AAMRI eNews November 2018

AAMRI eNews November 2018

14th November, 2018

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – New KPMG report launch in Canberra proving worth of medical research investment
  2. Government update –  Updates and consultations in progress
  3. NHMRC updates – Appointments to five Principal Committees
  4. MRFF updates – Consultation process news
  5. Sector news –  Funding updates and appointments
  6. Reports & resources – Proposed amendments to the Electoral Funding and Reform Bill Report
  7. Funding & award opportunities – Key deadlines in November and December
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – Wiley Research Seminar and Annual Gerard Crock lecture

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

1. AAMRI news

New findings show medical research is top return for investment in Australia

A new study by KPMG Economics has identified that the medical research sector has significantly boosted our country’s welfare, economy and future potential. Commissioned by AAMRI, and launched at Parliament house on 16 October, the report showed that for every dollar invested in medical research, we gain a $3.90 return to the economy. This was followed by an Op Ed piece in The Australian by Simon McKeon AO and another editorial by Tim Dodd in the Higher Education section.

National interest test for research must not become a ‘political interest test’

In the wake of the news that 11 Australian Research Council (ARC) grants had been secretly vetoed by the previous Education Minister, a new concerning concept known as the ‘national interest test’ was announced on October 31st by Education Minister Dan Tehan. AAMRI is concerned that the national interest test could become a ‘political interest test’, with unknown, changeable criteria, and is ignoring the key fact that to qualify for a research grant, researchers already need to prove national and international benefits to expert reviewers. You can read our full media release here.

AAMRI Annual Convention & Dinner

2018 AAMRI Annual Convention & Dinner – 26-27 November (Canberra)

Our convention is less that two weeks away – we have an exciting line up of speakers for the 2018 AAMRI Annual Convention in Canberra including Glenys Beauchamp (Secretary of the Department of Health), Dr Charlie Day (CEO of Innovation and Science Australia), and Professor John Shine (President of the Australian Academy of Science). The Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, The Hon Catherine King MP will be the guest speaker at the AAMRI Dinner and will present the CSL Florey Next Generation Award. Register now to avoid missing out.

AAMRI submissions:

Submission to Women in STEM Decadal Plan Consultation

In AAMRI’s submission to the consultation for developing the Decadal Plan, the recommendations address the underlying barriers that prevent retention and promotion of women in medical research. The long term goal is to achieve equal representation of women in senior medical research positions and leadership roles.

Joint Go8 – AAMRI submission to the consultation to inform the second Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2018 – 2020

AAMRI and the Group of Eight have put forward a joint submission to the consultation to inform the development of the next Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities.

In this submission AAMRI and the Group of Eight put forward constructive feedback on a range of areas relating to the MRFF. This included calling for:

  • a more powerful Australian Medical Research Advisory Board
  • enhancing MRFF communications
  • developing principles for MRFF national missions
  • and ensuring future priorities for the MRFF address burden of disease.

You can read our full submission on our website. The new Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities were released last week (see MRFF update in part four of this newsletter)

2.  Government and policy update 

Electoral Legislation (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

Last month the committee’s second advisory report incorporating dissenting reports on the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill was presented in parliament. Since the production of the secondary advisory report further amendments have been proposed to the Bill. The amendments resolve the issues AAMRI had raised in its submission earlier this year relating to the potential impact on medical research institutes ability to speak out on public health issues. The Bill is expected to be debated in the Senate on 14 November. If you would like further information please contact peter.thomas@aamri.org.au

MoU: Medical research collaboration between Australian and United States researchers

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Federal Government and the Texas Medical Centre in Canberra will enable Australian medical researchers to better develop clinical practice and commercial opportunities in the areas of genomics, rare cancers, brain cancer research and current and emerging clinical trials.

Queensland and Berlin sign health accord

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed a joint declaration of intent with the President of the German Bundesrat and Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller in Brisbane. A group of Queensland and Berlin experts in science, higher education, research, industry and healthcare will develop a process to inform the future of health care, medical science and innovation, and medical education and training.


Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) statewide consultations

The ARDC is currently developing its five year strategy and capital plans. As part of the strategic planning cycle ARDC wishes to engage with a range of resource providers, institutions and research organisations, e-infrastructure providers, peak bodies and government. Information sessions will take place nationally during late November and early December 2018. For those unable to attend in person, Zoom video attendance, attendance at a meeting in another state, and alternative opportunities for feedback will be possible.

Health Star Rating system – five year review

You are invited to comment on the five year review of the Health Star Rating system, how well the objectives of the system have been met and identify options for improvements.

3. NHMRC update

NHMRC appointments to five Principal Committees for the 2018-2021 triennium

New appointments to the five NHMRC Principal Committees have now been announced. The Research Committee will be chaired by AAMRI Board member and Director of SAHMRI, Professor Steve Wesselingh.

These appointments follow the new NHMRC Council appointments for 2018-21 triennium made last month.

4. MRFF updates

New MRFF priorities announced

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) have released the new priorities for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). Under the MRFF legislation new priorities must be developed by AMRAB every two years. The release of the priorities follows a sector-wide consultation earlier this year, which included a joint submission from AAMRI and the Group of Eight.

in addition to identifying specific priorities AMRAB has also provided much more detail on how the priorities will be best addressed, specifying guidance on funding and implementation. AAMRI responded to the release of the priorities with a media releasewelcoming the new approach and calling on competitive processes to be put in place to ensure best value for money.

