Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy & Priorities Consultation

Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy & Priorities Consultation

13th October, 2021

The Australian Health and Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) are undertaking a consultation to develop a new strategy and associated priorities for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

As part of the process AMRAB has called for submissions from interested stakeholders.

AAMRI has developed a submission suggesting ways to improve the coordination of medical research investment, as well as the need to provide better career support for early- and mid-career researchers.

The following is a summary of the main points made in AAMRI’s submission. A full copy can be downloaded below.

Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy – submission summary

  • A joint committee of the NHMRC Council and AMRAB should be formed and tasked with producing an overarching Australian Health and Medical Research Strategy.
  • The Strategy should prioritise the coordination and harmonisation of MRFF and NHMRC investments in medical research with a focus on better supporting medical research careers.
  • The MRFF and NHMRC should coordinate and harmonise some of their grant schemes. This approach will better support a sustainable medical research workforce and avoid duplication of effort. The MRFF and NHMRC could then target their funding opportunities to different stages of the research pipeline.
  • The Strategy should develop an ongoing mechanism to identify emerging health service and health research needs. This should include regular open consultation with stakeholders.
  • The Strategy should identify opportunities to rebuild those parts of the medical research sector that have been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities – submission summary

  • Develop a clear and transparent process that involves stakeholders to turn the priorities into research opportunities.
  • Invest in larger packages of joined-up research programs that can have substantial impact on the priority areas.
  • Each priority area should have a research translation plan.
  • Significantly increase the scale at which clinician researchers are supported to undertake research.
  • Undertake an assessment in each priority area of what future health research needs have emerged due to COVID-19.
  • Apply lessons learnt during the pandemic on how to remove barriers to research and increase collaborations to rapidly respond to health threats.
  • Make strong investments in infectious disease research, drug development, and new technologies.