AAMRI eNews 7th edition 2017

AAMRI eNews 7th edition 2017

21st August, 2017



7th edition 2017

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – 2017 AAMRI Annual Convention – Registrations now open!
  2. Government update – new ACNC support materials, consultation on National Gene Technology Scheme
  3. NHMRC & ARC updates – new details on the new NHMRC Grant Program, a peer review consultation and more
  4. MRFF update – keep up to date on the new funding opportunities
  5. Sector news – landmark $325M deal for WEHI and more
  6. Reports & resources – the latest reports and resources from the sector
  7. Funding & award opportunities – industry internships for PhD students and the latest funding opportunities
  8. Events & conferences – One Ventures BTF roadshow, meeting with Nobel Laureates, and more

1. AAMRI news


Registration now open for the 2017 AAMRI Annual Convention & Dinner
The 2017 AAMRI Annual Convention will be held on 6-7 December at Hotel Realm, Canberra, with the Annual Dinner held in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

The AAMRI Annual Convention is a free, member only event consisting of strategy meetings, networking opportunities, AAMRI’s Annual Dinner at Parliament House and AAMRI’s AGM. This year’s speakers include Professor Anne Kelso (CEO, NHMRC), Dr Alan Finkel (Australia’s Chief Scientist) and Ms Sue McLeman (CEO MTP Connect).


2.  Government update

Policy announcements

Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commissioner
There are major changes to the support materials available to help MRIs complete their 2017 Annual Information Statement, most notably the 2017 Annual Information Statement Guide.


Consultation for the Third Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme
The Scheme consists of the Gene Technology Act 2000 and the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 and corresponding state and territory laws to provide a nationally consistent system to regulate development and use of gene technology in Australia. A consultation on the scheme is now underway and submissions are due by 15 September 2017. Terms of reference, background paper, and other consultation details are available from the Department of Health.

Capital allowances: effective life review of assets used in the scientific testing and analysis services industry
The ATO is undertaking a review into capital allowances associated with assets used in the scientific testing and analysis services industry. The review relates to businesses with the ANZSIC code 69250. While this does not include medical research institutes, the review could impact on related businesses.

Additional naming requirements for biological medicines
The TGA are inviting comments on whether there is a need for additional naming requirements for biological medicines as a way of strengthening traceability and pharmacovigilance. Comments are due by 8 September 2017.



Structural Review of the NHMRC Grant Program – new details announced!
In a recent webinar the NHMRC has provided further details on the new Grant Program, including funding packages, fellowship levels and transition arrangements. Slides from the webinar are available as well as information on the transition arrangements. You can keep up to date on the latest announcements and find the updated FAQs on the NHMRC restructure website.

NHMRC consultation on peer review
In the webinar on the new arrangements for the NHMRC Grant Program (see above) it was announced there would be a consultation into the future peer review arrangements. A consultation paper will be released in September and public fora held in key capital cities in October and November.

New Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres (AHRTC) & Centres for Innovation in Regional Health (CIRH)
The NHMRC has announced the establishment of further AHRTCs and CIRHs. The AHRTCs and CIRHs are recipients of funding from the first round of the Medical Research Future Fund.

Grant Review Panel (GRP) videos
The NHMRC has released new Grant Review Panel (GRP) videos which provide a brief over view of the Project Grants peer review process.

Dementia research funding outcomes
The funding outcomes for over $40 million of medical research projects into dementia research have been announced. This includes 45 projects to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer’s disease. These projects are part of the $200 million initiative announced in the 2014-15 Budget.


4. MRFF update

Keep up to date with all the latest MRFF announcements
AAMRI has compiled a summary of all the MRFF announcements to date, as well as providing links to the various funding opportunities. This will be continuously updated as and when further information becomes available.

Youth cancer research – CanTeen calls for expressions of interest
CanTeen was provided $5 million in funding via the Medical Research Future Fund for the Australian Young Cancer Patient Clinical Trials Initiative. Expressions of interest from researchers, research organisations and other stakeholders are now being sought for full or part funding for a project that will improve outcomes for young cancer patients. Responses are due by 27 August 2017.

MRFF – Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Capacity Program
The NHMRC anticipates opening the call for research funding for the Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Capacity Program at the end of August 2017


5.  Sector news

AAMRI members featured in the 2017 Research Excellence Awards
Researchers from MRIs featured strongly in the 2017 NHMRC Research Excellence Awards. Congratulations to all.

WEHI: Anti-Cancer Treatment yields up to US$325M in landmark deal
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research has made a landmark deal worth up to $325 million from the partial sale of royalty rights in anti-cancer treatment venetoclax.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute: Vitamin B3 could prevent birth defects
Researchers at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute announced that a simple dietary supplement, vitamin B3, could hold the key to prevent many miscarriages and birth defects. The finding is the result of more than 12 years of work led by Professor Sally Dunwoodie.


