AAMRI e-news | Nov 2021

AAMRI e-news | Nov 2021

5th November, 2021


In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – Join our staff networks
  2. Government update – Consultations
  3. Sector news – New ARC Advisory Council
  4. NHMRC update – Planned funding scheme dates for 2022
  5. MRFF update – EOIs for Mission Expert Advisory Panel
  6. Funding and award opportunities – Cancer Australia grants
  7. Reports and resources – Mental Health and Suicide Prevention final report
  8. Events and courses – SVI Health Matters Webinar Series

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

1. AAMRI news

2021 Investigator Grant outcomes for the medical research institute sector

A new AAMRI analysis on the 2021 NHMRC Investigator Grant outcomes has shown the medical research institute sector had a success rate higher than the national success rate for the scheme. Read the full analysis on our website.

AAMRI submission to the NHMRC consultation on publications in track record

AAMRI has responded to the NHMRC’s consultation on proposed changes to the way publications in researchers’ track records are assessed as part of grant applications. To develop this submission, AAMRI sought feedback from our member medical research institutes – read more on our website.

Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy & Priorities Consultation

AAMRI has developed a submission suggesting ways to improve the coordination of medical research investment, as well as the need to provide better career support for early- and mid-career researchers.

AAMRI submission: Higher Education Research Commercialisation Intellectual Property Framework Consultation

AAMRI’s submission proposes that rather than mandating the use of standardised agreements developed as part of the Framework, the Department should acknowledge the complexity and diversity of projects undertaken by Australian entities and allow for these agreements to be used flexibly and voluntarily.

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

Report from inquiry – Investment Funds Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

A Senate committee issued a report and comments from its inquiry into the Investment Funds Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 [Provisions]. The report showed that the Bill was supported by Government and Opposition and no amendments relating to the MRFF provisions in the Bill were recommended.


Review of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018

The Scheme was introduced in 2018 and focuses particularly on activities intended to influence Australian political and governmental systems and processes. Closes 29 Nov 2021.

The National One Stop Shop – a national platform for health and human research

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare is conducting national consultations to scope the requirements for a national health and human research platform to be called the National One-Stop-Shop. Find out more on their website and how to have your say.

Statutory Review of the Mental Health Act (2014) – WA

A discussion paper has been prepared as a tool to assist you in providing feedback, as well as multiple ways to make a submission. Closes 31 January 2022.

Provision of general practitioner and related primary health services

This inquiry and report refers specifically to provision of general practitioner and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australians. The report will be submitted at the last sitting day in March 2022.

3.  Sector news

COVID-19 vaccine pioneer awarded Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Professor Edward C. Holmes from the University of Sydney received the $250,000 prize for almost 30 years of pioneering research on genome sequencing data, providing invaluable insights into diseases such as HIV, Ebola, SARS and most recently, COVID-19. Read more and the full list of winners here.

New NHMRC Council announced for 2021 – 2024

Eleven of the 15 non-ex-officio members are women, a record in female membership of the Council. The full list of Council members for the 2021-2024 Triennium is available on NHMRC’s website. From AAMRI members Institutes we extend our congratulations to:

  • Chair, Professor Caroline Homer AO, Burnet Institute
  • Professor Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI
  • Professor Elizabeth Hartland from Hudson Research Institute
  • Professor Carolyn Sue AM,  Kolling Institute and Garvan Institute
  • Professor Alison Venn, Menzies Institute (Tas)
  • Professor Ian Frazer AC, Translational Research Institute & Mater Medical Research Institute

AAHMS announces 29 new Fellows

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences welcomed 19 women and 10 men to its Fellowship. The Academy also announced its incoming President Elect, Professor Steven Wesselingh FAHMS, SAHMRI Executive Director.

Appointment of 2021 ARC Advisory Council

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced the appointment of eight members to the ARC Advisory Council for the next three years.

Industry department agencies and programs divied up

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price will take control of CSIRO and the Australian Space Agency while Energy Minister Angus Taylor will oversee the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative under their new roles following this month’s reshuffle.

The Brain Cancer Centre – WEHI and Beanies 4 Brain Cancer’s collaboration

Founded by Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer and established in partnership with WEHI, The Brain Cancer Centre has now attracted $36m in funding and will bring together a multidisciplinary team of experts whose sole focus is to make rapid progress in the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer.

New Centre for Biologic Therapies

A new collaborative centre at WEHI is being created to support the development of biologically-based medicines. A joint initiative with CSL, the Centre will commence operation in early 2022.

$4.32m 2021-2024 Lowitja Institute Research Program

Lowitja Institute, Australia’s national institute for community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, has unveiled a landmark program of 20 new research grants that changes the way Indigenous health research is done in Australia.

Snow Fellowship Recipients 2021

Snow Fellowships, awarded annually, are given to early to mid-career researchers, each receiving approximately $8m over eight year. Read about this years’ recipients from Peter Mac, the Garvan Institute and The University of Melbourne.

CSL Centenary Fellowships announced

Dr Daniel Watterson and Associate Professor Stephin Vervoort have each been awarded a CSL Centenary Fellowship of $1.25 million over five years to undertake research that will transform our response to pandemics, and lead to new cancer treatments. You can read more about their work here.

New appointments:

  • Grant Dooley has been appointed as CEO of Breakthrough Victoria
  • Professor Samuel Harvey has been appointed as the next Executive Director and Chief Scientist of the Black Dog Institute

Funding announcements:

4.  NHMRC update

NHMRC’s planned funding scheme dates for 2022 released

NHMRC sought feedback from the sector on proposed funding scheme dates for 2022 and has now released planned dates. View the Funding schemes and calendar on the NHRMC website.

Consultation on NHMRC’s Open Access Policy

NHMRC has released a report with the results of the consultation on the proposed revisions to NHMRC’s Open Access Policy.

NHMRC Annual Report 2020–21

The annual report contains information on NHMRC administration and performance, and a record of activities for the reporting period.

2020 Human Research Ethics Committees Activity Report 

The report provides an overview of the Australian HREC system of ethical oversight of research involving humans, including the composition of HRECs and their processes for considering research proposals and monitoring approved research.

Is COVID impacting your NHMRC/MRFF funded research?

The NHMRC and the MRFF have put in place measures to help assist researchers whose research has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further information is available on the NHMRC website or in the latest MRFF newsletter.

5.  MRFF update

Next MRFF webinar – 16 Nov 2021

Hear Professor Ian Frazer AC, Chair and Professor Caroline Homer AO, Deputy Chair of AMRAB, and Dr Masha Somi, CEO of the HRMO, provide an update on the MRFF, including the new Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy. The panel will also answer questions.

Expression of Interest for the next Expert Advisory Panel for Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission

To advise on priority areas for investment for the remainder of the Mission, MRFF are inviting applications from people interested in becoming a member of the next Expert Advisory Panel. Applications close 9am (AEDT) Friday, 26 Nov 2021.

Review of the Mission

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has been contracted to undertake a review of the Mission with the final report of the evaluation due at the end of 2021. The findings of the evaluation report will be provided to the newly-appointed EAP in early 2022.

MRFF grant opportunities calendar

See what 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.  Funding and award opportunities

Cancer Australia – Support for Cancer Clinical Trials Program Grant. Closes 09 Nov 2021.

Mental Health Program – National Eating Disorder Research Centre. Closes 15 Nov 2021.

Centres of Research Excellence 2022 – Minimum data is due by 5pm (AEDT) on 17 Nov 2021, closes 01 Dec 2021.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research 2021 – Hearing Health. Minimum data is due by 5pm (AEDT) on 24 Nov 2021, closes 08 Dec 2021.

MRFF Emerging Priorities and Consumer-Driven Research initiative – 2021 Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and Babies. Closes 25 Nov 2021.

MRFF Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative – Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Projects – Round 2 EOI. Submissions due 25 Nov 2021.

NHRMC Targeted Call for Research 2021 – Improving health of people with intellectual disability. Minimum data is due by5 pm (AEDT) on 1 Dec 2021, closes 15 Dec 2021.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships 2022 – Closes 10 Jan 2022.

MRFF Research Data Infrastructure initiative – 2021 Research Data Infrastructure grant opportunity. Closes 08 Feb 2022.

ARC STEM Research Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2021. Closes 16 Dec 2021.

