AAMRI e-news | Sept 2021

AAMRI e-news | Sept 2021

8th September, 2021


September 2021

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – AAMRI Convention – postponed to next year
  2. Government update – Proposed legislative changes to the MRFF
  3. Sector news – Have your say on research in healthcare
  4. NHMRC update – Preprints as a new category of publications
  5. MRFF update – New grant reporting requirements
  6. Other funding and award opportunities – Key closing dates
  7. Reports and resources – Fourth report antimicrobial use and resistance in human health
  8. Events and courses – New learning module from Melanoma Institute Australia

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

1. AAMRI news

2021 AAMRI Convention – postponed to next year 

Our 2021 Convention has been postponed to March 2022
After consultation with our members, AAMRI has decided to delay our 2021 Convention until March 2022 in the hope of holding it in-person. This will include the AAMRI Dinner and presentation of the CSL Florey Medal.

AAMRI Submission: Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations

Working with members, AAMRI has put forward a submission with sector-specific considerations and recommendations. A copy of the submission can be downloaded on our website.

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

Proposed legislative changes to the MRFF

On 24 August the Government introduced a Bill to Parliament to amend legislation relating to various Funds, including the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). AAMRI has released a summary of how the changes will impact the administration of the MRFF if the Bill is passed by Parliament. The legislation has been referred to a Senate Committee for inquiry. AAMRI will develop a submission and circulate to members for comment. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Peter Thomas.

Animal Resource Centre – proposed closure

The WA Government has announced its intention to close the Animal Resource Centre in the next 12-18 months. AAMRI is working with members and stakeholders to find a sector solution as the closure will significantly impact on Australia’s capacity to undertake medical research. Those interested in this issue can contact Dr Peter Thomas for further information.

Updated – National Action Plan for Endometriosis

The National Action Plan for Endometriosis sets goals and objectives to address the substantial health burden Endometriosis is for Australia. The plan was updated on 31 August 2021.


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.

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.

Inquiry reports tabled:

3.  Sector news

‘How Science Matters’ – new podcast series from Burnet Institute

This new 8-part podcast series by Burnet Institute is sharing engaging stories from some of Australia’s visionary scientific thinkers to help make sense of a mutating virus and to give us hope. Co-hosted by former ABC Radio journalist Tracy Parish and Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC.

Have your say on research in healthcare

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) is conducting a project to improve healthcare for Australians by better enabling research to be conducted within the health system. By completing their online survey your perspectives will inform AAHMS’ major policy project, which will result in a strategy to guide research in healthcare.

NSW advances the state’s mRNA research and commercialisation

As part of its COVID-19 response, NSW is providing major support to the state’s leading universities, research institutions and hospitals to further advance NSW mRNA research, development and manufacturing capabilities.

Centenary Institute supports NSW RNA push

Centenary Institute has announced it is part of the newly created $15m NSW RNA Production and Research Network, created to establish the state as the mRNA vaccine manufacturing hub and a global RNA industry leader.

SA receives new Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC)

The DHCRC is establishing a national centre for innovation in health, and a commercialisation hub for digital health at its new Adelaide base. The DHCRC is the largest digital health collaborative in the world.

US lab testing company purchases Burnet Institute’s 360biolabs

AAMRI member Burnet Institute has secured a $300 million-odd deal for its clinical research testing spin-off, 360biolabs.

Apply to become an AAHMS mentee

Both mentees and mentors speak highly of this program, which pairs rising research stars with experiences leaders for guidance on a variety of matters – find out more online.

$5m granted to 45 researchers via the WA Near-miss Awards

The WA Near-miss Awards (WANMA) targets WA researchers who narrowly miss out on recent NHMRC grants, to ensure that promising new research is funded. The WANMA program is funded by the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.

4.  NHMRC update

Preprints as a new category of publications

On advice from NHMRC’s Research Committee, and considering current international practice, NHMRC will accept preprints as publications for track record assessment purposes for schemes opening from October 2021.

NHMRC Corporate Plan for 2021–22

The plan presents the NHMRC’s national strategy for health and medical research and includes updated strategic and health priorities for 2021–22 and beyond.