New MRFF funding opportunities

You can keep up to date with all the latest new funding opportunities from the MRFF by registering with Grant Connect. You can also find the MRFF funding opportunities which are being administered by the NHMRC on their new website. Right now there is an open round on International Clinical Trials Collaborations.

5.  Sector news

Long service leave changes – from 1 November 2018

Victoria’s Long Service Leave Act 2018 has changed in six key areas, including allowing for pro-rata access to long service after seven years. An overview of the changes can be found on the Business Victoria website.

Funding updates:

6.  Reports and resources

New report from MTPConnect: ‘Regenerative Medicine: Opportunities for Australia’ 

A new report on opportunities for Australia’s regenerative medicine sector says it has all the elements needed to be a global leader and drive the creation of thousands of new, high paying jobs. The report by MTPConnect, provides a roadmap, available on their website.

Occasional Paper from the Office of Australia’s Chief Scientist: Precision Medicine

The Occasional Paper explores the promise of precision medicine, a term capturing the collective impact of advances in genomics, data science and computing. It draws on a report produced by Australia’s Learned Academies, working collaboratively as ACOLA.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

7.  Funding & award opportunities

Closing soon

Recovery Research Boost for Stroke Victims

The Stroke Foundation is facilitating a targeted clinical research investment in recovery for working age survivors of chronic stroke through two dedicated research grants funded from 2019-2021. Applications for the research package, administered by Stroke Australia, are now open. Deadline for applications – 30 November 2018.

Regional Collaborations Programme

The Australian Academy of Science invites Australian research organisations and businesses to apply for funding for multi-partner projects and/or non-project aligned, multi-partner workshops under Round 2 of the Regional Collaborations Programme. The deadline for applications for Workshops and Projects – 30 November 2018.

NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence

The CRE grant program supports research which aims to improve health outcomes and promote or improve translation of research outcomes into policy and/or practice. Closes 5pm (ACT local time) – 05 December 2018.

Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding commencing in 2019

Fosters close partnerships between university-based researchers and other research end-users to provide innovative Higher Degree by Research and postdoctoral training, for end-user focused research industries that are vital to Australia’s future. CLoses 5pm (ACT local time) 12 December 2018.

Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding commencing in 2019

Engages Australia’s best researchers to develop collaborative solutions to Industrial Transformation Priorities and to train the future research workforce. The scheme supports joint research activity, between the Australian higher education sector and industry, designed to focus on strategic outcomes that cannot be realised independently of each other. Closes 5pm (ACT local time) – 12 December 2018.

Future Fellowships for funding commencing in 2019

The Future Fellowships grant opportunity provides support for excellent mid-career researchers to undertake high quality research in areas of national and international benefit. Closes 5pm (ACT local time) – 21 December 2018.

2019 Perpetual Grant

The IMPACT Program is open to a range of causes and has funded health and medical research in the past. Universities and MRIs are eligible, but only one application per organisation/institution will be accepted. Deadline for applications – 7 December 2018.

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? Closing 5pm (ACT local time) 30 Jan 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.

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. Closes 5pm (ACT local time) – 20 April 2022.

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

Upcoming events

Intelligence 18: AI in Healthcare Summit, 21 Nov 2018 (Sydney)

Australia’s first summit discussing the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology in modern healthcare will be presented in 2018 by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR).

10th Annual Gerard Crock lecture – Thu, 22 Nov 2018 (Melbourne)

Join CERA as they celebrate a consummate clinician, and innovator who has helped to save the sight of thousands. The lecture will be presented by Professor Sir Peng Tee Khaw, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, specialising in glaucoma. Book your place by Thursday 15 November 2018. Email: rsvp@cera.org.au.

Wiley Research Seminar – Fast Forward: Research and Publishing in an Age of Disruption, 26 Nov 2018 (Melbourne)

The pace of change in research, publishing and practice is faster than ever before and it’s a challenge to stay on top of all the new developments. You are invited to attend the Wiley Research Seminar in November to learn from experts about how to embrace disruption, diversity and digital advancements and how to operate with a future mindset. Participate in discussions with your peers about what to expect in publishing and business models and learn how you and your teams can continue to create impact in research, publishing and leadership.

7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation – 27/28 Nov 2018, (Sydney)

The theme this year will be “Ensuring Value in Research”, exploring how researchers can ensure that the right questions are being chosen from the start, that studies are necessary and well-designed, and that results are reported in a fashion that is unbiased and widely usable.

ACTA Summit 2018 – 29-30 Nov 2018 (Sydney)

The ACTA Summit 2018 is focussed on investigator-initiated, clinician-led clinical trials’ sector opportunities, challenges and expansion. The Summit directly follows the 7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation: Ensuring Value in Research at the same venue. More information on the ACTA website.

Congresses, Symposiums & Summits

Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium, Dec 5–7 2018 (Sydney)

This year’s theme, “Cardiovascular Disease in the Era of Obesity and Diabetes: Challenges and New Frontiers” will focus on discovery research, clinical science and public health to break down the silos which often exist between these disciplines to ensure translation of research into clinical practice in NSW. Registration now open.

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.