MRFF – TBIM and EPCDRI – 2021 Traumatic Brain Injury Grant Opportunity, $4m available. Minimum data 25 Jan, closes 09 Feb 2022

MRFF – Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative– 2021 Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions in Children and Adolescents Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Clinical Trials Activity Initiative – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission – 2021 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Genomics Health Futures Mission – 2021 Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Primary Health Care Research Initiative – 2021 Primary Health Care Research Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 09 Feb, closes 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF Stem Cell Therapies Mission – 2021 Stem Cell Therapies grant opportunity. Minimum data due 09 Feb, closes 23 February 2022.

MRFF – Cardiovascular Health Mission – 2021 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 09 Feb, closes 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Australian Brain Cancer Mission – 2021 GBM AGILE Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 16 Feb, closes 02 March 2022.

NHMRC-CIHR Healthy Cities Implementation Science Team Grant Scheme 2021 for funding in 2022. Closes 29 April 2022.

Register with GrantConnect to receive notifications when new opportunities open.

7.  Reports and resources

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – Final Report

The House Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention has released its final report, calling on the Australian Government to create a permanent mental health committee.

Decision-making for pandemics: an ethics framework

Developed by the Australian Health Ethics Committee in response to a request from the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, the framework is designed to be used by those developing policy and making decisions during a pandemic. It is intended to facilitate good decision-making, rather than to be used as a prescriptive guideline.

Women Staying in The STEM Workforce – survey and report

The nationwide survey finds women in STEM are underpaid, underrepresented and unsupported.

Case studies – Research in the Medical Curriculum in Australia and New Zealand 2021

The case studies demonstrate how member schools are contributing to a strong medical research culture by igniting a passion for research in students and creating opportunities for those who will go on to become the clinician researchers of the future, as well as providing the vital, fundamental research skills needed by all our future doctors.

New report – MTPConnect REDI Initiative Skills Gap Analysis

MTPConnect has released the third report in a series developed from a ‘root and branch’ analysis of skills gaps. The report highlights skills gaps in specific areas that have become more pronounced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AusBiotech releases resources for regenerative medicine

These include a Strategic Roadmap for the Regenerative Medicine Sector; Australia’s Regenerative Medicine Investments Database, and; Four Case Studies: Cell, Gene, Gene Modified Cell and Tissue Engineered Products.

Report: Advancing Data-Intensive Research in Australia

The Australian Academy of Science has launched a new report that presents findings from consultations with the research community on the challenges and opportunities of data-intensive research in Australia.

Professional Scientists Employment and Remuneration Report

The annual Professional Scientists Employment and Remuneration Report by Science & Technology Australia and Professional Scientists Australia reveals the mounting toll on scientists of the pandemic and longer-term chronic job insecurity.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports

8.  Events and courses

Transforming breast cancer screening with Artificial Intelligence – 1-4pm, 17 Nov 2021 (online and free)

SVI Health Matters Webinar Series
Hear from leading researchers, Associate Professor Helen Frazer and Dr Davis McCarthy, about recent discoveries and new knowledge on breast cancer.

Live with Ear Science – 18 Nov 2021 (online and free)

This panel discussion is the Ear Science Institute’s opportunity to give attendees an exclusive insight into their groundbreaking ear, hearing research and new drug developments taking place at the Institute.

Antimicrobial Resistance Summit 2021 – 17-18 Nov 2021 (online and free)

The summit will take a holistic view of the challenges, risks and opportunities associated with a transdisciplinary and multisector approach to dealing with AMR.

Australasian Melanoma Conference 2021 – 19-20 Nov 2021 (online)

Join experts from Australasia and beyond to discuss advancements in melanoma.

Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium – Remodelling and regeneration – 9-10 Dec 2021 (online and free)

Virtual 2 day event which attracts the best and brightest of cardiovascular researchers, with a focus on EMCR’s on Thursday 9th. Hear from Prof Eduardo Marbán (Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) and Prof Ralf Adams (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine) and more.

PRAXIS Australia discount for AAMRI members

PRAXIS Australia is delighted to provide AAMRI members a 20% discount to all PRAXIS Australia course or training offers; including Research Essentials and HREC Essentials, and all of our workshops. Members can take advantage of this offer by entering the coupon code AAMRI21 when enrolling. Explore PRAXIS Australia services on their website.