AAMRI e-news | June 2021

AAMRI e-news | June 2021

2nd June, 2021



June 2021


In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – Research Impact Framework Launched
  2. Government update – Victorian Budget
  3. Sector news – Academy announces 22 new Fellows
  4. NHMRC update – National Network for Aboriginal researchers
  5. MRFF update – MRFF Grant Assessment Committee
  6. Other funding and award opportunities – CSL Florey Medal nominations open
  7. Reports and resources – Australia’s clinical trials sector report
  8. Events and courses – Impact of climate change on mental health

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


1. AAMRI news

Launch of the AAMRI Research Impact Framework Report

The AAMRI Research Impact Framework was launched in an online event last month. This Framework is an Australian first where dozens of medical research institutes have come together to develop a universal language to communicate how their work is contributing to knowledge, society, health, and the economy. You can find the event recording here.

As the next step, we are asking our members to tell us about their anticipated use of the Framework and what support they need to implement it at their organisation. Take survey here. Closes 8 June.

Federal Budget: What’s in it for medical research?

The 2021-22 Federal Budget papers were released on 11 May. Read our full review to see what this budget means for medical research including future funding levels for the NHMRC, MRFF, ARC and more.

AAMRI Position Statement on climate change

Read AAMRI’s recently released statement that defines our policy position on climate change and its impact on human health.

VicAAMRI welcomes investments to drive Victoria’s home-grown medical research capability

The Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (VicAAMRI) welcomes the investment in medical research announced as a part of the State Budget. Alongside other major initiatives, such as the Government’s $3.8 billion investment into Victoria’s mental health system, the $68 million package will help develop Victoria’s mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability and enable the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to continue to deliver the Generation Victoria (GenV) initiative.

Review of the Electoral Legislation Amendment Act 2018

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has tabled a review into the operation of the amendments dealing with foreign donations and related matters, made by the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Act 2018. AAMRI’s evidence was quoted in the final report and as suggested by AAMRI the report is not recommending any changes at this time.

AAMRI Member Networks

AAMRI operates a variety of member networks in key business areas that discuss issues, share ideas and come together at events.

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.


2.  Government update 

New roadmap for Australian research infrastructure

An expert working group, led by Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, will lead the development of a new roadmap to identify Australia’s research infrastructure needs and priorities for the next five to 10 years. The Expert Working Group will consult with the research community, universities, state and territory governments, industry and business to inform and lead the development of the new roadmap and help guide future investments in national research infrastructure.

National Action Plan to ease chronic pain

The Australian Government has launched its National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management, providing Australians living with chronic pain access to the support they need. Developed by Painaustralia, with $170,000 from the Australian Government, the Plan has been endorsed by health ministers from every state.

Australia to develop onshore mRNA manufacturing

The Australian Government has released an approach to market which will allow manufacturers to provide mRNA manufacturing capability in Australia and to plan a partnership approach with the Government to bring forward this capability. As part of this approach, the Government has set out the requirements that need to be addressed.

Delivering a Victorian Institute of Infectious Disease

Building on $155 million in funding announced last year, the Victorian Government will deliver up to an additional $245 million to secure the development of a new Australian Institute of Infectious Disease in Victoria to lead the fight against future pandemics. This project is set to deliver 350 jobs during construction, 850 ongoing jobs at the Institute and has the potential to support up to 5,000 jobs in the biomedical sector.

New body to lead mRNA manufacturing in Victoria

Victoria’s future supply of coronavirus vaccines will be fast-tracked, with a new body charged with building the state’s mRNA manufacturing capability. mRNA Victoria will lead mRNA manufacturing in the state and deliver on the Victorian Government’s $50 million investment in securing local supply.

Improving childrens’ health with ground-breaking research

An entire generation of young Victorians will be invited to join the GenV health study, which will track the wellbeing of more than 100,000 Victorians throughout their lives to provide answers to complex medical issues and drive better health outcomes for Victorian families.

Victorian Budget

The Victorian Budget 2021-22 invests $68.8 million for health-related research, headlined by $50 million to establish mRNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing capabilities in Melbourne. Not only will these investments deliver vital insights but will also strengthen Australia’s reputation as a global leader, while supporting our 30,000-strong medical research workforce.



Clinical trial with genetically modified E.coli

The Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OTGR) is inviting comments on an application from the Westmead Institute for a clinical trial of a genetically modified E.coli to reduce antibiotic resistance. Closes 15 June. 

Development of the admitted care classifications

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority has released a public consultation paper outlining the major changes for the classifications used in admitted care. Interested stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the major changes proposed to the ICD‑10‑AM/ACHI/ACS Twelfth Edition and AR-DRG Version 11.0. Closes: 22 June.

Regional Data Hub consultation

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is inviting submissions to the public consultation process for the creation of the new Regional Data Hub. The Hub is part of the Australian Government’s $13.7 million Better Data Use to Support Delivery for Regional Australians program. Closes 2 July. 

Changes to the regulation of electrolyte drinks

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have released a consultation paper on proposed changes to the regulation of electrolyte drinks. Public comments are invited on the proposed changes to Food Standards Code requirements for the labelling and composition of the drinks. Closes 9 July. 

Software based medical devices survey

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is conducting an education campaign in order to help stakeholders understand the new framework for regulating software as a medical device. Closes 24 November.  


3.  Sector news

Nominations open for STA’s committees

Science & Technology Australia (STA) is seeking candidates to join their Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and their Policy Committee. These are permanent committees of the STA Board. Terms are for two years. Closes 6 June.   

The Academy of Science announces 22 new Fellows

Twenty-two Australians recognised among our nation’s most distinguished scientists. This year’s cohort is made up of 41% women and 59% men. Following the 2021 election of our new Fellows, the Fellowship now stands at 576 Fellows.

BHVI relaunches Myopia Awareness Week

The Brien Holden Vision Institute relaunched the Myopia Awareness Week from 24-28 May. This event is a global initiative to bring attention to the growing epidemic of myopia in children across the world. Social media toolkits, guidelines, the myopia calculator, and news resources are available at bhvi.org.


4.  NHMRC update

National Network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers

Announced in the 2021-22 Budget, the NHMRC national network has been established with $10 million funding from the Australian Government, as a major new initiative in NHMRC’s 10-year strategy to improve the health of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The network includes a team of 91 researchers led by four experienced First Nations Australian leaders.

Update on Australian code for the use of animals for scientific purposes

The Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 2013 (updated 2021) has a new section. Section 7: Cosmetic testing bans the use of animals for testing of chemical ingredients in cosmetics and for testing of finished cosmetic products.

NHMRC consultation on guidelines

NHMRC is currently seeking views of guideline developers about guideline impact: What does impact mean to you, how you collect or use impact data and how do you evaluate impact.

NHMRC funding calendar

NHMRC keeps an up to date list of funding opportunities on its website where you can find out which schemes will be opening soon.


5.  MRFF update

2021-22 Federal Budget investment for medical research

In the Federal Budget released in May, the Australian Government announced an investment of $2.6 billion over the next four years for the MRFF which includes $115.3 million for 65 MRFF-funded research projects commencing 2020-21.

MRFF Grant Assessment Committee

The Department of Health is seeking interest from a range of stakeholders to assist in MRFF grant review and assessment processes as a member of a Grant Assessment Committee for a number of 2020-21 MRFF grant opportunities.

MRFF grant to help fast-track Australian COVID-19 vaccine candidate

A collaborative project involving the University of Sydney, the Centenary Institute, the University of Technology Sydney and the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, has received $1.6 million funding from MRFF to continue work on the development of a unique, single-shot vaccine against COVID-19 variants.

MRFF grant opportunities calendar

See what Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant opportunities are open and what their status is. You can also track MRFF opportunities through AAMRI’s own calendar.

Subscribe to the MRFF newsletter

To stay updated about MRFF-related changes, you can review the previous editions of the MRFF newsletter and subscribe to their email list.


6.  Other funding and award opportunities

Funding opportunities

Award opportunities

CSL Florey Medal nominations open

Nominations for the prestigious CSL Florey Medal – awarded to an Australian researcher for significant lifetime achievements in biomedical science and/or advancement of human health – are now open. In addition to the silver medal, the award carries a prize of $50,000 due to the generous support of CSL Limited. Closes 16 July.

2021 GSK Award for Research Excellence

Nominations are now open for the 2021 GSK Award for Research Excellence (ARE). The award celebrates outstanding Australian researchers focused on improving human health. The award, along with a prize money of $80,000 will be presented at Research Australia’s Health and Medical Research Awards Night on 9 December in Sydney. Closes 30 July.


7.  Reports and resources

Clearing the pathway for global clinical trials report

New report by Research Australia outlines the challenges and opportunities to attract global clinical trials to Australia. It shares seven key proposals which in turn will enable Australian health and medical research to flourish in a competitive world market.

Australia’s clinical trials sector report

New report by MTPConnect ‘Advancing innovative healthcare and powering economic growth’, released on International Clinical Trials Day 2021, reveals the size and scope of Australia’s clinical trials sector and opportunities for future growth.

Chronic condition multimorbidity report

New release from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) provides baseline information on chronic condition multimorbidity in Australia, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melanoma education podcast

Latest podcast from Melanoma Institute Australia ‘Multidisciplinary management of Merkel cell carcinoma’, 28 min. You can listen on their website or any podcast app by searching for ‘Melanoma Insights for Professionals’.


8.  Events and courses

Impact of climate change on mental health

An online panel discussion to explore the global impact of climate change on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Organised by the Institute of Global Health Innovation and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. When: 2 June, 9pm AEST.

WEHI’s UN World Environment Day seminar

Professor Tony Capon, Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute, will host a seminar to identify the opportunities and challenges related to avoiding potentially catastrophic outcomes of climate change. Online and for free. When: 4 June, 1pm AEST.

SVI Health Matters webinar

St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research is inaugurating a Health Matters webinar series where leading researchers share discoveries in diseases affecting many Australians. The series kicks off with Professor Michael Berk presenting on bipolar disorder. When: 9 June, 1pm AEST. 

Register for the 5th Victorian Cancer Survivorship research forum

The Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre (ACSC) and the Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) invite you to join the free online forum to hear experts working in cancer survivorship. When: 10 June, 2pm AEST.

Guidelines International Network ANZ free webinar

The ‘living’ clinical guidelines approach aims to respond rapidly to new evidence and keep recommendations up to date. When: 11 June, 11am AEST.   

Menzies School of Health Research: HOT North

Two-day East Arnhem Health Partnership Symposium. When: 22-23 June, Gulkulu site, NT.

JBI online workshop

One-day online Scoping Review workshop to explore theories relating to scoping reviews. When: 17 June or 24 August. 

Reboot STEMM

The Australian Academy of Science is inviting early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) in Australia to a highly-interactive half-day virtual think tank. Join the global conversation about re-defining academic success with a focus on diversity and inclusion. When: 22 June. 

MTP Connect’s REDI training programs

Institute for Glycomics 21st Birthday Grand Ball

Join this black-tie event to raise funds for ground-breaking research. For tickets or to donate prizes for auction, please contact glycomicsmarketing@griffith.edu.auWhen: 14 August at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast. 

Australasian Melanoma Conference 2021

Join experts from Australasia and beyond to discuss advancements in melanoma. When: 19-20 November, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

Science at the Shine Dome 2021

Registrations for Science at the Shine Dome 2021 are now open. All events are ticketed. See detailed program here.

Your events!

Get in touch with us about your events and we’ll list them here.