AAMRI e-news | July 2021

AAMRI e-news | July 2021

7th July, 2021



July 2021

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – New MRI outreach website plan and inviting contributions
  2. Government update – Border and visa prioritisation for medical researchers
  3. Sector news – Australian Genome Therapeutics Centre established
  4. NHMRC update – Addressing national transfusion research priorities
  5. MRFF update – Helping pharmacists support the safe use of medicines
  6. Other funding and award opportunities – 2022 CSL Centenary Fellowships
  7. Reports and resources – 2021 Intergenerational Report
  8. Events and courses – TRI Game Changer Seminar #3

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 MRI outreach website plan and inviting contributions

AAMRI is creating an online platform to showcase the work of AAMRI members and to promote this through social media and other channels. Our vision is for this website to become the go-to destination for the latest medical research developments in Australia. To contribute stories or learn more, please email communications@aamri.org.au.

Research Impact Framework Launch Summary and Survey

Research Institutes Australia-wide have collaborated to release the AAMRI Impact Report. As a sector, we have taken a crucial first step towards better communicating the value of our research to funders and the broader community, and even more importantly, improving our own ability to support research to ensure impact is achieved. You can read the event launch summary and take our survey.

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 

Border closures and prioritisation for medical researchers

Responding to the sector’s needs, the government has added Medical Laboratory Scientist to the Priority Skilled Migration Occupation List (PSMOL). Medical Laboratory Scientist is the occupation nominated for about half of the overseas appointments made at MRIs. They will now be able to enter Australia as a non-citizen during the COVID-19 related current border closure.

2021-22 NSW Budget summary

  • Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct: Increase capacity of the hospital to meet future population growth for South Western Sydney. $740 million (ETC)
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick – Stage 1: Deliver Stage 1 of the redevelopment and to establish Australia’s first Children’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre. $658 million (ETC)
  • John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct and car park: Transform healthcare services for Newcastle, the Greater Hunter region and northern NSW communities by providing industry-leading facilities. $835 million (ETC)
  • Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct (Tech Central): Future focal point of vibrant innovation in the heart of the Sydney CBD. $12.3 million (ETC)
  • Bradfield City Centre precinct activation: Develop on-site presence at Bradfield and provide initial advanced manufacturing facilities. $47.8 million (ETC).
  • $5 million ($21 million recurrent expenses and $47.8 million capital expenditure over two years) for the construction of Bradfield City Centre’s First Building.

$20 million in funding for the Translational Manufacturing Institute

The Queensland State Government has announced funding support for the Translational Manufacturing Institute at the Translational Research Institute (TMI@TRI). This includes up to $20 million in funding from the newly announced ‘Industry Partnership Program’, under the $1.84 billion Queensland Jobs Fund.

$5.9 million for Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases

The Australian Government will invest $5.9 million on cancer prevention among women in vulnerable communities across the world through the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases.

Over $2 million in funding to Cancer Council WA

Cancer Council WA has received more than $2 million to deliver public health activities over the next three years. The funding is delivered through Healthway and focuses on increasing healthy eating and preventing harm from alcohol.

New funding to fast-track COVID-19 treatments

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, will spearhead a $1.7 million project to identify new treatments for COVID-19, including ‘long-COVID’.

$800M for collaborative projects of manufacturers

The Government is backing Australian manufacturers with $800 million in funding to encourage collaboration on major job-creating projects as part of the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

New CEO to lead health and welfare data agency

Mr Robert Heferen has been appointed as the CEO of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Breakthrough: Victoria closer to manufacturing vaccine

Victoria has developed and will make Australia’s first local mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate to reach Phase 1 clinical trials – a breakthrough in medicine and manufacturing that will create jobs and save lives.

A vision to make Australia a global STEM superpower

In their new policy vision, Science & Technology Australia – the peak body representing more than 88,000 scientists and technologists – outlines a bold policy vision for Australia. Their vision includes becoming a global STEM superpower with an escalation of investment in wealth-generating R&D.

Superbugs arrested by Victoria’s genetic super-sleuths

The $35 million in funding for the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance announced by the Victorian Government last November is already producing better patient care for Victorians and promising continuing advancements in patient diagnosis and treatment.

Second Morrison Ministry

Details of the revised Morrison Ministry.



Refinements to regulation of personalised medical devices

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is inviting comment on proposed refinements to the regulation of personalised medical devices. Closes 14 July.   

Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform submissions invited

The Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 seeks to amend the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002. Closes 16 July.

Consultation on the patent box

As part of our economic plan to secure Australia’s recovery, the Government has announced a new patent box as a part of the 2021-22 Budget. Under the patent box, income earned from new patents that have been developed in Australia will be taxed at a concessional rate of 17%. Submission invited. Closes 13 August. 

A one stop shop for health and medical research

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare is commencing consultations on a national online portal for all health and medical research which will make it easier to find, conduct, participate and invest in research in Australia. You can register your interest on their website.

Identifying unmet needs in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: 2021 Survey

The 2021 survey administered by MTPConnect and funded by the MRFF is designed to identify new priority areas in Diabetes and CVD for Round 2 Research Projects funding.

PeRSEVERE consultation

UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) are consulting on how the right to withdraw informed consent in research should be put into practice. They are particularly keen to get additional input from outside the UK. You can answer a few or all questions.

