AAMRI e-news | January 2022

AAMRI e-news | January 2022

20th January, 2022


In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – New sector wide gender equity, diversity and inclusion strategy
  2. Government update – WA Mental Health Act review
  3. Sector news – $63m for QIMR Berghofer for potential MS treatment
  4. NHMRC update – New Principal Committees announced
  5. MRFF update – MRFF webinars available online
  6. Funding and award opportunities – The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  7. Reports and resources – Latest from the AIWH
  8. Events and courses – Praxis offer for AAMRI members

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

1. AAMRI news

New sector wide gender equity, diversity and inclusion strategy

In December AAMRI unveiled their new Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) Strategy and Action Plan to create a stronger and enhanced medical research institute sector. The strategy and action plan has been developed to promote a diverse workforce consisting of people with different backgrounds and perspectives across the sector.

View the strategy and action plan on our website.

2.  Government update


Statutory Review of the Mental Health Act (2014) – WA

A discussion paper has been prepared as a tool to assist you in providing feedback, as well as multiple ways to make a submission. Closes 31 Jan 2022.

Inquiry into childhood rheumatic diseases

The Committee welcomes your views on any or all of the attached terms of reference, depending on your areas of interest and expertise. Closes 04 Feb 2022.

The Australian Cancer Plan 2023–2033

Cancer Australia invites you to share your vision for the Australian Cancer Plan. To help frame your thinking you can read the Communique and view presentations from a Ministerial Roundtable about the Australian Cancer Plan held in April 2021. Closes 18 Feb 2022.

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

Survey – challenges faced by early-career researchers in STEMM

Dr Kate Christian is conducting a follow-up research project exploring challenges faced by early-career researchers (ECRs). The survey is open to ECRs who are 10 years postdoctoral, it is completely anonymous, can be completed at any time, and should take ~25-30 minutes. To participate in the study please follow this link. Those who participated in the 2019 survey are encouraged to do so again.

National Health and Medical Research Strategy announced

Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt announced in December the development of a new National Health and Medical Research Strategy – the Vision 2040 Strategy. The Strategy will be developed over the next year.

Changes to the ARC Linkage Program and the National Interest Test

Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert, has outlined reforms the ARC will enact in 2022. Under the reforms, the 70% of future ARC Linkage Grants will align with the six National Manufacturing Priorities. Changes will also be made to involve end-users in the grant process, and the national interest test will also be changed.

Australia launches National Preventive Health Strategy

The Strategy seeks to improve Australia’s health system, fundamentally focused on the treatment of illness and disease, by increasing the focus on prevention – from illness to wellness, and from healthcare to health.

mRNA Vaccines to be made in Australia

Announced in December, a new sovereign vaccine manufacturing facility will be built in Australia to produce respiratory mRNA vaccines for potential future pandemics and seasonal health issues as part of a new in principle agreement between the Australian Government, Victorian Government and global mRNA company Moderna.

$63m for QIMR Berghofer for potential new multiple sclerosis treatment

A potential new treatment for multiple sclerosis created at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has secured a deal worth up to $63 million. US investment firm Maverick Capital has acquired the rights to a portion of the Institute’s royalties, including a cash payment of $28 million upfront and potential milestone payments of up to $35 million.

Appointments and departures:

  • ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas, will step down from the role on 31 Jan 2022

4. NHMRC update

New Principal Committees to advise NHMRC Council

In December the membership of the new NHMRC Principal Committees for 2021-2024 was announced. This includes the Research Committee, the Health Research Impact Committee, the Australian Health Ethics Committee. Full lists can be viewed on the NHMRC website.

NHMRC IRIISS – new indexation of funding pool

Good news for medical research institutes in receipt of the NHMRC IRIISS funding, the funding pool will now be indexed at the same rate as the rest of the Medical Research Endowment Account. Since the inception of the fund back in 2005, the funding pool available has been fixed at $30 million. The new indexation is a welcome improvement for the sector.

NHMRC Evaluation Strategy

NHMRC has released a new Evaluation Strategy which provides a framework that links all NHMRC’s inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts to reporting and evaluation mechanisms.

Investigating Clinician Researcher Career Pathways

This multi-year research project was commissioned by NHMRC’s Health Translation Advisory Committee to examine the issues and opportunities in the training and career pathways for medical, nurse, allied health and midwife clinician researchers in Australia.

Changes to publications assessment from NHMRC

From this year, researchers applying for NHMRC funding through its track record-based schemes will be asked to list up to 10 of their top publications in the past 10 years (accounting for career disruptions). The full list of applicant publications from the past 10 years will no longer be provided to peer reviewers for their assessment. More information is available on their website.

Funding announcements:

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

Watch online: Medical Research Future Fund Webinar from 16 Nov 2021

In this recording of the MRFF quarterly webinar, the panel discusses the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy and related Priorities, MRFF initiatives and grant opportunities.

New Indigenous Health Research Fund document released:

Funding announced:

MRFF grant opportunities calendar

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 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Nominations are now open for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. The awards honour Australian scientists and innovators with prizes to recognise outstanding achievements in science and research-based innovation. Close at 5pm AEDT, 10 Feb 2022.

Application deadline extended for 2022 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship – 9am AEDT 24 Jan 2022.

MRFF Research Data Infrastructure initiative – 2021 Research Data Infrastructure grant opportunity, closes 08 Feb 2022.

ARC STEM Research Linkage Projects for funding applied for in 2021, closes 16 Dec 2021.

MRFF – TBIM and EPCDRI – 2021 Traumatic Brain Injury Grant Opportunity, $4m available. Minimum data 25 Jan, closes 09 Feb 2022

MRFF – Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative– 2021 Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions in Children and Adolescents Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Clinical Trials Activity Initiative – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission – 2021 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Genomics Health Futures Mission – 2021 Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF Indigenous Health Research Fund – 2021 Indigenous Health Research Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – PPHRI – 2021 Optimising the Clinical Use of Immunoglobulins Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 02 Feb, closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – CRR – 2021 COVID-19 Treatment Access and Public Health Activities Grant Opportunity. Minimum data due 09 Feb 2022, closes 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Primary Health Care Research Initiative – 2021 Primary Health Care Research Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 09 Feb, closes 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF Stem Cell Therapies Mission – 2021 Stem Cell Therapies grant opportunity. Minimum data due 09 Feb, closes 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Cardiovascular Health Mission – 2021 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 09 Feb, closes 23 Feb 2022.

Nominations are now open for the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences’ Medal for Outstanding Female Researcher, closes 27 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Australian Brain Cancer Mission – 2021 GBM AGILE Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 16 Feb, closes 02 March 2022.

MRFF – PPHRI – 2021 Optimising the Clinical Use of Immunoglobulins Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 16 Feb, closes 02 March 2022.

MRFF – Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research – 2021 Chronic Neurological Conditions Grant Opportunity. Minimum data 23 Feb, closes 09 March 2022.

NHMRC-CIHR Healthy Cities Implementation Science Team Grant Scheme 2021 for funding in 2022, closes 29 April 2022.

Expressions of interest open for Australia’s first, $40m MRFF-backed national biotech incubator, CUREator. To be announced in early 2022.

Register with GrantConnect to receive notifications when new opportunities open.

7.  Reports and resources

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports

8.  Events and courses

Exclusive Offer for AAMRI members

To kickstart your professional development this year, AAMRI members can gain access to some great online courses at an exclusive price. AAMRI members are being offered 20% off all PRAXIS Australia training offers, including Research EssentialsHREC Essentials and all Virtual Workshops. Simply enter AAMRI22 when enrolling.

For more info and to enrol, visit the Praxis website.