AAMRI eNews – April 2018

AAMRI eNews – April 2018

5th April, 2018


3rd edition – April 2018

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – Vale Professor Cooper, AAMRI Convention
  2. Government update – National Gene Technology Scheme review, inquiry into stillbirths, new visas announced
  3. NHMRC & ARC updates – TRIP Fellowships open, 3Rs survey, safety monitoring and reporting in clinical trials
  4. MRFF Update – $10m in grants for low survival cancers and disease
  5. Sector news – New Westmead Children’s Research Centre, VIC Premier’s Awards results
  6. Reports & resources – MTPConnect annual highlights, ATSI cancer data visualisations
  7. Funding & award opportunities – VIC Medical Research Acceleration Fund Round 2, Australia Academy of Science Awards
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – AusBiotech 2018, Deep Dive Workshop

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

1. AAMRI news

Vale Professor David Cooper AO – medical research community mourns the loss of leading HIV research pioneer

Scientia Professor Cooper was a renowned clinician and researcher who dedicated his life to the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV and other infectious diseases. The distinguished leader and Director of The Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, passed away after a short illness on Sunday, 18 March.

2018 AAMRI Convention – save the date!

The 2018 AAMRI Convention will take place on 26-27 November 2018 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, with the AAMRI Dinner held at Parliament House on the evening of the 26 November. Save the date in your diary and come and help us celebrate AAMRI’s 25th birthday.

Welcome Aimee Sanderson to AAMRI 

Aimee has recently joined AAMRI as our new Marketing and Communications Manager. Having previously worked with a variety of medical research institutes and not-for-profit organisations in Australia and the UK, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the role. Most recently she was working at The Social Science as their Digital Strategy Manager, she is looking forward to immersing herself in AAMRI’s many projects. You can contact her via aimee.sanderson@aamri.org.au.

2.  Government and policy update 


Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme – phase 3 open

Phase 1 and 2 findings of the review have now been released in a Preliminary Reportand is available to download. The publication of this report marks the opening of phase 3 of the public consultations. The review aims to ensure the National Gene Technology Scheme remains effective, agile, supportive of innovation into the future, and continues to meet the objective of the Act. Online submissions are open until May 23, 2018

Public consultation open for modernisation of the Copyright Act

The Australian Government is consulting on options for copyright reforms and is seeking stakeholder views on reforms options for the Copyright Act 1968. Submissions are due by 4 June 2018.

Senate votes for Inquiry into Stillbirth Research and Education

A Senate Inquiry has been established to look into investment in stillbirth research. This includes research coordination between Australia and other countries, measuring the impact of stillbirths on the Australian economy, as well as to explore options for sustainable funding options. We will provide updates on reporting dates when they are made available.

Policy update

New visa scheme to attract highly skilled global talent

A new visa scheme will be piloted from 1 July of this year. Established businesses with an annual turnover of more than $4 million will be able to sponsor highly skilled and experienced individuals for positions with earnings above $180,000 into Australia. STEM-related start-up businesses will also be able to sponsor experienced people with specialised technology skills.

$2m for medical research on epilepsy

The Australian Government will invest $2 million in new medical research to help find a cure for rare genetic epilepsy disorders. This new funding will support leading researchers to investigate genetic and other causes of epilepsy including the mutation of the Syngap gene, a rare neurological condition which can lead to epilepsy.

Advisory board to work with US promoting tech and innovation in healthcare

The Australian Government has set up a new advisory board to work with the United States to promote technology and innovation in healthcare.

Equity Research and Innovation Panel

The Department of Education and Training has established the Equity Research and Innovation Panel. The panel will provide strategic advice on Australian Government-funded research and trials on student equity in higher education.

Call for NHMRC to undertake research into e-cigarettes and vaping

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport has released its report into e-cigarettes and vaping. The report recommends the NHMRC fund research into a comprehensive review of the evidence relating to the health impacts of e-cigarettes.

Effect of Red Tape on Health Services – Interim report released

The Senate Select Committee on Red Tape tabled a report on 28 March called ‘Effect of red tape on health services – Interim report’. The report makes specific mention of the difficulties of harmonising ethics approval processes across Australia for clinical trials.

3. NHMRC & ARC updates

Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowships now open

The 2018 Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship scheme is now open for funding commencing 2019. Applications close on 23 May 2018.

Survey on the use of the 3Rs in Australia

The NHMRC is conducting a survey about the replacement, reduction and refinement (3Rs) of the use of animals for scientific purposes in Australia. Views and advice about current practices are being sought from those directly involved in the management of the 3Rs. The survey aims to gain an insight into how the 3Rs are currently understood, considered and implemented – open until Monday 28 May 2018.

Supplementary guidance for safety monitoring and reporting in clinical trials

NHMRC has released supplementary guidance on safety monitoring and reporting in clinical trials. These documents provide guidance on the use of data safety monitoring boards, risk-based management of clinical trials and reporting serious breaches of the protocol.

Abstracts open for the NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation

The call for abstracts for the NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation is now open. The theme for this year is ‘Ensuring Value in Research’. The Symposium is for anyone with an interest in ensuring that research contributes to knowledge and pragmatic outcomes in the most effective and efficient way. Submissions close on 11 May 2018.

Communique from Lowitja Institute and the NHMRC

The Lowitja Institute and NHMRC have released a joint communique following on from the 6th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation held late 2017.

NHMRC approves national guidelines on pregnancy care

NHMRC has approved the ‘Clinical practice guidelines: pregnancy care’ developed by the Commonwealth Department of Health. The guidelines were developed for health professionals who provide antenatal care and include new recommendations on healthy weight for pregnancy, routine hepatitis C testing and vitamin D testing.

ARC ERA 2018 Research Evaluation Committee Chairs Announced

The eight Committee Chairs for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 have been announced.  The 2018 round of ERA is underway and submissions opened on 19 March. The committee chair for medical and health sciences will be Professor Hugh Barrett from the University of Western Australia.

4.  MRFF update

$10m in grants for low survival cancers and diseases

Applications for MRFF funding for new research to find treatments for low survival cancers and diseases is now open (managed through the NHMRC). Researchers will share in $10 million to improve the survival rates and outcomes for patients. Applications close on 18 April 2018.

$6m MRFF funding for the Central Australia Academic Health Science Centre

More than $6 million will be invested in the Central Australia Academic Health Science Centre in Alice Springs. The Centre is focussing on addressing health challenges faced by Indigenous Australians, and the first priority project a study in addressing HTLV-1.

$6m MRFF funding for NSW Regional Health Partners

Through the MRFF more than $6 million will be invested in NSW Regional Health Partners, one of the new Centres for Innovation in Regional Health. The funding includes new investment into research that will investigate the best practice models for telehealth and aged care, and changing community behaviour through healthy weight strategies.

5.  Sector news

Westmead Children’s $10.6m Research Centre opens

A new $10.6 million research centre has opened at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Westmead. The centre will focus on a range of paediatric research areas including allergy and immunology, respiratory, cardiology, rheumatology, endocrinology, obesity, neurology, autism spectrum and psychology.

Developing a ‘National Research Data Cloud’ for Australian researchers

The Department of Education and Training has released a communique on ‘Developing a ‘National Research Data Cloud (NDRC)’ for Australian Researchers’This follows the transition of ANDS, Nectar and RDS activities into the NRDC.

Top Honours For Victoria’s Rising Medical Researchers

Five of Victoria’s most talented health and medical researchers have received top honours at the 2018 Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research. At the awards evening last week they were acknowledged for their pioneering breakthroughs that are improving care and changing lives. Congratulations Kerryn Moore, Dr Hui-Fern Koay, Dr Tan Nguyen, Dr Benjamin Teh and Dr Gabrielle Haeusler were all awarded on the night.

6.  Reports and resources

MTPConnect – annual highlights

MTPConnect has released new sector metrics that show jobs supported by the MTP sector increased by 10% to 62,000 from 2015 to 2016, and that manufacturing exports are up by 30% to $5.2 billion.

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia data visualisations

The report presents the latest available information on national population screening programs, cancer incidence, survival, prevalence and mortality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians.

Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study

The report outlines the impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia

7.  Funding & award opportunities

Junior Scientists’ opportunity to visit National Institutes of Health (USA)

The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from junior Australian scientists, who are 30 years of age at the time of application, to visit the National Institutes of Health in the US during 2019 for between six and 13 weeks. Applications are due 9am (AEST) Tuesday 12 June 2018.

Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund – Round 2 now open

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund aims to support those in the early stages of health and medical research to translate their work into health and economic outcomes. The Fund provides $3 million per annum to help address current market gaps and deliver rewards for research. Funding is available for proposals up to $100,000. Funding applications close on 4 May 2018. To be eligible the research proposal must commence by December 2018.

Nominations open for the 2019 Australian Academy of Science Awards

Each year the Australian Academy of Science shines a light on researchers who have made outstanding contributions to science through their honorific awards. The closing date for honorific award nominations is 1 May 2018 and the closing date to apply for research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships is 1 June 2018.

Participate in the Falling Walls Lab Australia 2018

Applications are open to attend the Falling Walls Lab Australia 2018. Candidates should be research active in any field of the natural sciences, including technology, engineering and medicine as well as social sciences and humanities. Applications are due Monday 28 May 2018.

Cell and Gene Therapy Grant Now Open

Round one of the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research’s 2018/19 Cell and Gene Therapy Grant are now opened. Applications are due for submission 19 April 2018. Contact ohmr@doh.health.nsw.gov.au for enquiries.

Cancer Research Innovation Grants

Two Innovation Grants have been announced by Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. Recipients will be selected by Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s international Scientific Advisory Committee and will be announced later in 2018. Applications are due for submission by Friday 20 April 2018.

Discovery Fast Track Challenge Program Now Open

The Discovery Fast Track Australian Challenge program has been launched by GSK. The Challenge aims to encourage drug discovery and uncover the best opportunities for discovery research. Submissions are open until Friday 27 April 2018.

Breast Cancer Research Scheme Applications Now Open

The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s ‘Investigator Initiated Research Scheme’ has been launched and will support investigators with a vision to expand the scale and scope of breast cancer research in Australia. Draft applications should be submitted to the Grants office by Friday 27 April 2018.

2019 Diabetes Australia Research Program Grant Now Open

Diabetes Australia’s 2019 Research Program Grant Round is now open for applications. Applications must be submitted by Friday 4 May 2018.

$10m Grant from Australian Cancer Research Foundation

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has announced its 2018 Major Grant of $10 million. Applications must be submitted by COB Friday 4 May 2018.

KNAW Bob Pinedo Cancer Care Awards

The KNAW Bob Pinedo Cancer Care Award is a biennial award intended for a researcher (or team of researchers) whose contribution to (translational) cancer research and compassionate cancer patient care is regarded as outstanding. Cash prizes of € 100,000 (Euro) are available, plus more. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday 1 May 2018.

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

AusBiotech 2018 conference

The annual AusBiotech conference brings together Australian and international biotech leaders and stakeholders. The conference creates a forum to reflect on the sector’s achievements and exchange ideas to further advance the sector’s standing both nationally and globally. The conference will be held in Brisbane on 31 October – 2 November 2018.

Collaboration for Industry Impact – Deep Dive Workshop

Developed by the CRC Association and Collabforge, the ‘Collaboration for Industry Impact’ workshop will combine practical bid-creation content with a deep dive into the theory and practice of collaboration. The workshop will be held over two half-days – April 11-12, in Brisbane.

Webinar – Wikis, open access & academic publishing

The Australasian Open Access Strategy Group is conducting a webinar on wikis, open access & academic publishing on 17 April 2018.

2018 BioMedVic Communications Professionals Forum

The 2018 BioMedVic Communications Professionals Forum is a professional development forum designed specifically by and for communications professionals working in Victoria’s health and medical research sector. It is being held on Tuesday 24 April, 9am-5pm in Melbourne.

Register for the launch of the Guide to Life Sciences Investing

AusBiotech is inviting guests to the launch of the Guide to Life Sciences Investing. It is targeted at potential life sciences investors with little experience in the sector and outlines the factors particular to life sciences companies that potential investors should consider. The launch is being held in Sydney on 11 April and Melbourne on 12 April.