AAMRI e-news | October 2022

AAMRI e-news | October 2022

20th October, 2022


In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – AAMRI welcomes NHMRC’s steps towards improving gender equity in investigator grants
  2. Government update –  Inquiry into long COVID
  3. Sector news – BioNTech partnership with Victoria
  4. NHMRC update –  NHMRC’s revised Open Access Policy released
  5. MRFF update – RAO webinar now available to watch online
  6. Funding and award opportunities –  mRNA Victoria and Pfizer Joint Industry Fellowship Program closes soon
  7. Reports and resources – AAHMS report – Research and innovation as core functions in transforming the health system:
  8. Events –  2022 ACTA Annual Scientific Meeting – 7-8 Nov

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 welcomes NHMRC’s steps towards improving gender equity in investigator grants

We were pleased to see changes announced by the NHMRC to address systemic disadvantage faced by female and non-binary scientists. While not all the proposed changes recommended by AAMRI were adopted, this is an important step towards retaining our women and non-binary early to mid-career researchers and addressing gender inequity in funding. Read the full media release here.

VicAAMRI releases four critical priorities for Victorian Election

Ahead of the Victorian state election in November, VicAAMRI is calling for significant investment in the state’s medical research institutes and their workforce. Four priorities have been outlined to ensure Victoria’s medical research institutes can be ready for the next health crisis and secure the state’s place as a global leader in research and innovation. Read more about our election priorities here.

2022 AAMRI Convention – program highlights

We are pleased to announce The Minister for Health, The Hon Mark Butler MP as our guest speaker at the AAMRI Dinner at Parliament House. We have a range of international and local speakers at the Convention, making up a variety of presentations, panels and discussions. View the draft program online.

The AAMRI Convention will feature two days of sessions focusing on policy and operational issues important for the medical research institute sector. The convention will be held on Nov 29-30, at the QT Hotel, Canberra.

Welcome new AAMRI member – South Australian immunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI)

SAiGENCI is an independent medical research institute located in South Australia. It’s research focus is on cancer research and clinical trials including identifying new cutting-edge technologies in immunotherapies and genomics. Read more about them here.

2.  Government update


South Australian Health and Medical Research Strategy stakeholder engagement

The Discussion Paper: Developing a South Australian Health and Medical Research Strategy has been drafted to guide conversations. Responses are to be emailed by 1 Nov 2022 to Health.StrategyAndIntergovernmentRelations@sa.gov.au.

Inquiry into Long COVID and Repeated COVID Infections

This includes research into the potential and known effects, causes, risk factors, prevalence, management, and treatment of long COVID and/or repeated COVID infections in Australia. Submissions close 18 Nov 2022.

Have you visited our Medical Research Discoveries hub?

Showcasing the latest breakthroughs from Australian medical research institutes, this month we’re spotlighting research at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute that’s working towards better treatments for schizophrenia and a world-first stroke trial led by the Heart Research Institute, plus so much more. Explore today!

3.  Sector news

BioNTech partnership with Victoria

The developers of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 mRNA vaccine have chosen Victoria to establish their Asia-Pacific mRNA clinical research and development centre which will form part of BioNTech’s global network.

Reviewing the National Science and Research Priorities

To be led by  Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, the revitalised National Science and Research Priorities will be finalised within 12 months. Australia’s current priorities and the National Science Statement were published in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Sax Institute’s COVID Data Hub now available to researchers

Over the past two years, the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study – Australia’s largest ongoing study of health and ageing – has helped inform the NSW government’s pandemic response with its COVID insights surveys and related questionnaires. This is now available to researchers through the COVID Data Hub.

Congratulations to the The Academy of Health and Medical Sciences 31 new Fellows

This year’s new Fellows include 15 women and 16 men, with from around the country, across a wide range of fields and specialties.

2022 STEM Equity Monitor report

The 2022 edition of the Australian Government’s STEM Equity Monitor shows why a renewed effort is needed to address the systematic barriers preventing greater diversity in our science and technology sectors.

