AAMRI e-news October 2019

AAMRI e-news October 2019

4th October, 2019

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – The Research Impact Project
  2. Government update – Consultations currently open
  3. Sector news –  Statement from the National Research and Innovation Alliance
  4. NHMRC update – Investigator Grant Presentations now available to watch online
  5. MRFF update – Stem Cell Therapies Mission Roadmap consultation underway
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – 2020 Australia Harvard Fellowships closing soon
  7. Reports & resources – Monitoring mental health and suicide prevention reform – national report 2019
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – AusBiotech less than a month away

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 Members

The Research Impact Project

Last year AAMRI established a Research Impact Working Group to develop a framework that will enable medical research institutes to measure how their research contributes to knowledge, society, health and the economy. For the first phase of the project we are seeking stakeholder input through a Research Impact Survey.

Phase 1 – What is research impact? Stakeholder engagement (currently open)
The first phase of the Project is about identifying what the end user stakeholders of research – including health and medical research organisations, funders of research, government, industry and community organisations – identify as research impact. This survey is now open and closes on 31 October, 2019Take the survey now.

2019 AAMRI Convention – open for registration

The 2019 AAMRI Convention will take place on 27 and 28 November 2019 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Discounted accommodation options have nearly sold out, so please do register online soon.

AAMRI Convention program

This year we will be analysing the big issues facing the sector, and dedicating more time to member discussion and the development of AAMRI strategy and policies. We will be joined by the Chief Executive of the NHMRC, Professor Anne Kelso AO, as well as Professor Sir John Savill (Executive Director of the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health, and former Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council).

The guest speaker for the AAMRI Dinner will be the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and the guest speaker for the AAMRI President’s Breakfast will be the Shadow Minister for Health, the Hon Chris Bowen MP. See the draft program for further details.

AAMRI Submissions

AAMRI Feedback on the NHMRC draft Guide to Publication and Dissemination of Research

AAMRI provided feedback to the NHMRC on the draft Guide to Publication and Dissemination of Research. This guide forms part of a series of guides that support the 2018 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

AAMRI supports the  development of the guide and the principles outlined in the draft. However, there are a few areas which would benefit from further clarity including the definitions of key terms used, application of the guide and expectations for resourcing to implement the guidance provided. Read the full submission on our website.

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

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 eight active AAMRI staff networks – HR, Research Governance, Research Strategy, IT, Research Administration Officers (RAO), Philanthropy & Fundraising, Legal Counsel and Finance. For information on AAMRI Networks, upcoming network events and how to join, visit the AAMRI website.

2.  Government update 


The Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024 consultation workshops

The Department of Health and Human Services is conducting a series of consultations to help inform the development of the Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024. They are being held in various locations around Victoria from 07 – 31 Oct 2019. The development of the cancer plan provides an opportunity for Victorians to have a say on how to improve cancer outcomes. All interested stakeholders are encouraged to participate in a consultation workshop. As places are limited, please register your attendance

If you are unable to attend a workshop in person, online consultation will be available through the Engage Victoria platform between 07 October and 04 November 2019.

Public Consultation on draft Guidance on Short Term Exposure Values

At the request of the Australian Government Department of Health, NHMRC has developed draft Guidance on Short Term Exposure Values to include in Chapter 9 of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. This aims to assist water regulators and suppliers to manage instances where drinking water contamination occurs, such as during extreme weather events. The aim of this public consultation is to seek stakeholder feedback on the draft Guidance, including the proposed approach for deriving or applying short term exposure values. Closes 14 October 2019.

Data Sharing and Release – Issues Paper

As part of the response to the Productivity Commission Review of Public Data Availability and Use, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is developing Data Sharing and Release legislation. This will provide a framework for Government Departments to more effectively share data and facilitate access to data for researchers. The Department has now released a discussion paper outlining its proposed approach to the legislation. Closes 15 October 2019.

Changes to Medical Device Essential Principles for Safety and Performance

The Australian government endorsed a significant program of reform to further strengthen the regulation of medicines and medical devices in Australia. The changes set out in this consultation are intended to facilitate better regulatory compliance and consequently improve safety and quality of medical devices, through alignment with international best practice. Closes 17 October 2019.

Clarification of the Regulatory Requirements for Medical Device Systems and Procedure Packs

The focus of this consultation, which follows on from an external workshop in Feb 2019, is on the proposed reforms to the regulation of systems or procedure packs and the impact of these reforms. The changes proposed in this consultation are intended to facilitate better regulatory compliance and consequently improve safety and quality of medical devices used in system or procedure packs, and will wherever possible align with the EU Framework. Closes 17 October 2019.

