AAMRI e-news | April 2022

AAMRI e-news | April 2022

7th April, 2022

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In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – Federal budget – what’s in it for medical research?
  2. Government update – National Medicines Policy consultation period extended
  3. Sector news – Australia’s first ever Indigenous health workforce plan
  4. NHMRC update – NHRMC annual awards announced
  5. MRFF update – Grant opportunity gender data report
  6. Funding and award opportunities – 2022 Tall Poppy Awards closing soon
  7. Reports and resources – Close the Gap Campaign Report 2022
  8. Events and courses – Clinical Trials 2022

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

1. AAMRI news

2022-2023 Federal Budget – what’s in it for medical research?

AAMRI has put together a summary of the Federal Budget released late March. The big news for the medical research sector was the release of the Government’s second Ten-Year Investment Plans for the MRFF (the first being released at the Budget three years ago).

AAMRI applauds $375 million new investment in WA comprehensive cancer centre

The centre is being developed by AAMRI member the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and will create jobs and a focus on collaboration in cancer research.

2.  Government update

MRFF legislation changes not proceeding

The legislation to amend the MRFF Act looks set to lapse with an election likely to be called in the next couple of weeks. The Bill is currently before the Senate, but with no sitting days left before a likely election in May, it is unlikely the legislation will now proceed. As summarised by AAMRI last year, the legislation would have allowed the Future Fund to take on a more aggressive investment strategy with the aim of making more funding available for medical research. The decision on whether to reintroduce the Bill will be made by the next Government after the election.

2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap

The 2021 National Research Infrastructure (NRI) Roadmap has been released. NRI refers to facilities, equipment and resources that are needed to perform research and the experts needed to run the infrastructure.

Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021

Passed in March, the legislation, known as Maeve’s law, will legalise partial DNA donations, allowing women to give birth without passing on a genetic disease.

National Medicines Policy consultation period extended

Following consultation with stakeholders, the Australian Government will extend the consultation period for the updated National Medicines Policy until after the Federal election.

Security Legislative Amendment (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Bill

Passed on 31 March, the amendments aim to boost the security and resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure to safeguard essential services such as supply chain, cyber and personnel threats. New obligations will eventually be applied to those operating critical infrastructure in the research sector.

Consultations

Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management

The Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management is seeking NHMRC approval and is open for public consultation. Closes 06 May 2022.

National Ethics Committee Quality Standard

The full name for the consultation is “Development of a National Accreditation Scheme for Human Research Ethics Committees and Expansion of the National Mutual Acceptance Scheme”. Register your interest to receive updates on how to be involved.

Tabled reports

3.  Sector news

Australia launches first ever Indigenous health workforce plan

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan 2021–2031 is the first of its kind. It seeks to have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people equally represented alongside non-Indigenous workers across the health sector by 2031.

Partnership to secure Australian-made mRNA vaccines

An agreement has been finalised with global pharmaceutical company Moderna that secures the production of up to 100 million Australian made mRNA doses every year and hundreds of manufacturing jobs too.

Vision 2040 Strategy appoints Committee Chair

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe will lead a Strategic Advisory Committee to develop the nation’s strategy for health and medical research for the next two decades – the Vision 2040 Strategy.

$8.65 million for WA Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy

The Strategy, which was launched last year, provides a blueprint to develop and grow the sector and diversify Western Australia’s economy.

VIC Govt formalises partnership with Korea on mRNA research 

Under the partnership, Victoria and Korea have committed to exchange information and facilitate linkages between industry, research and government organisations on opportunities for joint early-stage RNA research, clinical trials and investment.

Doherty Institute secures agreement for Modena’s mRNA Access Program

mRNA Access is designed to enable rapid acceleration of vaccine testing for a wide range of infectious diseases spanning HIV and tuberculosis, through to Japanese encephalitis virus.

Central Coast Clinical School and Research Institute

The University of Newcastle Central Coast Clinical School and Central Coast Research Institute was officially opened on 14 March 2020. The $72.5 million dollar Institute was completed in partnership with the Federal and NSW Governments and the University of Newcastle.

New UNSW RNA Institute opens

Established with a $25 million investment from UNSW Sydney as part of a NSW RNA Bioscience Alliance between NSW universities and the State Government, the Institute will build NSW’s capability to research, develop and manufacture RNA-based therapeutics locally.

AI Biotech in Victoria

InterVenn Biosciences, the developer of an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to detect cancer, will establish its commercial and research lab at St Vincent’s Hospital. The biotech firm will work with local RNA researchers on developing new therapeutics for cancer detection using RNA markers.

Australian Academy of Science: Position Statement 2022 – Science and Australia’s Positive Future

In this statement, the Academy calls on the next Australian government to secure Australian jobs and Australian industries with science.

Victorian biobank now globally recognised

The $10 million facility developed by the Monash University School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, is the first in Australia to be accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities.

National agency to advance genomic medicine

$28.1 million has been announced to establish Genomics Australia from 1 January 2024. The agency will build on six years of work by Australian Genomics.

Australian Academy of Science 2022 awards

Outstanding contributions to science were recognised in March by the Australian Academy of Science with 20 of Australia’s leading scientists receiving a 2022 honorific award.

Funding announcements:

Funding awarded:

Appointments:

  • The Lowitja Institute welcomes the appointment of Dr Michelle Kennedy to the role of executive manager – research and knowledge translation.

4. NHMRC update

NHMRC annual awards

Thirteen awards were presented recognising the top-ranked applicants to each of NHMRC’s major funding schemes during the past year.

CEO Communique webinar on Gender disparities in NHMRC’s Investigator Grant Scheme

Recordings of both webinars, including the CEO’s presentation and Q&As, are now available on NHMRC’s vimeo page.

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

MRFF grant opportunity gender data report

The first Medical Research Future Fund Grant Opportunity Gender Data Report is now available. This report provides gender information about applicants and grantees of competitive MRFF grant opportunities.

Million Minds Research Mission expert panel appointed

The panel will be chaired by former National Mental Health Commissioner, Professor Maree Teesson, who has made a major contribution to Australian research into mental health and substance use.

Next MRFF webinar – 10:30am, 12 April 2022

Host Dr Masha Somi, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Medical Research Office, within the Department of Health, will talk about the MRFF 2nd 10-year Investment Plan, recent MRFF programs, news, grant opportunities and outcomes.

Participation by Department of Health employees in research activities funded by the MRFF

This policy statement, released on 22 March, ensures Department of Health staff understand their obligations when participating in activities funded by the MRFF.

MRFF grant opportunities

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

The Academy of Science – Nominations open for 2023 honorific awards and funding

Nominations are now open for honorific awards, research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships. Honorific award nominations closes 1 May 2022, research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships closes 1 June 2022.

2022 Young Tall Poppy Awards, closes 19 April 2022.

MRFF – Australian Brain Cancer Mission – 2021 Brain Cancer Research Grant Opportunity, minimum 20 April 2022, closes 4 May 2022.

The National Breast Cancer Research Foundation 2023 Investigator Initiated Research Scheme, closes 30 May 2022.

Jian Zhou Medal, open to individuals within 15 years of achieving their PhD, closes 30 April.

WA Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, closes 02 May 2022.

Maker Projects – Community STEM Engagement grants 2022, closes 09 May 2022.

APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) Prize for 2022, closes 09 May 2022.

Artificial Intelligence and Digital Capability Centres Grants, closes 12 May 2022.

ARC Discovery Projects for funding commencing in 2023, closes 17 May 2022.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research: Improving Indigenous maternal and child health in the early years 2022, Minimum data due 18 May 2022., closes 1 June 2022.

2023 Dr John Dixon Hughes OAM Medal for Medical Research Innovation, self-nominations are not accepted, closes 6pm 20 May 2022

Snow Fellowships 2022, biomedical research, up to $1M per year for 8 years, closes 31 May 2022.

Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities for funding commencing in 2023, closes 1 June 2022.

Healthcare sector women’s leadership scholarship, $1,000 – $5,000. Closes 10 June 2022.

MRFF 2022 National Critical Research Infrastructure Grant Opportunity, minimum data 16 June 2022, closes 7 September 2022.

MRFF 2021 Clinical Trials Activity grant opportunity, minimum data 22 June 2022, closes 6 July 2022.

PhD Scholarships – Blood Cancer – from The Leukaemia Foundation and the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand, closes 10 July 2022.

MRFF – 2021 Early to Mid-Career Researchers Grant Opportunity, minimum data 29 June 2022, closes 13 July 2022.

MRFF – 2021 Chronic Respiratory Conditions grant opportunity, minimum data 29 June 2022, closes 13 July 2022.

MRFF – Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative – 2021 Consumer-Led Research grant opportunity, minimum data 29 June 2022, closes 13 July 2022.

MRFF – Primary Health Care Research Initiative – 2021 Primary Health Care Digital Innovations grant opportunity, minimum data 29 June 2022, closes 13 July 2022.

MRFF – Preventive and Public Health Research – 2021 Maternal Health and Healthy Lifestyles grant opportunity, minimum data 29 June 2022, closes 13 July 2022.

MRFF – PPHRI & EPCDRI – 2022 Effective Treatments and Therapies grant opportunity, minimum data 13 July 2022, closes 27 July 2022.

Register with GrantConnect to receive notifications when new opportunities open.

7.  Reports and resources

Lowitja Institute launches Indigenous Data Sovereignty evaluation toolkit

The Indigenous Data Sovereignty Readiness Assessment and Evaluation Toolkit has been made for researchers, governments, and communities, to strengthen community control use and protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data and information.

Close the Gap Campaign Report 2022

Transforming Power: Voices for Generational Change
The 13th annual Close the Gap Campaign calls on Australian governments to embrace genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to collectively close the gap in health outcomes for the next generation.

Perspectives Brief: Transforming the genomics workforce to sustain high value care

Released this week by the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, the Perspectives Brief explores some of the challenges currently facing this rapidly evolving sector.

Australian Health Research Alliance Impact Report 2022

The AHRA is the voice of seven Research Translation Centres and three Centres for Innovation in Regional Health – all accredited by the NHMRC.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports

8.  Events and courses

Clinical Trials 2022, 20 May, 5pm (NSW)

The 2022 ceremony will include the announcement of the ACTA Trial of the Year Award winners as well as presentations from keynote speakers including Professor Anne Kelso AO, CEO, NHMRC.