Review of venture capital tax concessions

In  2016 the Government reformed the concessional treatment of the Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership program to target the concession towards ventures at the very early stages of the lifecycle of a developing start-up. A review has been established to evaluate the concession the changes made. Terms of reference have been released and further details of the process will be announced in due course.


3.  Sector news

Australian Genome Therapeutics Centre established

Children’s Medical Research Institute and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network have established the Australian Genome Therapeutics Centre, a collaborative effort which will transform the treatment of children with serious inherited diseases.

Professor Bronwyn Fox appointed Chief Scientist at CSIRO

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has appointed Professor Bronwyn Fox as Chief Scientist, close to 30 years after she began her career with CSIRO as a research assistant.

SVI announces collaboration with Pfizer

St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research has entered into a new oncology-focused research collaboration with Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. This early-stage research collaboration aims to identify potential new small molecules that target the DNA damage response, which is common to most cancers.

mRNA Victoria Industry Panel – Expressions of Interest

mRNA Victoria, in collaboration with AusBiotech and BioMelbourne Network, is seeking companies with relevant industry experience in mRNA or RNA-related manufacture, supply chain and systems support, to self-nominate for the Industry Panel. Closes 8 July.

Queen’s Award for Innovation in the UK

OxyGenie – a life-saving infant ventilator manufactured in the UK and using technology developed by a team of scientists led by Professor Peter Dargaville from the Menzies Institute, has won a prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation.

2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours

AAMRI has compiled a list of the medical researchers recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours. Congratulations to all.

New Learned Academy status recognises the critical role of the AAHMS to Australia

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) has become Australia’s fifth and newest Learned Academy, confirming its critical role in advocating for the nation’s health.


4.  NHMRC update

Recognising Australia’s outstanding health and medical research

NHMRC has celebrated outstanding research and researchers with its annual Research Excellence Awards and its Biennial Awards, announced in Canberra in June.

2020 NHMRC Marshall and Warren Ideas Grant Award

A gene therapy project to save infants’ lives by Professor Ian Alexander and his team from the Children’s Medical Research Institute has been named the top ranked NHMRC Ideas Grant for 2020.

NHMRC consultation on guidelines

NHMRC is currently seeking views of guideline developers about guideline impact: What does impact mean to you, how you collect or use impact data and how do you evaluate impact.

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.


5.  MRFF update

$180 million of MRFF funding outcomes announced

More than $180 million of MRFF funding outcomes were recently announced across multiple areas including genomics, stem cell therapies, cancer research, primary health care, cardiovascular disease, dementia and Indigenous health research.

Report on financial support for medical research and innovation

This report presents the financial assistance provided from the MRFF Special Account during the period that the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2018-2020 were active.

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

Funding opportunities


Award opportunities

CSL Florey Medal nominations open

Nominations for the prestigious CSL Florey Medal – awarded to an Australian researcher for significant lifetime achievements in biomedical science and/or advancement of human health – are now open. In addition to the silver medal, the award carries a prize of $50,000 due to the generous support of CSL Limited. Closes 16 July.

2021 GSK Award for Research Excellence

Nominations are now open for the 2021 GSK Award for Research Excellence (ARE). The award celebrates outstanding Australian researchers focused on improving human health. The award, along with a prize money of $80,000 will be presented at Research Australia’s Health and Medical Research Awards Night on 9 December in Sydney. Closes 30 July.


7.  Reports and resources

2021 Intergenerational Report

Australia over the next 40 years: The Treasurer has released the 2021 Intergenerational Report. The report projects an outlook for the economy and the Australian Government’s budget over the next 40 years.

First National Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Research Strategy 2021-2025

Following consultation with stakeholders the Department of Health has now released this publication through its website and will now undertake a competitive grants process for longer term BBVSTI research funding.

Strengthening Australia’s national research assessments

Australian Research Council (ARC) has released the ERA and EI Review Final Report, following a comprehensive review of Australia’s university research assessments administered by the ARC.

Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators: January to March 2021

Quality indicators measure aspects of service provision that contribute to the quality of care given by residential aged care services. Since 1 July 2019, the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program requires residential aged care services to collect and report on three quality indicators.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports


8.  Events and courses

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

This Australian Academy of Science online event will explore the findings of this research project, that included a survey of over 1000 people from the Asia-Pacific region and the collection of 20 personal stories. When: 13 July, 12-1pm AEST.

TRI Game Changer Seminar #3

Game Changer #3 on The High’s and Low’s of Qld’s COVID Response with Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young. When: 20 July, 12pm AEST, TRI Auditorium and Zoom.

Learn more about the MRFF webinar

Join Dr Masha Somi, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Medical Research Office to talk about the MRFF, including sharing updates on recent programs, news and how you can stay engaged. When: 21 July, 1-2pm AEST. 

2021 Masterclass Series

Presented by Biointelect and sponsored by the State Government of Victoria, the Masterclass series teach effective value proposition and practical skills required to maximise investor interest. When: From 28 July. 

Life as a Clinician-Scientist

Learn about the careers of clinician scientists at the one-day symposium by Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS). When: July 31, Monash University and online. 

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. 

Your events!

Get in touch with us about your events and we’ll list them here.