6.  Reports and resources

ACSQHC & ACTA report on the benefits of clinical trials
This report shows the substantial economic and health benefits of clinical trials. The report found that for every $1 invested in clinical trials, benefits of $5.80 can be realised.

APVMA report on antimicrobial resistance in animals supports prudent use of antibiotics
Findings from a new report by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), “Antibiotic resistance in animals”, support a One Health approach, which engages human, animal and environmental health sectors to minimise the emergence and spread of ‘super bugs’ from animals to humans.

Hearing Care Industry Australia (HCIA) finds 37% current cases of hearing loss were preventable
A report released by HCIA highlights the social and economic impact of hearing loss on the population, and that more than a third of current cases of hearing loss could have been prevented.

AIHW launches GEN, a web resource for information about Australian aged care services
GEN, launched by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) this week, is a comprehensive one-stop shop for data and information about aged care services in Australia. This web resource is designed for all types of users from students looking for data for assignments to data modellers.

UK Making a difference: Impact report 2017
The UK Association of Medical Research Charities has released a report showing the impact of the £1.6 billion medical research it’s members fund. The report provides new and novel ways of showing impact.

AIHW Tracking Progress against the Implementation Plan goals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023
The report provides a data visualisation tool for tracking progress against the 20 Implementation Plan goals for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2020. It provides data for each of the 20 goals, and assesses progress against the goals at the national level.

20 years of progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research
The Lowitja Institute’s new report, Changing the Narrative in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, details how four CRCs, in collaboration with the Lowitja Institute, pioneered a research approach that centres on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priorities, cultures, and knowledge.

2016 Ministerial Dementia Forum report: support for people living with dementia needs improvement
The Turnbull government report on the 2016 Ministerial Dementia Forum highlights how support for people living with dementia must be improved to be closely integrated with the broader aged care, health and social service systems.


7.  Funding & award opportunities

Industry internships for PhD students
AMSI Intern are running a government supported program to link PhD students with industry internship opportunities. The internships provide a stipend of $3,000 per month, and allow students to gain experience in transferring the skills gained during their PhD into real-world application through a short-term industry research project. The internships are available to students from a wide range of disciplines, and the placements are across a range of different industries.

CRC-Ps: Grants to support industry-led collaborations
Applications for the 4th Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) selection round will close on Monday 28 August at 5pm. CRC-P grants support short term industry-led collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services.

Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge
Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge is said to be the most ambitious cancer research grant in the world. They are providing a series of $20m awards for international, multi-disciplinary teams willing to take on the toughest challenges in cancer. Short questionnaires in response are due by 14 September 2017, and full expressions of interest by 12 October 2017.

NHMRC – National Institute for Health Research Collaborative Research Grants
The NHMRC and the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have joined together to co-fund Collaborative Research Grants through the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Further information on the application process is available from the NHMRC website.

Lung Cancer Research Fellowships, Awards and Grants
The Lung Foundation Australia currently has several funding opportunities open for grants, fellowships and awards for lung cancer and respiratory research. The current funding round closes 25 September, 2017.

ATSE – Clunies Ross Awards for Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation
Nominations for the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Clunies Ross Awards are now open. These awards have a 25-year tradition of recognising contributions of those individuals who have shared their vision and knowledge to apply technology for the benefit of Australia. Nominations are due 2pm Friday 27th October.

2018 Australia-Harvard Fellowships
The Australia-Harvard Fellowships are seeking applicants from Australia-based researchers seeking to visit Harvard to follow up on collaborations with previous incoming Australia-Harvard Fellows, or for researchers based at Harvard who wish to visit an Australian host institution. Applications are due by 11 September 2017.


8.  Events & conferences

OneVentures BTF – roadshow to search for new investments in healthcare
The OneVentures Biomedical Translational Fund team is looking for investment opportunities in transformative healthcare companies for their new $170M healthcare fund. They will hold briefing sessions in early September in Sydney (7th), Melbourne (8th) and Brisbane (11th). Register your interest in attending a briefing session or arranging a private meeting.

Call for applications to attend the 10th JSPS HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates
The Australian Academy of Science is inviting nominations from Australian PhD students and Postdoc researchers to attend the 10th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates, in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine and related fields, to be held in Yokohama, Japan, 11-15 March 2018. The deadline for applications is 9am (AEST) on Monday 28 August 2017.

Fresh Science Competition: training ECRs to promote scientific discoveries through the media
Fresh Science is a national competition in its 20th year which has trained over 500 scientists in how to share their discoveries through news stories on television, print, radio and online. Nominations are now open for early-career researchers (Hons students to 5 years post-PhD) who have a discovery that has received little or no media attention. Closes midnight on 31st August, 2017.