Australasian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Trial Collaborative and seminar series launched

Professor Tom Kay of St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI) in Melbourne, is leading a new clinical trials initiative called the Australasian Type 1 Diabetes Immunotherapy Collaborative (ATIC), which is supported by JDRF. ATIC’s seminar series – ‘Beyond Insulin: Innovative research in T1D prevention and cure’, takes place the last Friday of the month; no registration is required. For more information visit the ATIC website or social media pages on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Funding awarded:

4. NHMRC update

Gender equity changes in Investigator Grants

As reported in the AAMRI media release, the NHMRC has introduced new special measures under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to address systemic disadvantage faced by female and non-binary applicants to its Investigator Grant scheme.

NHMRC’s revised Open Access Policy released

Under NHMRC’s revised Open Access Policy, all peer-reviewed publications arising from NHMRC-funded research must be made available immediately upon publication, removing the 12-month embargo period. They must also be published with the use of an open licence.

NHMRC Biennial Awards open – Closes 28 Oct 2022

NHMRC Biennial Awards recognise outstanding leadership, innovation and significant contribution, and comprise the following:
•    NHMRC Research Quality Award
•    NHMRC Consumer Engagement Award
•    NHMRC Ethics and Integrity Award

NHMRC Research Translation Symposium 2022  – 17-22 Nov 2022

The theme this year is ‘Embracing Diversity’, and the intention is to encourage the translation of research that improves equity and respects the health and health care decision making needs of people of different cultures, ethnic groups, socio-economic groups, abilities or ages.

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 Research Administration Officer Webinar now available to watch online

On 4 August 2022, the Health and Medical Research Office hosted the inaugural MRFF Research Administration Officer Webinar, now availble online.

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

ARC releases grants calendar

The new calendar specifies the fortnight in which an announcement is expected, which is a more specific timeframe than the quarterly timeframes used previously.

mRNA Victoria and Pfizer Joint Industry Fellowship Program, open to PhD-qualified Victorian early-career researchers, closes Oct 24 2022.

NHMRC Indigenous virtual internship program, closes 24 Oct 2022.

Tom Simpson Trust Fund, $10K-$15K to assist cardiac research in South Australia, closes 28 Oct 2022.

ARC Early Career Industry Fellowships 2023, closes 03 Nov 2022.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research: Cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity in dementia research 2022, minimum data due 2 Nov, closes 16 Nov 2022.

ARC Industry Laureate Fellowships 2023, closes 17 Nov 2022.

Round 2 of mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund Grants, $2 million for RNA-based therapeutic projects, closes 22 Nov 2022.

Round 6 of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund, $5 million in funding through two streams. In both streams, projects led by women or research teams comprised of at least 50% women will be prioritised. Closes 22 Nov 2022.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research: Loneliness, social isolation and chronic disease management 2022, minimum data due 16 Nov, closes 30 Nov 2022.

ARC Centres of Research Excellence 2023, minimum data 16 Nov, closes 30 Nov 2022.

MRFF 2022 Multiple Sclerosis Research Grant Opportunity, streams 3 and 4. Minimum data due 16 Nov, closes 30 Nov 2022.

MRFF 2022 Pancreatic Cancer Research Grant Opportunity, stream 2. Minimum data due 23 Nov, closes 7 Dec 2022.

Register with GrantConnect to receive notifications when new opportunities open.

7.  Reports and resources

Research and innovation as core functions in transforming the health system: a vision for the future of health in Australia

Released on October 13 2022 by the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) this report outlines a case for better supporting research within the health system.

Report -Turning the tide on depression: A vision that starts with Australia’s youth

Black Dog Institute researchers have highlighted the increasing rates of depression – particularly among young women – in a new report showing depression rates have more than doubled over the past 14 years in adolescent girls.

8.  Events

2022 ACTA Annual Scientific Meeting – 7-8 Nov, SA

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) is holding the 2022 ACTA Annual Scientific Meeting, including the Australian Registry Annual Scientific Meeting, in-person from 7 – 8 November at SAHMRI in Adelaide. Registrations and abstract submission for the Australian Registry ASM are both open.

Research Australia’s Health and Medical Research Awards – Dec 8 2022

The Awards recognise leaders who have made invaluable contributions to Australian health and medical research. To be held in Southbank, Melbourne, tickets are on sale now.