AAMRI e-news | August 2021

AAMRI e-news | August 2021

6th August, 2021


August 2021

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – 2021 AAMRI Convention, registrations open
  2. Government update – WA Animal Resource Centre – proposed closure
  3. Sector news – ARC announces new research and training centres
  4. NHMRC update – Gain of Function research review
  5. MRFF update – Latest funds awarded
  6. Other funding and award opportunities – MTPConnect REDI Fellowships webinar
  7. Reports and resources – Impact of COVID-19 on women in STEM
  8. Events and courses – AusBiotech programme launched

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 AAMRI Convention is now open for registration! 

We are delighted to announce that the AAMRI Convention will take place on 24 & 25 November 2021 at The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. The AAMRI Dinner will be held once again in The Great Hall at Parliament House, thanks to the sponsorship of CSL. The full program will be released in September 2021, more information on how to register on our website.

AAMRI Launches new state chapter in Western Australia

Western Australia’s medical research institutes have joined forces to form a new state chapter of AAMRI. AAMRI WA was officially launched by the Deputy WA Premier and Minister for Health and Medical Research, the Hon. Roger Cook MLA, at a gala dinner in Perth in late July.

AAMRI WA’s recommendations in the State Infrastructure Strategy

Western Australia’s 20-year draft infrastructure strategy has been released. The document supports all of AAMRI WA’s submissions (recommendation 79, found on page 229 of the report), and names each of AAMRI WA’s members (page 221).

MRI COVID-19 network

The AAMRI COVID-19 network exists to help support managing of impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on member’s institutes. Through the network the latest information on public health responses is shared, and occasional webinars are held on topical issues. If you work at an AAMRI member medical research institute and would like to join the network please contact communications@aamri.org.au.

MRI outreach website – inviting contributions

AAMRI is in the process of creating an online platform to showcase the amazing work of our members. To contribute stories or learn more, please email communications@aamri.org.au.

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

Animal Resource Centre – proposed closure

The WA Government has announced its intention to close the Animal Resource Centre in the next 12-18 months. AAMRI is working with members and stakeholders to find a sector solution as the closure will significantly impact on Australia’s capacity to undertake medical research. Those interested in this issue can contact Peter Thomas (peter.thomas@aamri.org.au) for further information.

Ideas and innovation funding to assist in COVID-19 economic bounceback in NSW

The commercialisation of innovative ideas that address impacts of COVID-19 are being supported by the NSW Government with two new funding streams. More information about the the COVID-19 TechVouchers program and Innovative Start up Fund are available on the NSW Government Support for Business website.


National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment 

This inquiry and report refers to the NDIS Improving Supports for At Risk Participants Bill 2021. Submissions are sought by 12 July 2021.

Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives

The Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology released a discussion paper seeking views about strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives. Closes 27 August 2021.

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

ARC announces new research hubs and training centres

$74 million has been announced in funding through the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program to support 8 new ARC Research Hubs and 8 new ARC Training Centres. This includes a new Training Centre for Optimal Ageing to be led by Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health along with others.

Doherty Institute Modelling Report for National Cabinet released

The Doherty Institute Modelling Report to advise on the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID Response can now be viewed online. Also available is a recording of the Doherty Institute-hosted press conference with University of Melbourne Professor Jodie McVernon, Director of Doherty Epidemiology.

Establishing the largest dementia research cohort in Australia

The Florey Institute has been awarded MRFF funding to assemble the largest ever dementia research cohort in Australia with the aim to develop a blood biomarker test providing a faster diagnosis of dementia.

4.  NHMRC update

Gain of Function Research Review

“Gain of function” is a term used to describe a change to any organism through any process that causes it to acquire a new function. The Hon Greg Hunt MP, has asked the NHMRC to undertake a review of gain of function research in Australia. The review will report to the Minister in December 2021.

NHMRC funding calendar

NHMRC keeps an up to date list of funding opportunities on its website where you can find out which schemes will be opening soon.

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 support for COVID-19 research – full list

$96 million under the MRFF has been made available for the national effort fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. See the list of all COVID-19 research projects that have been awarded MRFF funding.

MRFF 2021 Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and Babies

This fund is supporting research that will improve access to culturally safe care during pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period. Up to $15 million is available over four years. Applications open on 12 August and close on 25 November 2021.

Funding awarded:

  • $3.3 million to support Australians living with a rare disease.

MRFF grant opportunities calendar

See what Medical Research Future Fund (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.  Other funding and award opportunities

MTPConnect REDI Fellowships – AAMRI Webinar

AAMRI invites you and any interested colleagues to a special AAMRI webinar where we’ll be joined by colleagues at MTPConnect who will discuss opportunities for medical researchers interested in industry collaboration placements funded through the MPTConnect REDI Fellowships. When: 17 August, 3-4pm. To attend, email enquiries@aamri.org.au to receive a calendar invitation.

Tender opportunity: Evaluation of the Medical Research Future Fund’s Clinical Trial Activity

The Supplier’s team must have strong expertise in and knowledge of clinical trials, including practical experience in the field. Closes 31 August 2021.

Funding opportunities

Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2. Funding supports new opportunities for researchers and policy makers to work together. Closes 12 August.

MRFF 2021 COVID 19 Health Impacts and Vaccination Schedules Grant Opportunity. Closes 18 August.

MRFF 2021 Rare Cancers Rare Diseases Unmet Need General Grant Opportunity. Closes 18 August.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Participation in Cancer Screening Programs 2021. Closes 18 August.

NHRMC 2021 Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies GrantsCloses 25 August.

Australia India Strategic Research Fund – Collaborative Research Projects – Round 14. Closes 31 August.

Rebecca Cooper Fellowship, Targeted at Mid-Career Researchers (10-15 years post doctoral). Closes 31 August.

2021 Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme for funding commencing in 2022. Closes 1 September.

MRFF – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 1. Minimum data due by 25 August. Closes 8 September.

Women & Leadership Australia – scholarships of $1000-$5000 p/p are available for women in the Health Sector. Closes 10 September.

2021 Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Round now open, includes: Early Career Research Fellowships, Mid-Career Research Fellowships, Quality and Safety in Cancer Care Research Grants. Closes 13 September.

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

MRFF – Clinical Trials Activity Initiative – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity. Closes 16 February 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.

Award opportunities

Applications open for JSPS 13th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates. The meeting will be held virtually from March 7 – 11 2022. Closes 6 September 2021.

7.  Reports and resources

Impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce | Asia–Pacific

A new report by the Australian Academy of Science has found that the impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce across the Asia-Pacific region has heightened the challenges and barriers they face in progressing their careers.

Cell and Gene Therapies: Rising to the Challenge – New Report

Launched on 22 July, the report includes a suite of recommendations to the nation’s decision-makers to ensure that the 2 million Australians who may benefit are not left behind when it comes to accessing these new therapies.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports

8.  Events and courses

16th National Rural Health Conference – abstract deadline

Abstracts closing soon for Australia’s national rural health conference  – Closes 9 August.

BioForum: Future Direction for mRNA Technology

Hear from The Hon. Jaala Pulford, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Professor Colin Pouton, Monash University and Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist and Chair of the mRNA Victoria Scientific Advisory Group. When: 10 August8 – 9:30am AEST, virtual event.

Menzies School of Health Research symposiums

SVI Health Matters Webinar: Type 1 Diabetes

Join leading SVI researcher, Dr Michelle So, as she presents the steps towards preventing type 1 diabetes. When: 12 August, 1pm AEST.

Institute for Glycomics 21st Birthday Grand Ball

Join this black-tie event to raise funds for ground-breaking research. For tickets or to donate prizes for auction, please contact glycomicsmarketing@griffith.edu.auWhen: 14 August at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast. 

AusBiotech 2021 programme launched

This year’s Millis Oration keynote is Professor Sharon Lewin AO, Director, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. She will address HIV to COVID-19: what history has taught us about our response to pandemics. When: Oct 25-29.

JBI workshop

Australasian Melanoma Conference 2021

Join experts from Australasia and beyond to discuss advancements in melanoma. When: 19-20 November, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium: Save the date

This year’s free symposium on ‘Remodelling and Regeneration’ is being hosted jointly by the Heart Research Institute and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Registrations will open soon. When: 9-10 December, Sydney Nanoscience Hub.