AAMRI e-news April 2020

AAMRI e-news April 2020

1st April, 2020

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – COVID-19 update
  2. Government update – Consultations currently open
  3. Sector news –  Federal budget deferred until Oct 2020
  4. NHMRC update – latest message from CEO
  5. MRFF update – Funding opportunities summary
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – Final call for female leaders scholarships
  7. Reports & resources – Free access JBI COVID-19 Special Collection

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

1. AAMRI news

A COVID-19 update from AAMRI

The potential impact of the COVID-19 virus is affecting everybody within the medical research institute sector. At difficult times such as this, we know the benefits of working together to find solutions to the challenges we face. AAMRI is working with its members to help them prepare for what lies ahead, and we would like to thank everybody for their generosity of time and the significant sharing of resources that has taken place to date. Read more about what we are working on on our website.

AAMRI welcomes new funding for COVID-19 medical research

We applaud the Federal Government’s funding announcements made in March. The new round of grants is a real step towards making resources available to help Australia’s top scientists contribute to the coronavirus COVID-19 effort. It includes:

  • $13 million in competitive funding: $8 million for research into antiviral therapies and $5 million for clinical trials to better treat and manage COVID-19 patients with severe acute respiratory distress.
  • $2.6 million for the Doherty Institute to fund four projects on testing, pathology and development of a framework and protocols.
  • The funding is part of the Government’s $2.4 billion Coronavirus National Health Plan, funded from The Medical Research Future Fund.

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.

Cancelled Networking event

It is with regret that we cancel the below Networking meetings. We hope to reschedule them for later in the year:

  • The Legal Network, 5-6 May 2020
  • 2020 joint Research Strategy and Research Governance workshop planned for July/August

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 


National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan – Public Consultation

The Australian Government, Department of Health (the Department), invites you to share your views on the draft National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan. Closes 09 April 2020.

Inquiry into Diversifying Australia’s Trade and Investment Profile

The focus of the Committee’s inquiry will be to understand whether there is a need for Australia to diversify its trade markets and foreign investment profile. Closes 09 April 2020.

Select Committee on Autism

In November 2019, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Autism to inquire into and report on the services, support and life outcomes for autistic people. Closes 14 April 2020.

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

ARC update on COVID-19

The Australian Research Council has released an update on how they are supporting applicants, peer review, new grants and researchers on active projects. Read it in full on their website.

ASM COVID-19 volunteer databases

The Australian Society for Microbiology are creating volunteer databases in response to COVID-19. If you are qualified and willing to be called upon in case of a potential staff shortage to assist with testing (or any other requests required) at hospitals or any other diagnostics lab across Australia, register on their website.

2020-21 Budget deferred until 06 October 2020

Announced by the Federal Government, they stated this would be to provide more time for the economic and fiscal impacts of COVID-19, both in Australia and around the world, to be better understood.

New National Drug Discovery Centre officially launched at WEHI

The NDCC was officially opened on March 12 by Australian Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP and Victorian Minister for Health the Hon. Jenny Mikakos MP at WEHI. The first two recipients of the Australian Government-subsidised screens are Professor Matthias Ernst from the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and Associate Professor Anthony Don from Centenary Institute.

 Funding announcements:

4.  NHMRC update

Message from the CEO of NHMRC – last updated 30 March 2020

The NHMRC have released their second statement from Professor Anne Kelso AO, to the health and medical research sector, outlining details on Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Scheme, Ideas Grant Scheme, Synergy Grant Scheme and Investigator Grants 2020.

Grant Variations Policy

NHMRC recognises that the Coronavirus Alert may be affecting many members of the Australian research community, including our current grant holders. 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 – RAOs can submit variation requests. More details on the NHMRC website.

NHMRC Special Initiative in Mental Health 2020

The Special Initiative in Mental Health will operate as a virtual network across Australia, coordinated by a single institution, through a series of flagship programs. Closes 15 July 2020.

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 opportunities closing soon:

Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative Stage One (Round Two) – postponed

The stage one Frontiers round that was set to close on 26 March has been suspended until further notice. It is anticipated that the funding round will be run at a later date.

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.

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

Final Call: Last Chance to Register for a Female Leaders Scholarships

Women currently working in the health sector have a final opportunity to register their interest in a scholarship worth up to $5k to support participation in an accredited leadership development program. It is unsure when this funding will be available again, and the registration deadline has been extended until 03 April 2020.

Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund

Round 4 will provide two tiers of funding, tier one up to $100k to support early stage research proposals, tier two providing up to $500k to fast track translation into clinical or health practice. Closes 05 April 2020.

Boosting Female Founders Initiative – Round 1

The program will provide targeted support on a co-contribution basis to female founders of startup businesses to launch and scale their businesses into domestic and global markets. Grants are $25k – $480k. Closes 14 April 2020.

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.

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

JBI COVID-19 Special Collection: Evidence-based Infection Prevention & Control – Free access

The Joanna Briggs Institute have made their evidence-based resources for health professionals and health organisations free to download. The collection summarises current best evidence and provides detailed recommendations.

Ngawurramangajirri – Tiwi phrases for mental health and wellbeing

Released by The Menzies School of Health Research, Ngawurramangajirri (we care for each other) features Tiwi to English translations, as well as illustrations to encourage conversations around wellbeing and mental health. Available for download as pdf on their website.

Artificial Intelligence Standards Roadmap: Making Australia’s Voice Heard

The report, commissioned by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources, provides recommendations to help Australia effectively support Artificial Intelligence and its future across the globe.

Professional and scientific jobs grew in December 2019 – ABS

Filled jobs in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry increased by 7.1 per cent over the year to December 2019, according to figures released in March by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare