AAMRI e-news | Oct 2021

AAMRI e-news | Oct 2021

6th October, 2021


1. AAMRI news

AAMRI OIS Report 2021 – Victorian Independent Medical Research Institutes vital role in our health and economy

In 2019–2020, $34.5m was provided by the Victorian Government to 12 Victorian independent medical research institutes through the Operational Infrastructure Support (OIS) Program. A yearly report is commissioned by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on the Institutes who are part of the OIS program. The report has been prepared by AAMRI and includes key facts and figures from the period, as well as case studies and highlights. It is available to read online on the AAMRI website.

AAMRI Submission & appearance before Senate committee: Investment Funds Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Bill seeks to make changes to how available funds for medical research are determined, makes clear that funds can be allocated to state and territory entities, and also adjusts the length of the Australian Health and Innovation Strategy and Priorities. AAMRI’s submission focuses on the importance of preserving the MRFF’s capital into the future. You can find out more in AAMRI’s submission or in its evidence to the Senate Committee investigating the Bill.

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

New appointments:

  • The Hon Melissa Price has been given the added portfolio responsibility of Science and Technology
  • Greens’ Senator for Western Australia, Dorinda Cox has been given portfolio responsibility for Science, Research & Innovation


Review of the National Medicines Policy

Published in 2000, Australia’s National Medicines Policy aims to deliver positive health outcomes for all Australians through their access to and appropriate use of medicines. Closes 08 Oct 2021.

Higher Education Research Commercialisation IP Framework

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is seeking feedback on a proposed Higher Education Research Commercialisation Intellectual Property Framework. Closes 18 Oct 2021.

STEM Equity Evaluation Portal

The purpose of this public consultation is to seek feedback and input from the people who are likely to use the STEM Equity Evaluation Portal. Closes 30 Oct 2021.

Review of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018

The Scheme was introduced in 2018 and focuses particularly on activities intended to influence Australian political and governmental systems and processes. Closes 29 Nov 2021.

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 January 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

New medical device development facility Neo-Bionica opens in Victoria

Opened on 28 September, this is the first facility in Australia with the bioengineering expertise and technology needed to create medical devices for clinical trials. Learn more about the voucher program set up to help industry start-ups commercialise medical prototypes.

New Centre of Research Excellence in Enhanced Dementia Diagnosis

Totalling more than $10m in new research funding from the Australian Government, the Florey Institute and partners will begin multiple new projects in dementia diagnostics and treatments, including creation of a Dementia Centre of Research Excellence and clinical investigation of a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease.

Doherty Institute create low-cost detection device for COVID-19

The device that enables high-performance, rapid COVID-19 molecular testing using a rapid 20-minute LAMP test.

New strategy and research centre for eating disorders announced

The Australian Eating Disorder Research and Translation Strategy 2021–2031 has been developed under a $4m federal grant by the InsideOut Institute. The grant opportunity for the National Eating Disorder Research Centre is currently open, and closes on 15 Nov 2021.

Australia’s first cardiovascular research accelerator

The $17.7m Health Innovation Centre will be located at the Monash Technology Precinct in Clayton. It will feature research space and collaboration spaces for industry and manufacturers.

Research Integrity Survey – AAS/Springer Nature

This survey was originally opened late last year, more responses are currently being gathered. If you have already responded there is no need to recomplete. Average completion time 10-15min. Closes 29 Oct 2021.

$30m for new nuclear medicine manufacturing facility in Sydney

The new world-leading manufacturing facility is to be built at Lucas Heights in Sydney. This is also where a current ANSTO facility exists that produces about 80% of Australia’s nuclear medicine isotopes. The current facility is nearing the end of its life.

Statement released: US/AU priorities for our health security cooperation 

The statement was released as discussed at the 2021 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), 16 Sep 2021.

Funding announcements:

4.  NHMRC update

Guidelines for Guidelines consultation

New draft Guidelines for Guidelines modules have now been released for public consultation. Closes 16 Dec 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 Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy and Priorities consultation

The strategy and priorities will inform how more than $3 billion of medical research funding should be invested over the next five years. You can have your say on what the future Strategy and Priorities look like by responding to the Consultation Guidance Paper, prepared by AMRAB. AAMRI will be developing a submission on behalf of the sector but also encourages medical research institutes, researchers and anyone with an interest in medical research to put forward their own submission. Closes 11 October 2021.

New Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) board announced

New members Professor Caroline Homer AO (Deputy Chair), Professor Denise Doolan, Ms Imelda Lynch and Professor Tom Calma AO, will join existing members Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chair), Professor Anne Kelso AO (Ex-Officio Member), Professor Douglas Hilton AO and Mr Yasser El-Ansary.

MRFF Genomics Health Futures Mission

Publications released this last month include the: Implementation PlanRoadmapInternational Review of the Roadmap and Implementation PlanRoadmap and Implementation Plan National Consultation Report; and projects funded as of July 2021.

New grants announced:

Grants closing soon:

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

Funding opportunities

Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Research Program, grants between $1-4m, with a total of $18m available. Closes 17 Oct 2021.

Mental Health Program – National Eating Disorder Research CentreCloses 15 Nov 2021.

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

MRFF – TBIM and EPCDRI – 2021 Traumatic Brain Injury Grant Opportunity, $4m available. Closes 09 Feb 2022

MRFF – Clinical Trials Activity Initiative – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity. Closes 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission – 2021 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant OpportunityCloses 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Genomics Health Futures Mission – 2021 Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant OpportunityCloses 16 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Primary Health Care Research Initiative – 2021 Primary Health Care Research Grant OpportunityCloses 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Cardiovascular Health Mission – 2021 Cardiovascular Health Grant OpportunityCloses 23 Feb 2022.

MRFF – Australian Brain Cancer Mission – 2021 GBM AGILE Grant OpportunityCloses 02 March 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

Bupa Foundation’s $50K Emerging Healthcare Researcher awardsNominations close 11 Oct 2021.

Neo-Bionica Technology Voucher Program – funding to develop new medical device concepts is now available through the inaugural Neo-Bionica Technology Voucher Program. EOIs open until 1 Nov 2021.

7.  Reports and resources

Release of Australian National Audit Office report on the MRFF

Titled “Department of Health’s Management of Financial Assistance under the Medical Research Future Fund”, the report describes the outcomes of an independent performance audit by the Australian National Audit Office to assess whether Health is effectively managing financial assistance under the MRFF.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports

8.  Events and courses

Core Facility Staff Professional Development Conference – 07 Oct at TRI in QLD, and online

Join Core Facilities professionals from across South-East Queensland to network, collaborate, and keep up to date with the latest cores trends at TRI for this inaugural conference.

Rethinking Rheumatoid Arthritis, the Bionics Institute – Saturday 16 October at 9am (online and free)

Join to hear the Bionics Institute’s A/Professor James Fallon and Dr Sophie Payne discuss how their research team are developing a new medical device which could provide a drug-free treatment to reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. With guest presenters sharing their insights on current and future treatments and tips for how to manage the condition.

AusBiotech 2021 – 25-29 Oct 2021 (online)

Highlights include a panel of leading female founders discussing the business of biotech, experts discuss catalysing regenerative medicine in Australia and identifying the updates on key regulatory approaches in regenerative medicine therapies in Australia

Health and Human Rights in the Climate Crisis: Charting Challenges and Solutions – 21-29 Oct 2021 (online)

During the COVID-19 pandemic the world has shown its capacity to mobilise and act in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis. How can we build on this momentum to address climate change?

AAHMS annual meeting – 27-28 Oct 2021 (online and free)

Save the date: this year’s AAHMS annual meeting is entirely online, open to all, and free. Keynote speakers include Dr Anthony Facui on the impact of research on COVID, Associate Professor Kamalini Lokuge on evidence and effective COVID control, Dr Nick Watts on sustainability in healthcare, Professor Sir John Savill on research in healthcare, and Associate Professor Lisa Whop on implementing research for better healthcare.

Antimicrobial Resistance Summit 2021 – 17-18 Nov 2021 (Online and free)

The summit will take a holistic view of the challenges, risks and opportunities associated with a transdisciplinary and multisector approach to dealing with AMR.

Australasian Melanoma Conference 2021 – 19-20 Nov 2021 (online)

Join experts from Australasia and beyond to discuss advancements in melanoma.

Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium – Remodelling and regeneration – 9-10 Dec 2021 (online and free)

Virtual 2 day event which attracts the best and brightest of cardiovascular researchers, with a focus on EMCR’s on Thursday 9th. Hear from Prof Eduardo Marbán (Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) and Prof Ralf Adams (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine) and more.