review, grant management and other NHMRC processes.

Grant Variations Policy

If grant holder’s circumstances have changed – for example, there has been a delay in Research Activity because of involvement in the clinical or public health response due to COVID-19 – RAOs can submit variation requests. More details on the NHMRC website.

5.  MRFF update

MRFF funding opportunities

We’ve made a handy table to help you keep track of what funding schemes are open and where to go for further information.

Upcoming MRFF opportunities:

COVID-19 impacts on MRFF grants

If you have concerns, the MRFF ask you to contact the Grant Hub administering the relevant MRFF Grant Opportunity or Grant Agreement (NHMRC: help@nhmrc.gov.au or BGH: enquiries@industry.gov.au) to discuss the options available.

Register on GrantConnect to receive MRFF funding alerts

MRFF funding opportunities are advertised through GrantConnect. Make sure you register so you receive the latest funding updates.

MRFF Funding announcements:

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

2019 David Syme Research Prize

The Australia-wide prize recognises the best original research in Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Geology produced in Australia during the past two years (1 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2019). Worth approx $8,900, closes on 29 April 2020.

The Jian Zhou Medal – nominations open

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences has launched its first honorific award, the Jian Zhou Medal, which will be awarded annually to a rising star of Australian health and medical science. Closes 30 April 2020.

2021 Academy Awards – 01 May deadline to nominate

Each year, the Australian Academy of Science confers its honorific awards to shine a light on researchers who have made outstanding contributions to science. Closes 01 May 2020.

Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences Collaborative Science Fund

The Fund provides grants of $125,000 over two years to Queensland research organisations. Closes 12 May 2020.

The Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme for funding commencing 2021

This is Cancer Australia’s innovative annual national research project grants funding scheme which brings together government and other funders to collaboratively fund cancer research in identified priority areas in Australia. Grants from $10k – $600k. Closes 13 May 2020.

Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) 2020 Annual Grant Round

ACRF provides grants for scientific equipment and other technologies as well as the establishment of capital works and facilities and national enterprises in support of all aspects of cancer research. Closes 15 May 2020.

7.  Reports and resources

COVID-19: guidance on clinical trials for institutions, HRECs, researchers and sponsors

This guide provides general information and advice to institutions conducting or overseeing research, Human Research Ethics Committees, researchers and sponsors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Resource Center from Harvard Medical School PGME

The Harvard Medical School Postgraduate Medical Educations (PGME) are providing some free resources relating to COVID-19, including a Coronavirus Resource Center. They are also running a free series on Hospital Management of Coronavirus Complications, which you can register for here.

ATSE Health Technology Readiness report

A timely new report released from the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) focusses on being #HealthTechReady. Recommendations include remote consulting, wearable monitors and full digitisation if our healthcare system is to meet the challenges of the coming decade.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: