AAMRI e-news | September 2020

AAMRI e-news | September 2020

9th September, 2020

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – AAMRI Convention, now an online event
  2. Government update – SA Medical Research Inquiry update
  3. Sector news –  CRC-P grants reduced
  4. NHMRC update – NHMRC Corporate Plan released
  5. MRFF update – Upcoming opportunities
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – Snow Fellowships close this month
  7. Reports & resources – COVID-19 and the workforce data
  8. Training, networking and courses – BioBusiness Insights

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

1. AAMRI news

AAMRI Convention 9-10 December 2020 – now an online event

We have decided to host our annual Convention as an online event this year as we believe it is unlikely that travel restrictions and the public health situation will improve sufficiently to allow for an in-person event in Canberra. It would have been lovely for us to come together after such a challenging year. However, have no doubt that we are pulling out all stops to make this a great (online) event. We look forward to sharing more information on the program shortly.

AAMRI Victorian OIS Report 2020

The Operational Infrastructure Support (OIS) Program is essential to the 12 Victorian independent medical research institutes it supports. This report, compiled by AAMRI and commissioned by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services outlines the achievements made possible by this funding.

AAMRI’s Anti-racism statement & Diversity and inclusion statement

AAMRI recently published two statements on our website. The first outlining our commitment to ending racism, and the second on our commitment to diversity and inclusion in medical research.

AAMRI submission to the Senate inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19

Our submission is divided into five main areas:

  1. Research has driven Australia’s successful response to COVID-19 pandemic
  2. COVID-19 will be an ongoing threat that requires an ongoing research response
  3. The economic downturn is causing financial stress for the medical research sector
  4. Medical research has been interrupted and delayed
  5. Australia’s future medical research workforce capability is at risk

Read the full submission on our website.

AAMRI Member Networks

AAMRI operates a variety of member networks in key business areas that discuss issues, share ideas and network at an annual event.

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 


Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Systems of National Significance

This consultation is looking at changes to legislation to help protect critical infrastructure and system, including those in research. Closes 15 Sept 2020.

South Australia Health and Medical Research Inquiry – draft report

The South Australian Productivity Commission was asked to investigate health and medical research in South Australia and to make recommendations to the South Australian Government. The Commission’s draft report has been published and is available now for feedback. Closes 09 Oct 2020.

Inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia

This inquiry will look at the approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia, and will have a particular focus on those for the treatment of rare diseases and conditions where there is high and unmet clinical need. Closes 13 Oct 2020.

Public consultation on Section 4 and Section 5 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

Section 4 addresses the impact of research on participants at various life stages and in the context of their life circumstances. Section 5 addresses the responsibilities of institutions, ethics review bodies and researchers. Closes 30 Oct 2020.

3.  Sector news

CRC-P cuts and restrictions

Reductions in funding and changes of scope have ruled out medical research from the next CRP-P round. While Round 9 of the CRC-Ps saw $25m provided to 10 companies, the new round provides only $10m to projects focussing on smart recycling. More on Innovations Aus’s website.

Questionnaire – sector views of the medical research commercialisation landscape in Australia

The Health and Medical Research Office at the Australian Department of Health has commissioned a report of sector views of the medical research commercialisation landscape since the 2013 McKeon Review. The questionnaire is anonymous and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Closes 14 Sept 2020.

CSIRO’s new ‘Team Australia’ missions program

The program will be made up of major scientific and collaborative research initiatives, aimed at solving some of Australia’s greatest challenges. The focus being on outcomes that lead to positive impact, new jobs and economic growth to bolster Australia’s COVID-19 recovery and build long term resilience.

New Innovation Quarter announced at Westmead 

The $350 million development, a joint venture between Western Sydney University and Charter Hall, is to be known as Innovation Quarter or iQ. It will house some of the University’s leading research institutes and CSIRO.

Centre for Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) Australia’s national headquarters to be in Melbourne

Based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) within Monash University, Clayton, CCRM Australia was established in 2016 through Victorian Government funding.

New Women’s Health Research, Translation and Impact Network

Translation Research Centres nationally have come together to address priority areas for women and girls across physical and mental health, recently amplified by COVID-19, and to support career advancement for women in health and medical research. The Network has received $5m funding from the MRFF.

Funding announcements:

4.  NHMRC update

NHMRC Corporate Plan 2020–21

The plan covers the four years to 2023–24 and identifies major health issues likely to arise, how NHMRC will deal with these issues (including the continuing impact of COVID-19) and their strategy for health and medical research.

Changes to NHMRC’s Grant Schedule and Policies in Response to COVID-19

In consultation with Research Committee, NHMRC has adjusted dates for the 2021 grant program to provide applicants with as much time as possible to plan and prepare applications for the next round of funding, and to avoid scheduling clashes as a result of delays to the Ideas Grant and Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant schemes in 2020. Visit the NHMRC website for all key dates.

Publication and Dissemination of Research Guide

This Guide supports the implementation of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Available for download on the NHMRC’s website.

5.  MRFF update

MRFF funding opportunities

We’ve made a handy table to help you keep track of what funding schemes are open and where to go for further information.

Upcoming MRFF opportunities:

Funding announcements:

Register on GrantConnect to receive MRFF funding alerts

MRFF funding opportunities are advertised through GrantConnect. Make sure you register so you receive the latest funding updates.

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

Business Research and Innovation Initiative – Priority Sectors Round

The Business Research and Innovation Initiative occurs in 3 stages: challenge selection; feasibility study, and; proof of concept. More details on grants.gov.au. $100k available. Closes 10 Sept 2020.

Mark Hughes Foundation Innovation Grant round 2020

Up to $1.5m is being offered with between $150,000 – $200,000 available per two-year project. It is open to health and medical researchers employed by an Australian organisation, including universities, research institutes, hospitals and health districts. Funding outcomes will be announced before the end of 2020. Closing date: 14 Sept 2020.

The Snow Fellowships

The Snow Fellowships target emerging global research leaders that show the potential to drive, manage and influence the next generation of health and medical innovation. Each Snow Fellowship is valued at up to $8 million over eight years. EOIs due 20 Sept 2020.

National Blood Sector Research and Development Program – Round 5

The Program is focussed on the following research areas: patient blood management evidence gaps and efficient and effective use of immunoglobulin products. Up to $1.275m available in 25k – 150k grants under Round 5 of the Program for single or multiple year projects. Closes 28 Sept 2020.

NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grant Scheme 2019 priorities for funding 2020 – Round 3

This scheme supports Australian participation and collaboration in leading international collaborative research through the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme. Total of $3m available over 5 years. Closes 20 Nov 2020.

7.  Reports and resources

The Initial Employment Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Australia’s Science Workforce

Results of a nationwide survey of over 1,000 professional scientists and researchers shows COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the science workforce in Australia. Read the full report from Science & Technology Australia.

Impacts of COVID-19 for EMCRs

In May 2020, the EMCR Forum conducted a national survey to investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on EMCRs in STEM in Australia. 333 EMCRs participated in the survey. The Forum developed a report presenting the key findings of the survey and highlighting recommendations for relevant stakeholders.

News updates for Research Managers

For managers of Early Career Researchers, Postdoc Training create a news round up, available on their website.

User Guide for the Review of Clinical Variation in Health Care

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released a new guide to support health service organisations to review clinical variation.

Reports from the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare:

8.  Training, networking and courses

BioBusiness Insights: Opportunities in regenerative medicine – July – Oct 2020

BioMelbourne Network, in collaboration with CCRM Australia, will be delivering a series of stand-alone webinars focusing on the regenerative medicine industry. Find out more on the BioMelbourne website.