AAMRI e-news March 2019

AAMRI e-news March 2019

12th March, 2019


March 2019

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – welcome new member Institute for Glycomics
  2. Government update –  consultations underway and new government appointments
  3. Sector news –  recent election promises and major funding announcements
  4. NHMRC update – partnership projects, e-ASIA call for research, and a targeted call
  5. MRFF update – the latest funding announcements
  6. Grant & award opportunities – key deadlines for NHMRC, MRFF and other funding opportunities
  7. Reports & resources – charity fundraising in the 21st century
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – NSW 2019 BIO International Convention delegation

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

1. AAMRI news

2019 AAMRI Convention – save the date

The 2019 AAMRI Convention will take place on 27 and 28 November 2019 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Please save the date for your diary and we look forward to seeing you there.

Welcome new member – Institute for Glycomics

AAMRI is pleased to welcome the Institute for Glycomics as our 51st member. Established in 2000, through investment from Griffith University and the Queensland State Government, the Institute for Glycomics is focused on developing next generation drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for diseases of global impact. Based at Griffith University on the Gold Coast their Director is Professor Mark von Itzstein.

Pre-budget submission

AAMRI’s pre-budget submission focussed on the benefits a fully capitalised Medical Research Future Fund could deliver for the nation, as well as the need for ongoing above inflation increases for the NHMRC.

Feedback on the TGA’s proposed Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Inspections Program

The TGA recently sought comments on a pilot Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Inspections Program of 12 months duration that will inform a routine GCP Inspections Program. In consultation with our members AAMRI put forward a submission outlining a number of areas that require consideration before starting such a pilot.

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 five active AAMRI staff networks – HR, IT, Research Governance, Research Strategy and Research Administration Officers (RAO). For information on AAMRI Networks, upcoming network events and how to join, visit the AAMRI website.

AAMRI Communications Network – Survey

We are looking at reinstating our previously formed AAMRI Communications Network specifically for medical research institute staff. Science communications comes with its own set of unique challenges and to better understand how a future Communications Network could benefit you, we would be delighted if MRI’s communications staff would participate in our short survey.

Member news

The Kirby institute has announced that leading international HIV researcher and clinician, Professor Anthony Kelleher, has been appointed Director of the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney

2.  Government and policy update 


Australian Qualifications Framework  Review

The Australian Qualifications Framework is now under review. This framework covers all qualifications, including research degrees. Submissions close on 15 March 2019.

Consultation: Reforms to the generic medicine market authorisation process

The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on proposed improvements to the generic medicine authorisation process. Closes 21 March 2019.

National Clinical Trials Governance Framework

The Commission is conducting consultations nationally with key organisations and individuals with an interest in or working in the clinical trials sector. The information gathered from the consultation will be used to inform the National Clinical Trials Governance Framework. Closes on 22 March 2019.

Regulation of Medical Software

You are invited to comment on how software, including software as a medical device, is regulated in Australia. This consultation focuses on proposed regulatory reforms for medical device software, including software that functions as a medical device in its own right, and the impact of these reforms. Closes 31 March 2019.

Reclassification of Spinal Implantable Medical Devices

You are invited to comment on the proposed reclassification of spinal implantable medical devices. This consultation paper considers the EU regulatory framework as an input into the review and reform of the Australian regulatory requirements for medical devices classification. Closes 31 March 2019.

Regulation of Personalised Medical Devices

You are invited to comment on how personalised medical devices, including 3D-printed devices, are regulated in Australia. The proposed changes set out in this consultation seek to better regulate personalised medical devices, including the introduction of new definitions. Closes, 31 March 2019.

Review Of The Mental Health Strategic Plan – Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Government is reviewing the NT Mental Health Strategic Plan to better meet the social and emotional needs of Territorians and align priorities with the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. Have your say by attending one of the community consultation sessions or completing the online feedback form below by 31 March 2019.

Mental Health Inquiry Issues paper – The Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health

The Productivity Commission is undertaking an inquiry into the social and economic benefits of improving mental health. Initial comments on the Issues Paper are due by 5 April 2019.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety invites interested members of the public and institutions to make submissions to the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission will continue to accept submissions until at least the end of June 2019.

Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health

The Victorian Government has announced a Royal Commission into Mental Health. Prior to its commencement, the Government is consulting on the Terms of Reference. AAMRI has put forward a submission calling for mental health research to be used to guide the findings of the Commission. Further details on the submission process will be made available in due course.

Policy update

Review of Australia’s science and research priorities

On the 19 February Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced the panel of experts and terms of reference for a review of the 2015 Science and Research Priorities as they apply to the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) National Competitive Grants Program – they are listed on the ARC website.

3.  Sector news

Biomedical Translation Bridge Program

It was announced in February that the $22.3 million Biomedical Translation Bridge program will be operated by MTPConnect, in partnership with BioCurate, UniQuest and the Medical Device Partnering Program.

Chief Scientist calls for formal action to bake in better research practices

In February, Nature published an article by Australian Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, on how to move research from quantity to quality and go beyond good intentions.

Election news

AAMRI will be issuing its election statement in the coming weeks outlining the top priorities for any future government.

We’ll be tracking election funding commitments in the lead up to the federal election, which is expected to be in May. Recent announcements include:

Funding announcements:

See our MRFF section below for details on recent MRFF funding announcements

4.  NHMRC update

NHMRC – Partnership Projects

This funding scheme provides funding and support to create new opportunities for researchers and policy makers to work together to define research questions, undertake research, interpret the findings and implement the findings into policy and practice. It has a continuous application process. More details of the NHMRC website.

NHMRC Participation in the next e-ASIA call for research

The NHMRC e-ASIA Joint Research Program scheme (NHMRC-e-ASIA JRP scheme) will support Australian participation and collaboration in leading international collaborative research through the e-ASIA Joint Research Program. A workshop for researchers to assist in developing collaborative research proposals for submission to the e-ASIA JRP health call is scheduled on 4-5 March 2019 in Singapore. Potential applicants to the JRP may be interested to attend. Minimum data due 03 April 2019, application close 14 May 2019.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Per- and Poly- Fluoroalkylated Substances

The aims of this call are to increase understanding of the acute and long term potential human health effects from exposure to PFAS chemicals and to inform appropriate responses to managing or reducing human exposure to PFAS. Minimum data closes 5pm (AEST) 17 April 2019, closes 01 May 2019.

5.  MRFF update

MRFF funding opportunities

There’s been a steady stream of MRFF funding announcements over the last month. We’ve made a handy table to help you keep track of what funding schemes are open and where to go for further information.

Recent MRFF funding announcements

MRFF – International Clinical Trial Collaborations

Support for Australian research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts. Provides $42m over four years. Minimum data is due on 27 March 2019. 

MRFF – Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Grant Opportunity Round 2

This grant will aim to address questions that focus on comparative effectiveness of health services and areas of health system practice with low or insubstantial evidence and gaps in knowledge and evidence relating to health system problems important to the public, providing opportunities to explore consumer-driven research. Closes 5pm ACT local time 10 April 2019.

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)

JPND has opened a new funding call that will enable Australian researchers to join international collaborations and contribute to global dementia research. Pre-proposals must be submitted no later than 15:00h C.E.S.T. on 12 March, 2019, via the electronic submission tool. Full proposals must be submitted by June 25, 2019.

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Do you know an inspiring scientist, innovator, or science, maths or technology teacher? The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science recognises achievements across diverse disciplines and career stages. Recipients share in $750,000 in prize money, and have the opportunity to showcase important work undertaken in their field. Nominations close 12 March 2019.

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2020

The grant opportunity provides focused research support for early career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions. Closes 5pm ACT local time, 13 March 2019.

Targeted Call for Research into Frailty in Hospital Care: Complex Health Care

This TCR aims to support research that addresses the following question: How can frail persons be supported to safely avoid hospitalisations, receive optimal care when admitted and achieve the best health recovery outcomes through integrated and coordinated in- and post-hospital interventions? Closes 5pm ACT local time, 21 March 2019.

Ovarian Cancer Research Grants

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation has just opened their applications for the 2019 Research Grant Round – closing 5pm AEST, 22 March 2019.

Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants

CRC-P grants support short term industry-led collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services that deliver tangible outcomes. Closes 5pm, 28 March 2019.

2020 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Up to four Breakthrough Prizes will be awarded to outstanding researchers in the field of Life Sciences with one prize specifically recognizing advances in Parkinson’s disease or other neurological disorders. The nomination form, rules and more information can be found at online. Nominations will be accepted until 1 April 2019.

National Blood Sector Research & Development Program – Round 4

The Program forms an important component of the National Blood Authority’s (NBA) blood sector research and development framework and aims to facilitate world-class research and development in Australia that contributes to optimising the use, management and administration of blood products, and improve patient outcomes. Closes 11:30pm ACT local time, 05 April 2019.

France and Europe Mobility Grants

The EMCR mobility grants are intended to strengthen international research networks and linkages by providing support (up to A$5000) for Australian researchers to travel to France or Europe and work with leading researchers at major science and technology organisations for a period of between 14 and 28 days. Closes 9am AEST, 8 April 2019.

Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry Initiative (REDI)

Supported by the MRFF, the objective of the fund is to strategically fund research and adresss national priorities in a cohesive and coordinated way. Closes 5pm, 9 April 2019.

Bionics Institute Award for Excellence in Medical Device Innovation

The Bionics Institute award for excellence in medical device innovation acknowledges an individual who, through their innovation and/or inventiveness, has made a significant contribution to the development of a medical device, particularly one which has been successfully commercialised. The successful candidate will be awarded $5000 in prize money and subsequent media attention including a 90 second video to be shown on the evening of the Graeme Clark Oration (22nd July 2019). Nominations are open and close 5pm AEST on 30 April 2019.

2019/2020 Fulbright Future Scholarships – now open

Australian scientists and technologists have the chance to take their work to the U.S. thanks to the Fulbright Future Scholarships. Available to postgraduate students, PhD researchers, academics, postdocs, and professionals, awardees will receive funding for full tuition/visiting researcher expenses at a U.S. institution of their choice, as well as travel and living costs. Applications close 15 July 2019.

7.  Reports and resources

Charity fundraising in the 21st century

On 19 June 2018 the Senate established the Select Committee on Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century to inquire and report on the current framework of fundraising regulation for charities and options for reform. AAMRI gave evidence to the committee on the difficulties faced by having multiple different regulatory regimes. The report makes a number recommendations for simplifying compliance and reporting.  The report is now available online.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

NSW 2019 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia, United States of America 3-6 June

NSW Government, through the Department of Industry and NSW Health, is supporting a delegation to the 2019 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia, United States of America 3-6 June. In partnership with Ausbiotech, NSW companies can be part of the Australian pavilion. To register your interest in participating in the NSW 2019 BIO delegation, please email medtechconnect@industry.nsw.gov.au.

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 enterprise, 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.

7th Annual Devices + Diagnostics Lab: Patient-centric medical technology – Tuesday, 19 March, Melbourne ($295 – $550)

The BioMelbourne Network Devices + Diagnostics Lab event will explore innovation in medical devices that is refocusing the development of technologies around the patient experience. The full-day event will feature leading Australian and international keynote speakers in plenary presentations, panel sessions, case study presentations and interactive Q&A sessions.

Congresses, Symposiums & Summits

JBI Evidence-based Healthcare Symposium – Thu 04 April, Adelaide

The ‘The Solution Room: JBI Evidence-based Healthcare Symposium’ is a dynamic and interactive half-day designed to provide pragmatic solutions to your challenges in getting evidence into practice. Our esteemed panel of speakers will give you ‘real-world’ insights during their presentations. As a ‘think tank’ they will then respond directly to questions around challenges during the panel discussion. Their aim is to provide practical solutions for you in your clinical setting.

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.

2019 Women and Heart Disease Forum, 19 June 2019 (Sydney)

This biennial forum hosted by the Heart Foundation will bring together health professionals from a wide range of disciplines to try and improve heart health outcomes for women.