AAMRI e-news July 2019

AAMRI e-news July 2019

9th July, 2019


July 2019

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – election commitments met as MRFF receives $7.8 billion
  2. Government update – Consultations currently open
  3. Sector news –  Government accepts stillbirth report recommendations
  4. NHMRC update – Application dates for major schemes
  5. MRFF update – Genomics Health Futures Missions deadline extension
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – 2020 CSL Centenary Fellowship closes soon
  7. Reports & resources – 2019 Sector Competitiveness Plan
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – The Politics of 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

AAMRI pleased election commitments met as MRFF receives $7.8 billion

The $7.8 billion commitment to the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), announced in June, is the largest single investment made to Australian medical research. During the federal election medical research institutes were keen to see the coalition confirm their promise to fully fund the MRFF, and the injection of funds is great news for the sector.

“We congratulate the Government in prioritising medical research and honouring their election promise to the MRFF,” said AAMRI President Elect Professor Jonathan Carapetis. Read the full media release on our website.

AAMRI submission to the draft National Clinical Quality Registry (CQR) Strategy

Working with our members AAMRI has put forward a submission to the draft national strategy for CQRs. AAMRI’s submission states there are opportunity for a national strategy to provide overall direction, shared encourage learning between CQRs (both nationally and internationally) and to ensure that Australia has the CQRs it needs to meet the health challenges of the future.

Our submission highlights the need for the role of researchers to be better recognised throughout the draft Strategy, as it is researchers that interrogate CQRs and unlock much of their value. Read the full submission on our website.

Member news

2019 AAMRI Convention – save the date

The 2019 AAMRI Convention will take place on 27 and 28 November 2019 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Please save the date for your diary and we look forward to seeing you there.

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 five active AAMRI staff networks – HR, IT, Research Governance, Research Strategy and Research Administration Officers (RAO). Networks for philanthropy and legal counsel are under development. For information on AAMRI Networks, upcoming network events and how to join, visit the AAMRI website.

AAMRI’s Research Governance and Research Strategy Networks (pictured above)

The annual workshop for AAMRI’s Research Governance and Research Strategy Networks was held at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute on 29-30th May. Over 80 professional staff from 29 medical research institutes around the country came together for two days of discussions on key sector issues including managing research data, preparing for the updated Code of Conduct, navigating the funding landscape and ways to evaluate research impact.

2.  Government update 


Expenditure on Children in the Northern Territory

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to conduct a study into government expenditure in the Northern Territory on children and family services aimed at preventing harm to children. The Commission will examine ways to improve these funding arrangements and the services they deliver. Initial submissions are due by Wednesday 10 July, 2019.

Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2020-21

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) has released its Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2020-21. IHPA’s Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services is revised and published each year. It outlines the principles, scope and methodology adopted by IHPA to determine the National Efficient Price and the National Efficient Cost Determinations for Australian public hospital services for the specific financial year. Public consultation will close on Monday, 15 July 2019.

Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians, to be used by all Australian Government agencies. The Commission will also review the performance of agencies against the strategy over time. Initial submissions are due by Friday 23 August 2019.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – second background paper released

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released its second Background Paper on 02 May as part of the Royal Commission’s work. The Royal Commission invites interested members of the public and institutions to make submissions to the Royal Commission. They will continue to accept submissions until at least the end of September 2019.

Personalised medical devices

The International Medical Device Regulators Forum as consulting on definitions and regulatory pathways for Regulatory Authorities to consider in the regulation of medical devices that are intended for individual patients. Comments are being sought on a draft guidance document. Submissions are due by 24 July 2019.

3.  Sector news

National Preventive Health Strategy announced

In June it was announced by Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, that an Australian Preventive Health Strategy is to be established. Mr Hunt made the announcement at the start of the PHAA’s Public Health Prevention Conference. We will keep members up to date with the consultation dates when they are posted.

Government accepts stillbirth report recommendations

The Government has accepted the recommendations made by the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education Report. The Government has agreed to, or agreed in principle to all the recommendations, and their response include developing a National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan, investing in stillbirth research, developing best practice, culturally appropriate resources for health professionals and parents and families, and working with States and Territories to make improvements in several key areas. More information can be found in the Minister’s media release.

Australian Greens announce new portfolio responsibilities

The Australian Greens have announced updated portfolios, as decided at Monday’s meeting of the Australian Greens Party Room. The full list can be seen on their website.

Funding announcements:

See our MRFF section below for details on recent MRFF funding announcements.

4.  NHMRC update

2020 New Grant Program: application dates for major schemes

After receiving feedback from the sector, the NHMRC has set the open, minimum data and close dates for the following major grant schemes in 2020.

Scheme Open Minimum data due  Close
Investigator Grants 2 October 2019 30 October 2019 27 November 2019
Synergy Grants 26 February 2020 25 March 2020 22 April 2020
CTCS Grants 4 March 2020 1 April 2020 29 April 2020
Ideas Grants 11 March 2020 8 April 2020 6 May 2020

Updated process for granting Administering Institution status

NHMRC has revised its process for granting Administering Institution (AI) status, which is required for institutions that want to administer NHMRC funding. Current AIs do not need to re-apply. Institutions wanting to apply for AI status should complete and submit the AI application form.

Direct Research Costs guidelines updated

NHMRC Direct Research Costs (DRC) guidelines have been revised to align with NHMRC’s new grant program and provide guidance on expenditure of NHMRC funds. The updated guidelines apply to all new expenditure commitments from NHMRC grants and funding requests in NHMRC applications.

NHMRC – Partnership Projects

This funding scheme provides funding and support to create new opportunities for researchers and policy makers to work together to define research questions, undertake research, interpret the findings and implement the findings into policy and practice. More details on the Partnerships Projects on the NHMRC website. For this round, applications close on 14 August 2019 with minimum data due 31 July 2019.

NHMRC Authorship Guide and the Management of Data and Information in Research Guide

To assist researchers and institutions, NHMRC, Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia (UA) developed the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018. To support the implementation of the 2018 Code, NHMRC, ARC and UA are developing a suite of guides, two of which are the Authorship Guide and the Management of Data and Information in Research Guide.

5.  MRFF update

Funding announcements:

Genomics Health Futures Mission – Flagships – Pathogen Genomics – deadline extended

The $106 million Flagships stream forms part of the GHFM and will be delivered over nine years from 2019-20 to 2027-28 through a number of rounds. Due to the federal election in May, the application round has been delayed and now closes 5pm ACT local time, 12 September 2019. This grant opportunity is the first round of the Flagships stream. Grants range from $1-10 million for a maximum length of four years.

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, minimum data due 31 July 2019, applications close 15 August 2019.

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.

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

2020 CSL Centenary Fellowships

The CSL Centenary Fellowships for early-mid career medical researchers are high-value awards available to Australians who wish to continue a career in medical research in Australia. Two individual five-year $1.25 million fellowships are awarded each calendar year. Applications close on the 31 July 2019.

Falling Walls Lab Australia – applications now open

The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from postdocs and students, entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators to present at Falling Walls Lab Australia. 15 applicants will be selected to participate, each giving a three-minute presentation on their research, business model or initiative based on the concept ‘Which walls will fall next?’. The winner will have their travel expenses and attendance paid for to attend the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin 8–9 November. Applications close 9am (AEST) 11 July, 2019.

2019/2020 Fulbright Future Scholarships – Open until July 15

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission will double the number of scholarships on offer this year, via a new program of scholarships funded through a generous private donation. Australian medical researchers, scientists and practitioners have the chance to take their work to the U.S, available to postgraduate students, PhD researchers, academics, postdocs, and professionals. Awardees will receive funding for full tuition/visiting researcher expenses at a U.S. institution of their choice, as well as travel and living costs. Applications close 15 July 2019.

2019 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation

Two 2019 Victoria Prizes for Science & Innovation, worth $50,000 each, will be awarded to outstanding science leaders: one for Life Sciences and one Physical Sciences. Applications close 5pm, 17 July 2019. 

Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research

Each year, the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia awards and celebrates two exceptional mid-career stem cell researchers with the Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research. The Metcalf Prizes, each worth $50,000, are awarded to one male and one female stem cell researcher, working in Australia, between 5-10 years past their PhD or MD (research-based). Applications close Monday 29 July 2019.

