AAMRI e-news | May 2021

AAMRI e-news | May 2021

5th May, 2021



May 2021


In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – Register for the Research Impact Framework Launch Event
  2. Government update – Major boost for Victorian researchers in COVID fight
  3. Sector news – STEM Equity Monitor shows increase in women’s participation
  4. NHMRC update – Treatment for severe asthma
  5. MRFF update – MRFF helping Australians
  6. Other funding and award opportunities – CSL Behring Challenge
  7. Reports and resources – Dementia deaths during COVID-19
  8. Events and courses – Reboot STEMM half-day virtual think tank

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


1. AAMRI news

AAMRI Research Impact Framework Launch Event – Register now!

Please register for the official launch of the AAMRI Research Impact Framework report.

An Australian first, this Framework will provide MRIs with a common language and set of indicators that can be used to help measure research impact. For more details, please visit our website.

When: Thursday, 13 May, 12:30-1:30pm AEST.

AAMRI consultation response on the proposed revisions to NHMRC’s Open Access Policy

AAMRI’s response welcomes moves to make the outputs of publicly funded medical research freely accessible to all, but also highlights some of the areas that need to be considered further before changes to publication models are implemented.

AAMRI appears before Joint Standing Committee on Migration

AAMRI was recently invited to give evidence to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration as part of their ongoing inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program. AAMRI highlighted the need for ongoing migratory pathways to ensure Australia’s medical research sector remains globally competitive.

AAMRI gives evidence to Parliamentary inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies

Earlier this year, AAMRI made a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport as part of their inquiry into approval process for new drugs and novel medical technologies. AAMRI’s submission highlighted the areas where regulatory reform and new governance processes could help speed up the translation of discoveries into new treatments.

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 Industry, Science and Technology minister

In last week’s cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Hon Christian Porter MP will take on the Science, Industry and Technology portfolio, replacing the Hon Karen Andrews MP who is moving to the Department of Home Affairs.

New COVID-19 research funding from Victorian Government

The Victorian Government is increasing funding for a study into the effects of coronavirus, and backing ground-breaking research into new and emerging strains, long-term coronavirus symptoms and potential links between the disease and unborn children.

South Australian Government’s response to Health and Medical Research Inquiry

The South Australian Government has issued a response to the South Australian Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Health and Medical Research in South Australia outlining how the Government will implement the Commission’s recommendations.

2021-22 Federal Budget

The Budget will take place at 7.30pm, 11 May. AAMRI will undertake a comprehensive analysis of what the Budget means for the medical research sector and expects to circulate an update around 10.30pm on the evening of the Budget.



Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge has invited submissions on an Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030. Closes 12 May. 

Regulations to support the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 consultation

The Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 became law in Queensland in September 2019. The new regulatory framework is expected to commence 2021. Interested stakeholders are invited to review and provide feedback on draft regulations. Closes 26 May. 

Clinical trial with a genetically modified human adenovirus COVID-19 vaccine

The Gene Technology Regulator is assessing an application from Avance Clinical Pty Ltd to conduct a clinical trial, under limited and controlled conditions, of a genetically modified human adenovirus COVID-19 vaccine. Comments invited. Closes 26 May. 

ANAO audit into the management of the MRFF

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is seeking submissions to its audit of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). Closes 30 May. 

Clinical trial of a genetically modified Herpes virus for the treatment of cystic fibrosis

Invitation to comment on a clinical trial of a genetically modified Herpes simplex virus for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. The trial is proposed to take place at hospitals within Australia and up to 15 cystic fibrosis patients would receive the treatment. Closes 31 May. 

National Health Security Resilience Assessment (NHSRA)

Led by DMTC, the National Health Security Resilience Assessment (NHSRA), is conducting a detailed assessment of Australia’s ability to research, develop, manufacture, and distribute products and solutions that contribute to national health security. Closes 31 May.  

  • For more information, join the webinar with senior reps from Department of Defence and Department of Health. When: 18 May.

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

New report shows outstanding financial returns of medical research investment

A new report commissioned by Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, has demonstrated the stunning economic returns from investment in medical research where every dollar invested generates over $4.50 in return. The Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (VicAAMRI) has congratulated the Victorian Government on their decades-long investment in the state’s medical research sector.

$50 million investment in mRNA research and manufacturing capacity

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment of $50 million to establish an onshore mRNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing site. This investment will help boost Australia’s capability to manufacture highly effective COVID-19 vaccines and help treat other diseases.

STEM Equity Monitor shows increase in women’s participation

According to the Australian Government’s STEM Equity Monitor, women now comprise 28% of workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – up from 24% in 2016.

NSW’s Innovation Partnership with CSIRO

The NSW Government has signed a historic five-year Innovation Partnership agreement with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to drive digital technology, manufacturing and health excellence across NSW-based innovation precincts.


4.  NHMRC update

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.

Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development

The NHMRC has released details about an interdisciplinary cutting-edge research 2021 grant call being held by Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development. Applications close on 21 May.  

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

MRFF helping Australians

Professor Kathryn North AC, Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and AAMRI President-elect, comments on how the MRFF is inspiring people to think big and find solutions that will change people’s lives for the better.

Is COVID-19 impacting your grant?

Significant changes to MRFF’s grant opportunities because of COVID-19 will be published on their website. For any enquiries, please contact the Grant Hub administering the relevant MRFF Grant Opportunity or Grant Agreement (NHMRC: help@nhmrc.gov.au or BGH: MRFF@industry.gov.au) or MRFF@health.gov.au.

MRFF Mission Roadmap and Implementation Plan update

Six of the Medical Research Future Fund’s research missions underwent national consultation between 14 December 2020 and 23 April 2021. This consultation heard from over 280 stakeholders, and received more than 80 written submissions. Feedback received will be used to inform any further development of the Roadmaps and Implementation Plans.

Audit to assess the management of MRFF

The Australian National Audit Office is undertaking an audit to assess whether the Department of Health is effectively managing the MRFF. Submissions close on 30 May. Report due in September.

Current funding opportunities

See AAMRI’s summary of current MRFF grant opportunities, open and closing dates for applications and how to apply.

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 Behring Plasma Protein Purification Challenge

CSL Behring, a leading biotech company, in collaboration with Cicada Innovations has launched an Innovation Challenge to unearth solutions that will make a huge impact on the lives of patients around the world. Prize money up to $40,000 with mentorship from CSL Behring and Cicada Innovations. Closes 25 May. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Award

The Australian Academy of Science is calling for applications for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Award. The award recognises research in the physical and biological sciences conducted by outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PhD students and early- and mid-career scientists. Closes 1 June. 

2022 Academy awards

The Australian Academy of Science is inviting nominations for research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships. Closes 1 June. 


7.  Reports and resources

Report on dementia deaths during COVID-19

The age-standardised death rate for Australians with dementia recorded on their death certificates fell during the first 10 months of 2020. However, 30% of the people who died due to COVID-19 during this period had dementia recorded on their death certificate.

Cultural safety in health care for Indigenous Australians: monitoring framework

New release from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare brings together available data to assess progress in achieving cultural safety in the health system for Indigenous Australians. The framework includes measures on culturally respectful health care services; Indigenous patient experience of health care; and access to health care services.

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia, 2015-2019

Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) are preventable diseases affecting disadvantaged populations. This report presents data from the National Rheumatic Heart Disease data collection.

Cancer screening programs: quarterly data

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report on cancer screening programs which aim to reduce illness and death from selected cancers. This report presents the latest information on the use of Australia’s national bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening programs.

Release of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention interim report

The House Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention released its interim report interim report which provides a snapshot of the breadth of work underway on mental health and suicide prevention.

Podcast: Multidisciplinary management of SCC and BCC

In the latest podcast from Melanoma Institute Australia, a multidisciplinary panel discusses the pathology of SCCs and BCCs, when a GP should refer their patient, the role of surgery, when radiotherapy is indicated, and how systemic therapy can play a role in advanced disease.


8.  Events and courses

2021 Women in Leadership Awards Ceremony

The BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards recognises women at different stages of their careers, who have made outstanding contributions to the sector. Join their live-streamed event. When: 12 May, 10am AEST.

AAMRI Research Impact Framework Launch Event – Register now!

The official launch of the AAMRI Research Impact Framework report is free and online. Register now! When: 13 May, 12:30pm AEST. 

HRI Careers Virtual Open Day

Online webinar about cutting-edge research into the biological processes that cause atherosclerosis and thrombosis. When: 18 May, 1:30pm AEST. 

How climate change affects environmental public health

Free online Environmental Science Series seminar by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria. When: 19 May, 12pm AEST. 

Clinical Trials 2021: National Tribute and Award Ceremony

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) is hosting their highly collaborative annual event to mark International Clinical Trials Day. When: 20 May, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Menzies School of Health Research: HOT North

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

Precision Medicine conference

Registrations are now open for the Precision Medicine conference, which showcases the advances being made by local and international researchers in the advancement of precision medicine. When: 20-21 May, Westmead Sydney.

JBI free webinars and workshop

  • JBI gLocal Solution Room 2021: Free, week-long event on practical solutions to challenges in getting evidence into practice in local settings. When: 17 May-23 May. 
  • Sustaining Knowledge Translation Interventions: Free webinar with Dr Sharon Straus on sustainability of knowledge translation interventions in the COVID-19 context. When: Tuesday 1 June, 8am AEST. 
  • Scoping Review Workshop: One-day online workshop to explore theories relating to scoping reviews. When: 17 June or 24 August. 

Research with Connections by MS Research Flagship

This World MS Day, join the free event presented by MS Research Flagship (program of the University of Tasmania and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research). When: 28 May, Blundstone Arena, Hobart.

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.

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” by developing new ways of measuring success with a focus on diversity and inclusion. When: 22 June. 

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.


Your events!

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