Inquiry into allergies and anaphylaxis

Following a referral from the Minister for Health, the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport will inquire into and report on allergies and anaphylaxis. The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make a submission addressing the terms of reference available on their websiteCloses 24 October 2019.

Consultation opens on plan to grow health and medical industries sector

South Australians are invited to provide feedback on opportunities to grow their state’s health and medical industries sector, as part of the Government’s Growth State: our plan for prosperity initiative. Consultation is now open and provides an opportunity for industry and other interested parties to help shape this multi-billion-dollar sector. Growth State is the work plan to achieve up to three per cent overall growth each year in South Australia and is being applied initially to sectors identified as having the strongest prospects for increased trade and investment. Closes 25 October 2019.

Guidelines for mandatory notifications

The National Boards and AHPRA are carrying out a public consultation on the Guidelines for mandatory notifications. The guidelines explain the requirements for treating registered health practitioners, non-treating registered health practitioners, employers of registered health practitioners and education providers to make mandatory notification under the National Law. The review is to make sure the guidelines are as effective as possible, clearly explaining all requirements and updated amendments. Closes 6 November 2019.

Guidelines for Advertising a Regulated Health Service

The National Boards and AHPRA are carrying out a public consultation on the Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service. The guidelines explain the advertising requirements in the National Law and to help advertisers (including registered health practitioners) to meet these requirements and advertise responsibly. The review is to make sure the guidelines are as contemporary, relevant and effective as possible. Closes 26 November 2019.

Effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and support for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

The Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs referred an inquiry into effective approaches to prevention and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and strategies for optimising life outcomes for people with FASD to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by June 2020. Closes 29 November 2019.

NHMRC public consultation on mitochondrial donation

The Australian Government has asked NHMRC to consult with the Australian community on the possible introduction of mitochondrial donation into clinical practice. The key focus is to understand what the views are of the broader Australian community, once the scientific, ethical and social issues are generally understood. Closes 29 November 2019.

Consultation on Issues Paper – Implementing Recommendations of the Third Review of the Gene Technology Scheme: Phase 1

Recognising the importance of ongoing consultation to inform implementation of the recommendations arising from the Third Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme (the Review), an Issues Paper to inform three key priority areas has been developed. Closes 29 November 2019.

Supervised Practice Framework

National Boards (excluding psychology and pharmacy) and AHPRA are carrying out a public consultation on the proposed Supervised practice framework as part of their project to enable a consistent, responsive and risk-based approach to supervised practice across the National Scheme. Closes 17 December 2019.

2020-21 Pre-Budget Submissions

The Government is calling for submissions from individuals, businesses and community groups seeking their views regarding priorities for the 2020-21 Budget. The Pre-Budget Submission Process for the 2020-21 Budget closes on 20 December 2019.

3.  Sector news

Statement from the National Research and Innovation Alliance

Australia cannot afford to compromise the principles underpinning scientific research
The National Research and Innovation Alliance (NRIA) resolutely takes the view that benefits to the nation and the advancement of knowledge are best served by a culture where researchers can put forward views and present data for discussion and scrutiny free from interference and without fear of reprisal. As organisations representing researchers across the nation, NRIA commit to the Principle of Universality (freedom and responsibility) of Science. Read the full NRIA statement here.

Australian immunologist wins prestigious Lasker Award

Professor Miller from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute was joint recipient of the 2019 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award with Professor Max Cooper of Emory University, US. They received the award for identifying immune cells called T and B cells, which have critical roles in our immune system.

Steering Committee Established For National Preventive Health Strategy

The Government is progressing its 10-year National Preventive Health Strategy, with an Expert Steering Committee selected to inform the strategy’s development. In the coming months, a wider consultation process with broader health experts, key stakeholders and consumers will ensure their views are heard and included in the development of the strategy.

Become a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion

The Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champions build on the efforts already underway across STEM organisations, providing a platform to share knowledge, act, evaluate and create accountability. Your organisation can become a champion by:

  1. Submitting a written response aligning your gender equity activities to the six opportunities outlined in the decadal plan, which will be hosted on the STEM Women website
  2. Agreeing to submit a progress update in 12 months’ time.

Responses are due by 16 October 2019.

Funding announcements:

MRFF funding announcements are below in the MRFF section.