2020 HOT NORTH Early Career Fellowship and Career Development Fellowship

HOT NORTH offers competitive research funding of $77,950 (ECF) and $92,070 (CDF) for 1-year Fellowships focused on Northern Australia and the region and aligned with the five HOT NORTH research themes: skin health, respiratory health, antimicrobial resistance, chronic diseases, and vector borne and emerging diseases. Applications close 16 August 2019.

Applications open for visit to the National Institutes of Health in the USA by a junior scientist 

The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from junior scientists to visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States of America in 2020. The deadline for applications is 9 am (AEST) Friday 13 September 2019.

2020 Australia Harvard Fellowships are Open

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.

7.  Reports and resources

National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management

Released in June, the Action Plan was developed by Painaustralia with federal government funding and proposed eight key goals in its vision for 2021. It can be read online in full – here.

2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation

The NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation was launched in June at the Australian Dementia Forum in Hobart. Read the media release online here.

2019 Sector Competitiveness Plan

MTPConnect has released their 2019 Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP). MTPConnect released their first SCP in 2016; a foundation plan for the MTP sector and MTPConnect. They published an update in 2018 and now, as part of a process of annual review, they’ve released their 2019 plan which captures the evolving nature of the sector.

IP Australia issued two research papers on how Australia’s IP systems are used

IP Australia has released two economic research papers which provide new evidence for how Australia’s intellectual property (IP) systems are used. The first study explores the extent to which Australia’s trade mark register is cluttered with out-of-use or overly broad trade marks. The second study reveals which Australian industries make intensive use of registered design rights, and how Australia’s design economy compares to those of our international peers.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

Strategies for Success: Implementing Gender Workforce Targets in STEMM – 25 July 2019 (Sydney)

This one-day symposium is bringing together the STEMM workforce to workshop barriers and share solutions to the issues around achieving gender equity targets.

The Politics of Mental Health – Sydney 22 July 2019 & Melbourne 23 July 2019

Half of all Australians will experience mental ill-health in their lifetime. The prevalence of mental illness in young people is on the rise. The World Health Organization confirms that depression will overtake heart disease as the number one cause of disease burden worldwide by 2030. A panel of experts and politicians will be sharing ideas on what can be done to improve mental health service provision and the mental health outcomes of all Australians. Alastair Campbell will be joined by Professor Patrick McGorry, Christopher Pyne, Dee Madigan (Melbourne only), and Helen Christensen (Sydney only).

ACTA International Clinical Trials Conference – 2-5 October 2019 (Sydney)

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance have released their Program of Australian and International experts. Early bird registration closes 31 July, 2019.

The ACTA International Clinical Trials Conference abstract deadline has been extended to Monday 8 July to allow those who were unable to make the original deadline to submit.

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

The call for abstracts for the Symposium is now open. The theme for this year is “Research Translation in the digital age: harnessing the power of data and analytical technologies”. 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.

14th World Congress on Inflammation, 15-19 Sept, 2019 (Sydney) – EOI open

Plenary speakers, program themes and abstract submission dates now available on the website. Conference flyer also available to download.

Australian Delegation to the MedTech Conference – 23 September 2019 (Boston)

MTPConnect invites the Australian medical technology sector to join the Australian delegation to The MedTech Conference – 23-25 September 2019 in Boston, MA. MTPConnect want to showcase outstanding innovative medical technologies, Australia’s unique capabilities, and build invaluable connections into international markets. They are offering registration at AUD$1,000 (including GST). Please note that this does not include registration to the MedTech Conference, accommodation or air fares, however discounts are available – read more.

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. Early Bird registration is now open for the conference and must be paid in full by 30 September 2019.

Training opportunities

New pilot program – Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) Intern

Over the next four years, APR.Intern will undergo a national expansion placing 1,400 new research internships into industry from 2017 to 2020 in collaboration with 19 universities nationwide. A new Australian Government rebate of 50% on the cost of a typical five month PhD internship of $26k, is now available to all small-to-medium and large enterprises, as well as government agencies, exclusively through the APR.Intern program. The first full round of Block Internships is planned to open for applications later this year.