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

Updated MRFF grant reporting requirements

The updates include new reporting requirements for MRFF grant recipients, the reason for the changes, when the changes will be implemented and contacts for more information.

Change to MRFF Eligible Organisations

The range of organisations that can apply for MRFF funding managed by the NHMRC has been expanded. More detail on MRFF Eligible Organisations, including the approval process, can be found on the NHMRC website.

Australian National Audit Office – Audit of the MRFF

The report of ANAO’s audit into the MRFF will be tabled in Parliament on 9 September 2021

MRFF 2021 Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and Babies

This fund is supporting research that will improve access to culturally safe care during pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period. Up to $15m is available over four years. Closes on 25 November 2021.

$79m awarded from for the Medical Research Commercialisation initiative

The $79m will be shared among four companies with established track records in identifying and nurturing exciting new biomed tech ideas.

MRFF Accelerator Grants

A document on MRFF accelerator grants has been updated by the Department of Health.

MRFF grant recipients

An updated list as at 11 August of all awarded and announced MRFF grant recipients is now available.

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.  Other funding and award opportunities

$800m in funding available for major job creating manufacturing projects

$800m in funding for major job creating projects is available under the Collaboration Stream of the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative. Grants between $20 – $200m, covering up to 33% of project expenditure. Closes 09 Sept 2021.

Funding opportunities

MRFF – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 1Closes 8 September 2021.

2021 Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Round now open, includes: Early Career Research Fellowships, Mid-Career Research Fellowships, Quality and Safety in Cancer Care Research Grants. Closes 13 September 2021.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Biotoxin-related illnesses 2021Closes 15 Sept 2021.

Women & Leadership Australia – scholarships of $1000-$5000 p/p are available for women in the Health Sector. Deadline extended to 24 September 2021.

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

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

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

Applications open for JSPS 13th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates. The meeting will be held virtually from March 7 – 11 2022. Closes 6 September 2021.

Australian PhD students and postdoctoral researchers are invited to apply to attend the 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with Nobel Laureates in the fields of chemistry to be held 26 June – 01 July 2022. Closes 28 Sept 2021.

7.  Reports and resources

An update on the impact of COVID-19 on Researchers – Report 4

Research Australia submitted their first survey for these reports in May last year, this is the second survey on the impact of COVID-19 on health and medical researchers, and expands on the findings in the earlier survey.

AURA 2021: Fourth Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health

The report, released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, highlights the ongoing public health and safety threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.

Australia’s Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing Capacity & Capability (Manufacturing Report)

The inaugural Report highlights how Australia has RM manufacturing sites from East to West, with seven TGA-licenced Good Manufacturing Practice sites and five non-TGA licenced sites.

Australia’s Regenerative Medicine Clinical Trials Database (CT Database)

Australia is an active, globally-popular, and internationally-competitive destination for clinical trials with a bountiful pipeline of RM therapies seeking to join the six regenerative medicines already approved in Australia – read the full report database report.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports

8.  Events and courses

New learning module: The current role of sentinel node biopsy in the management of melanoma

Melanoma Institute Australia has developed an accredited, interactive online learning module to help surgeons, oncologists, dermatologists and GPs understand the current role of sentinel node biopsy in the management of melanoma. The 1-hour module includes an overview of the procedure, expert interviews, outlines SNB in practice today, reviews a case study and more. Free log in is required for access.

The Australian Academy of Health and Medicine – Life as a Clinician-Scientist events

Aimed at inspiring students, researchers and junior doctors to pursue a career as a clinician-scientist, there are three online events:

Research Australia’s Philanthropy Roundtable

Session topics will include innovation and learning from the pandemic, collaborating to maximise impact and the challenges of fundraising for early-stage research. When: 22 Sept, 1-3pm, online.

JBI workshop

Australasian Melanoma Conference 2021

Join experts from Australasia and beyond to discuss advancements in melanoma. When: 19-20 November, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium: Save the date

This year’s free symposium on ‘Remodelling and Regeneration’ is being hosted jointly by the Heart Research Institute and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Registrations will open soon. When: 9-10 December, Sydney Nanoscience Hub.