4.  NHMRC update

NHMRC CEO Presentation on Investigator Grants – video and slides now available

NHMRC’s CEO, Professor Anne Kelso gave a number of presentations outlining the rationale for the New Grant Program and the key messages about the recently announced Investigator Grants. Professor Kelso’s presentation from 06 September 2019 at the University of Melbourne is now available to watch online, and the presentation slides from that session. The presentation from 03 September 2019 at University of Sydney is also available to watch online.

Investigator Grant Factsheets

The NHMRC has published three new factsheets regarding investigator grants:

Amended minimum data date for 2020 Investigator Grants Peer Review Round

Due to the 2019 Research Administration Officer Seminar coinciding with the Investigator Grants minimum data date of 30 October 2019, the minimum data date has been extended. The new minimum data closing time and date is 5pm (AEDT) 31 October 2019.

NHMRC Guide Released: Payment for Participants in Research

Information for researchers, HRECs and other ethics review bodies
This document provides information on ethical issues related to the payment of participants in research in the form of guidance, discussion of context, considerations for researchers and reviewers, examples of possible payment models and case studies for use by researchers and reviewers. Now available on the NHMRC website.

Information Paper: Implementation of the 3Rs in Australia

The fundamental framework for the ethical and humane use of animals for scientific purposes in Australia includes the responsibility to apply the 3Rs – Replacement, Reduction and Refinement — at all stages of animal care and use. The Information Paper and further information are available on NHMRC’s website.

5.  MRFF update

Consultation – Medical Research Future Fund: Stem Cell Therapies Mission Roadmap

As part of the 2019-20 budget the Government announced a commitment of $150 million, over 10 years, for a comprehensive research effort focussing on stem cells. A clear and well-focused Roadmap will ultimately increase the success of the Mission and the ability to attract co-investment from other funding sources. A series of consultation questions are proposed to guide feedback on the Roadmap, available hereCloses 31 October 2019.

Melbourne Biomedical Translation Bridge Program Round 2 Info Session – 31 Oct 2019

The Biomedical Translation Bridge Program is an initiative of the Medical Research Future Fund, providing up to $1 million in matching funding to nurture the translation of new therapies, technologies and medical devices through to the proof of concept stage. The information sessions are being held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Program

The ICTC Grant Opportunity will provide support for Australian research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts. This program has a continuous application process. For this round, applications are now open and Minimum data due date is 20 November 2019.

MRFF Investigator Grants

$32 million will be available from the MRFF for Investigator Grants for early to mid career researchers who can demonstrate experience turning research into positive outcomes for patients. Timed to coincide with the next round of NHMRC Investigator Grants, applications are now open and close on 27 November.

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 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.

MRFF Funding announcements

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

2020 Australia Harvard Fellowships

These Fellowships primarily aim to bring prominent senior Harvard researchers to Australia to share their knowledge with Australian researchers. Return visits by Australian researchers who have previously hosted Harvard researchers is also permitted. Applications close 09 October 2019.

Australia–India EMCR fellowships 2020

These Early- and Mid-Career (EMCR) fellowships provide financial support of up to A$16,500 for Australian researchers to travel to India and work with leading researchers at major Indian science and technology organisations for a period of between 1 and 3 months.The deadline for applications is 9 am (AEDT) Wednesday 9 October 2019.

Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF)

The AISRF aims to increase the uptake of leading science and technology by supporting collaboration between Australian and Indian researchers in strategically focused, leading-edge scientific research and technology projects. $5 million is available over 3 years. Closes 5pm (ACT local time) 23 October 2019.

Indigenous internship program

The NHMRC offers opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in an Undergraduate or Masters degree in a health or medical research related field to take up an internship in the agency. A limited number of places for internships are available in their Canberra and Melbourne offices. Applications close 5pm, Friday 25 October 2019.

2020 Clunies Ross Award

The Clunies Ross Awards have a proud 28-year tradition of recognising contributions by dedicated individuals who have shared their vision and knowledge with others to apply technology for the benefit of Australia. In 2020 the Clunies Ross Awards will be awarded in three categories with a single winner in each category. Nominations are now open and must be submitted by 9am AEDT on Friday 25 October.

National Science Week Grants 2020

The objectives of the grant opportunity are to support diverse local organisations and government to work together on science engagement activities that have been adapted to local needs and inspire wide community participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Grants are between $2,000 – $20,000. Closes 30 October 2019.

7.  Reports and resources

Release of Guides supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 establishes a framework for responsible research conduct that provides a foundation for high-quality research, credibility and community trust in the research endeavour. NHMRC, together with the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia recently released the Peer Review Guide and the Disclosure of Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest Guide, which support the implementation of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Monitoring mental health and suicide prevention reform: National report 2019

The National Mental Health Commission released its National Report 2019 on Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system, including recommendations to improve outcomes. The Commission continues to recommend a whole-of-government approach to mental health and suicide prevention.

