AAMRI e-news August 2019

AAMRI e-news August 2019

14th August, 2019


August 2019

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – AAMRI Convention program now available
  2. Government update – Consultations currently open
  3. Sector news –  STEM Women online directory
  4. NHMRC update – Peer Review Panels for 2020 open for nomination
  5. MRFF update – Genomics Health Futures Missions deadline extension
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – 2020 Premier’s Awards and other opportunities
  7. Reports & resources – Audit reports and AIHW updates
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – ACTA conference and AusBiotech coming up

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

1. AAMRI news

Member news

2019 AAMRI Convention – open for registration

The 2019 AAMRI Convention will take place on 27 and 28 November 2019 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. We welcome you to now register online.

AAMRI Convention program

This year we will be analysing the big issues facing the sector, and dedicating more time to member discussion and the development of AAMRI strategy and policies. We will be joined by the Chief Executive of the NHMRC, Professor Anne Kelso AO, as well as Professor Sir John Savill (Executive Director of the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health, and former Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council).

The guest speaker for the AAMRI Dinner will be the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and the guest speaker for the AAMRI President’s Breakfast will be the Shadow Minister for Health, the Hon Chris Bowen MPSee the draft program for further details.

AAMRI President official change as of 01 August – welcome Jonathan Carapetis

Professor Jonathan Carapetis has now officially taken over as AAMRI President, he has been busy in the role, already meeting with NSW Medical Research Institute Directors. Professor Carapetis and taken over the reins from Professor Vlado Perkovic. Thank you again for your leadership Professor Perkovic.

Welcome new AAMRI Member – The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

AAMRI is pleased to welcome our newest members, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Partnered with the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, they are focused on finding solutions to prevent, treat and cure infectious diseases and understanding the complexities of microbes and the immune system. The Doherty Institute is AAMRI’s 52nd member.

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

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 eight active AAMRI staff networks – HR, Research Governance, Research Strategy, IT, Research Administration Officers (RAO), Philanthropy & Fundraising, Legal Counsel and Finance. For information on AAMRI Networks, upcoming network events and how to join, visit the AAMRI website.

2.  Government update 


Public Consultation: Mission for Cardiovascular Health

The draft Roadmap for the 10-year Mission for Cardiovascular Health is now open for public consultation. The Mission for Cardiovascular Health Roadmap will assist in the implementation of the Mission, including setting key priorities for funding. The online survey closes on 23 August 2019.

Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to develop a whole-of-government evaluation strategy for policies and programs affecting Indigenous Australians, to be used by all Australian Government agencies. The Commission will also review the performance of agencies against the strategy over time. Initial submissions are due by Friday 23 August 2019.

Extending unfair contract terms to insurance contracts

On 4 February 2019 the Government announced it would extend the UCT regime to insurance contracts in response to Recommendation 4.7 of the Financial Services Royal Commission. This consultation seeks stakeholder views on the exposure draft Bill, draft Explanatory Memorandum and draft Regulation Impact Statement. Closes 28 August 2019.

WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 – consultations open

Public consultation is now open as part of a strategic plan to help improve cancer services in WA. The WA community and cancer service providers are invited to lodge submissions to inform the Cancer Plan by 30 August 2019.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – second background paper released

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released its second Background Paper on 02 May as part of the Royal Commission’s work. The Royal Commission invites interested members of the public and institutions to make submissions to the Royal Commission. They will continue to accept submissions until at least the end of September 2019.

3.  Sector news

Academy of Science releases online database of women in STEM

The Australian Academy of Science has launched a new resource for gender equity toolkits—STEM Women—an online directory of women in Australia working in STEM. Developed in partnership with CSIRO, Science & Technology Australia and the Australian Science Media Centre with financial support from the Australian Government, STEM Women aims to promote gender equity by showcasing the breadth of STEM talent in Australia. Create your profile or view the directory online.

Government makes Global Talent program permanent

Following a pilot last financial year, it was announced that the Global Talent – Employer Sponsored program (GTES), formerly the Global Talent Scheme will be an ongoing program.

CSL to move global headquarters to Parkville Biomedical Precinct

Global biotechnology leader CSL Limited today announced earlier this month that it has entered into an agreement with developer PDG to build world-class laboratories and offices to house the company’s global corporate headquarters in the heart of the Parkville biomedical precinct. Read the full announcement.

External Conduct Standards now in effect for charities

The External Conduct Standards have now been introduced. All charities that operate overseas, including those classified as Basic Religious Charities, must comply with the new Standards. Read more on the ACNC website.

Greens move to disallow the Gene Technology Regulations 2019

Senator Janet Rice has introduced a motion to disallow the Gene Technology Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2019. Read the full media release on their website. AAMRI is analysing the impact a disallowance would have on the sector and will be in touch with members soon.

National Dust Disease Taskforce

The Australian Government has established a National Dust Disease Taskforce to develop a national approach for the prevention, early identification, control and management of dust diseases in Australia. The Australian Government has committed $5m to support the taskforce and related measures. These include establishing a National Dust Diseases Register, and new research to support understanding, prevention and treatment of preventable occupational lung diseases.

New council to deliver high level advice on scientific priorities for South Australia

A group of leaders from across the science, innovation and industry sectors have been named as members of the new Premier’s Science and Innovation Council. Read the full media release.

Funding announcements:

4.  NHMRC update

Peer Review Panels for 2020 – nominations now open

Researchers are now able to nominate themselves to be considered for appointment to NHMRC expert review panels through RGMS. Self-nominations must be entered in RGMS by Wednesday 28 August 2019.  If you are aware of any researchers interested in participating as panel members please direct them to the NHMRC website.

NHMRC has released new guidance on PFAS in recreational water

The Guidance on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in recreational water is an addendum to the Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water (2008). This advice aims to ensure the public is safe when using recreational sites such as lakes, rivers and beaches.

5.  MRFF update

Genomics Health Futures Mission – Flagships – Pathogen Genomics – deadline extended

The $106 million Flagships stream forms part of the GHFM and will be delivered over nine years from 2019-20 to 2027-28 through a number of rounds. The application round has been delayed and now closes 5pm ACT local time, 12 September 2019. This grant opportunity is the first round of the Flagships stream. Grants range from $1-10 million for a maximum length of four years.

MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Program

The ICTC Grant Opportunity will provide support for Australian research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts. This program has a continuous application process. For this round, minimum data has passed, applications close 15 August 2019.

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.

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.

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

Gilead Fellowship Research Grants

The Fellowship Grant is aimed at local initiatives and community-focussed research to help bridge the gap in Australian research funding, for projects which often struggle to secure funding, or face high competition. Applications are sought from research projects with a clinical or ‘real-world’ focus, ideally engaging with local communities and aimed at enhancing patient outcomes in key areas – see website for more details. $250,000 is available in total funding. Applications close Friday 16 August 2019.

2020 HOT NORTH Early Career Fellowship and Career Development Fellowship

HOT NORTH offers competitive research funding of $77,950 (ECF) and $92,070 (CDF) for 1-year Fellowships focused on Northern Australia and the region and aligned with the five HOT NORTH research themes: skin health, respiratory health, antimicrobial resistance, chronic diseases, and vector borne and emerging diseases. Applications close 16 August 2019.

The Biomedical Translation Bridge Program

The Biomedical Translation Bridge Program is an initiative of the Medical Research Future Fund, providing up to $1m in matching funding to nurture the translation of new therapies, technologies and medical devices through to the proof of concept stage. Expressions of Interest close 16 August 2019.

Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute’s Grants

The Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA) is the research arm of MND Australia. Opportunities available are for PostDoc Fellowships, PhD top-up grants, Research Prizes, Innovator Grants ranging from 1-3 years. Applications close 6pm AEST Friday 30 August 2019.

Translational Research Program

Leukaemia Foundation, Snowdome Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are partnering to launch competitive grants to advance breakthroughs for the treatment of blood cancers. There is $650,000 (USD) under this initiative. The proposal must be translational in nature and the principal investigator or a co-PI, must be from Australia. Deadline for letter of intent is 3pm, 31 August 2019.

The Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation 2020 Awards

These awards aim to promote excellence in the field of otolaryngology, head & neck surgery, and ensure that Australia and New Zealand are at the forefront of clinical and scientific practice. There are various grants, scholarships and fellowships available. Applications close 02 September 2019.

Applications open for visit to the National Institutes of Health in the USA by a junior scientist 

The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from junior scientists to visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States of America in 2020. The deadline for applications is 9am (AEST) Friday 13 September 2019.

UKRI-NHMRC Built Environment and Prevention Research Scheme

The Scheme will support Australian participation and collaboration in world-leading prevention research seeking to address the shared burden of non-communicable diseases influenced by the built environment. Total amount available in $4m over three years. UK Principal Investigator must submit the Intention to Submit on behalf of the research collaboration to the UKRI’s MRC by 23:00 BST 17 September 2019. Final closing date is 16 October 2019.

MRFF – Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry Initiative

The Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry Initiative has been reopened to allow tax exempt entities to apply. The objective of the fund is to strategically fund research and address national priorities in a cohesive and coordinated way. Total amount available is $32m. Closes 5pm ACT local time, 19 September 2019.

Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants – Round 8

CRC-P grants support short term industry-led collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services that deliver tangible outcomes. Estimated values are between $100k – $3m. Closes 5pm ACT local time 24 September 2019.

2019 Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Round

The Victorian Cancer Agency’s research grants have been supporting innovation and excellence in cancer research since 2006, investing more than $200m into translational research and infrastructure. Various schemes are now open and will close at 5pm on 25 September 2019.

2020 Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research

Applications are currently open for the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research, recognising the exceptional contributions and capabilities of Victoria’s emerging early career researchers in their PhD studies. Recipients of the Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research category awards receive $5,000 and an additional $15,000 is granted to the Premier’s Excellence award winner, receiving $20,000 in total prize money. Applications close 30 September 2019.

2020 Australia Harvard Fellowships are Open

These Fellowships primarily aim to bring prominent senior Harvard researchers to Australia to share their knowledge with Australian researchers. Return visits by Australian researchers who have previously hosted Harvard researchers is also permitted. Applications close 09 October 2019.

Australia–India EMCR fellowships 2020

These Early- and Mid-Career (EMCR) fellowships provide financial support of up to A$16,500 for Australian researchers to travel to India and work with leading researchers at major Indian science and technology organisations for a period of between 1 and 3 months.The deadline for applications is 9 am (AEDT) Wednesday 9 October 2019.

2020 Clunies Ross Award

The Clunies Ross Awards have a proud 28-year tradition of recognising contributions by dedicated individuals who have shared their vision and knowledge with others to apply technology for the benefit of Australia. In 2020 the Clunies Ross Awards will be awarded in three categories with a single winner in each category. Nominations are now open and must be submitted by 9am AEDT on Friday 25 October.

7.  Reports and resources

Performance audit report – ARC’s Administration of the National Competitive Grants Program 

The objective of this Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report was to assess the effectiveness of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC’s) administration of the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP). The main conclusion was the ARC’s administration of the NCGP is effective, except that its performance indicators and monitoring and assurance arrangements should be strengthened. Read more on the ANAO website.

COLA Horizon Scanning Report: The Effective and Ethical Development of Artificial Intelligence

The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) presents the latest Horizon Scanning report, The effective and ethical development of artificial intelligence: An opportunity to improve our wellbeing. The report examines the potential that artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have in enhancing Australia’s wellbeing, lifting the economy, improving environmental sustainability and creating a more equitable, inclusive and fair society.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

14th World Congress on Inflammation, 15-19 Sept, 2019 (Sydney) – EOI open

Plenary speakers, program themes and abstract submission dates now available on the website. Conference flyer also available to download.

Healthy People in a Healthy Environment symposium – September 17, 2019 (Brisbane)

Join leading experts from the medical, social sciences, Indigenous, NGO, government and industry sectors at this high-level event which will help focus Australia’s thinking on how to promote, protect and enhance the critical links between human health and social and cultural wellbeing, and the environment. Costs are between $250 – $495.

Australian Delegation to the MedTech Conference – 23 September 2019 (Boston)

MTPConnect invites the Australian medical technology sector to join the Australian delegation to The MedTech Conference – 23-25 September 2019 in Boston, MA. MTPConnect want to showcase outstanding innovative medical technologies, Australia’s unique capabilities, and build invaluable connections into international markets. They are offering registration at AUD$1,000 (including GST). Please note that this does not include registration to the MedTech Conference, accommodation or air fares, however discounts are available – read more.

ACTA International Clinical Trials Conference – 2-5 October 2019 (Sydney)

This year’s theme is Better health through best evidence; the event will bring together national and international stakeholders to discuss global advances in the development of self-improving healthcare systems. The program addresses embedding clinical trials in clinical care, novel trial designs and conduct, maximising the value of clinical registries and improving public awareness and consumer involvement in clinical research. The Program, featuring Australian and International experts is available on their website.

SRNT-O Preconference workshops – 24 October, 2019 (NSW)

SRNT-O is hosting two preconference workshops delivered by international leaders in tobacco control research. Workshops are free. SRNT-O Inaugural Conference will be held on the 24-25 October, full details on their website.

CQR Forum – Save the date – 28 October (Melbourne)

The 2019 Clinical Quality Registries (CQR) Forum showcases the contribution of CQR’s to the quality and safety of Australia’s health care system. Formal invitations will be available shortly.

AusBiotech 2019 – 30 Octotber – 01 November 2019 (Melbourne)

AusBiotech 2019 will bring together Australian and international biotech leaders and stakeholders to Melbourne for three days of education, skills building, and networking. Register via the AusBiotech website. Registration online via the AusBiotech website.

As part of AusBiotech 2019, an Early Stage Investment Forum is held. Submissions are now open to research institutes, universities, hospitals and pre-series A companies in the area of human therapeutics and enabling technologies. Successful submissions will have the opportunity to present their technology to an expert investor panel that will include international big pharma representatives as well as corporate VCs and early stage investors.

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s 2019 Psycho-Oncology Conference – 08 November 2019 (Melbourne)

With a conference theme of ‘Advancing Comprehensive Cancer Care’, this conference aims to address timely issues in research, education and practice and will showcase the best cutting edge work in psycho-oncology.

8th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation – abstracts open – 19-20 November 2019 (Melbourne)

The Symposium provides a platform for NHMRC’s community of researchers and others with an interest in the creation and use of research evidence, to share information and experiences, and to be challenged by new ideas or approaches. Early bird deadline is 18 October 2019.

Society for Ambulatory Assessment Conference – 15-18 January 2019 (Melbourne)

The Society for Ambulatory Assessment (SAA) will hold a conference in Australia for the first time in January 2020. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers with expertise in Ambulatory Assessment, involving the use of methods to assess the ongoing behaviour, physiology, experience and environmental aspects of people in naturalistic or unconstrained settings. Ambulatory Assessment uses ecologically-valid tools to understand biopsychosocial processes as they unfold naturally in time and in context, with potential to improve understanding and treatment of physical and mental health.

Molecular Approaches to Malaria 2020 – 23-27 February (Victoria)

The Molecular Approaches to Malaria Conference (MAM) 2020 will be held next year in Lorne, Victoria. The conference will take place over a span of five days from Sunday 23 February – Thursday 27 February 2020. MAM 2020 will feature leading experts in the field while providing opportunities for young researchers and scientists from malaria endemic countries to showcase their research through selected talks and posters from submitted abstracts. Early Bird registration is now open for the conference and must be paid in full by 30 September 2019.

Training opportunities

New pilot program – Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) Intern

Over the next four years, APR.Intern will undergo a national expansion placing 1,400 new research internships into industry from 2017 to 2020 in collaboration with 19 universities nationwide. A new Australian Government rebate of 50% on the cost of a typical five month PhD internship of $26k, is now available to all small-to-medium and large enterprises, as well as government agencies, exclusively through the APR.Intern program. The first full round of Block Internships is planned to open for applications later this year.