National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18

This release presents information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2017-18 National Health Survey. Findings in 2017-18 include over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.7% reported being in fair or poor health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years.

Causes of Death, Australia, 2018

There were 158,493 registered deaths in Australia in 2018. This paper outlines the leading causes of those deaths with a particular focus on age and sex.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

ORCID: The Connected Researcher – Tuesday, 08 October (Melbourne)

The event will provide an opportunity to join ORCID Executive Director, Laure Haak and learn how ORCID and other Persistent Identifiers make reporting and tracking research impact easier for organisations. Ticket costs are $132.96.

The Australian Research Data Common’s Infrastructure and Data Summits – 21 October, 2019 (Brisbane)

Storage and Compute Infrastructure Summit brings together stakeholders developing the underpinning infrastructures that power research with a view to developing coherent national data systems. The Data and Services Summit brings together stakeholders involved or interested in developing a more coherent national data system and provides an opportunity to hear from research organisations/groups and service providers who participated in the Data and Services Discovery Activities.

SRNT-O Preconference workshops – 24 October, 2019 (NSW)

SRNT-O is hosting two preconference workshops delivered by international leaders in tobacco control research. Workshops are free. SRNT-O Inaugural Conference will be held on the 24-25 October, full details on their website.

AusBiotech 2019 – 30 Octotber – 01 November 2019 (Melbourne)

AusBiotech 2019 will bring together Australian and international biotech leaders and stakeholders to Melbourne for three days of education, skills building, and networking. Register via the AusBiotech website. Registration online via the AusBiotech website.

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s 2019 Psycho-Oncology Conference – 08 November 2019 (Melbourne)

With a conference theme of ‘Advancing Comprehensive Cancer Care’, this conference aims to address timely issues in research, education and practice and will showcase the best cutting edge work in psycho-oncology.

Research Australia 2019 Health & Medical Research Awards, 14 Nov (Melbourne)

Research Australia’s health and medical research Awards are an opportunity to shine a light on those who are work tirelessly to make incredible discoveries and advancements to improve the health of the nation and the world.

8th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation – 19-20 November 2019 (Melbourne)

The Symposium provides a platform for NHMRC’s community of researchers and others with an interest in the creation and use of research evidence, to share information and experiences, and to be challenged by new ideas or approaches. The Program is now available online. Early bird deadline is 22 October 2019.

Society for Ambulatory Assessment Conference – 15-18 January 2019 (Melbourne)

The Society for Ambulatory Assessment (SAA) will hold a conference in Australia for the first time in January 2020. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers with expertise in Ambulatory Assessment, involving the use of methods to assess the ongoing behaviour, physiology, experience and environmental aspects of people in naturalistic or unconstrained settings. Ambulatory Assessment uses ecologically-valid tools to understand biopsychosocial processes as they unfold naturally in time and in context, with potential to improve understanding and treatment of physical and mental health.

Molecular Approaches to Malaria 2020 – 23-27 February (Victoria)

The Molecular Approaches to Malaria Conference (MAM) 2020 will be held next year in Lorne, Victoria. The conference will take place over a span of five days from Sunday 23 February – Thursday 27 February 2020. MAM 2020 will feature leading experts in the field while providing opportunities for young researchers and scientists from malaria endemic countries to showcase their research through selected talks and posters from submitted abstracts.

Save the Date: GAP2020 conference – 11-13 May 2019 (Melbourne)

For the first time, Peter Mac will proudly host GAP2020 next year. The conference originates with Peter Mac’s sister institution, the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Centre (Texas, USA). It is a global forum for the exploration of impactful, innovative ideas and research that underpin the effort to eradicate cancer. From improving equality of access, to clinical and translational research, GAP2020 is a unique opportunity to hear from experts from Peter Mac and MD Anderson, along with national and international guests.

Dementia Research: Discovery, Innovation and Translation. Abstracts now open – 31 May – 2 June 2020 (Adelaide)

The Forum will consider the discoveries and innovation achieved by Australia’s dementia researchers as well as look forward to the task of translating research outcomes into practice.

Training opportunities

Micro-credentials in medicine and public health at the University of Sydney

Applications are open for a suite of new Sydney Professional Certificates curated for life-long learners in the medical industry. Micro-credentials range from biostatistics to qualitative health research. Explore Sydney Professional Certificates.