AAMRI e-news February 2020

AAMRI e-news February 2020

6th February, 2020

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – New Operations Network
  2. Government update – Consultations currently open
  3. Sector news –  National Digital Health Datathon
  4. NHMRC update –  Toolkit for Consumer & Community Involvement in Health & Medical Research
  5. MRFF update – New MRFF newsletter and funding opportunities
  6. Other funding & award opportunities – National Foundation for Medical Research & Innovation
  7. Reports & resources – Report on Government Services 2020
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – Catalysing Gender Equity 2020

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 in strong support of new MRFF funds directed to Bushfire health research

$5 million has been made available for medical research through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to focus on the medium-term physiological and mental health effects of the bushfires.

“We applaud this immediate response from the Government. The urgency of the current crisis and the likelihood of further fires this season mean that comprehensive research must commence as soon as possible,” said AAMRI President Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM. The grant round closed on 31 January 2020, and we will update further when grants are announced.

2020 Australia Day Honours recipients

Congratulations to all the recipients of Australia Day Honours. A number of our member institute directors, scientists and supporters were awarded honours. We’ve compiled a list of those awarded honours for their services to medical research and medicine.

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.

New Network: Operations

AAMRI is pleased to announce the formation of a new Network, it will be connecting Operations Managers on issues such as animal facilities, biobank management, lab and facilities management, WHS & regulatory requirements (OGTR, DAFF, DPI), risk mitigation, insurance and disaster management for research materials. To join please complete the form on our Networks Page.

Fundraising and Philanthropy Networking Event – 20 Feb 2020

One of AAMRI’s newest Member Networks is having their inaugural event on the 20 February in Sydney. The draft Program is now available, and includes presentations from industry experts on fundraising in medical research institutes, networking and round table discussions. If your institute is not already involved, please contact AAMRI to join the network.

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

Save the date – AAMRI 2020 Convention, 25-26 November

To be held at QT Canberra, more details to come as we launch our new revised format.

2.  Government update 


Draft of Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification

The ARC, ABS, New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Stats NZ have published a consultation draft of proposed revisions to the ANZSRC classifications. Closes 10 Feb 2020.

Call for submissions: New international development policy

This policy will drive the Government’s international development efforts in support of security, stability, prosperity and resilience in the Indo-Pacific. Closing date extended to 14 Feb 2020.

MRFF Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission draft roadmap

The roadmap outlines the vision, key themes and priorities of the mission. You can read the draft roadmap and provide feedback on the Department of Health website and provide feedback. AAMRI will be putting forward a submission on behalf of members. Closes 17 Feb 2020.

NHMRC Public Consultation: Guidelines for Guidelines

NHMRC is currently seeking comment on the following draft modules: Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in guideline development, and Training. Closes 20 Feb 2020.

Natural Therapies Review 2019-20

The Department of Health is inviting stakeholders to submit citations for published scientific research studies for consideration in the Natural Therapies Review 2019-20. Closes 21 Feb 2020.

Reducing the health risks from drinking alcohol

The NHMRC has released newly revised guidelines on reducing health risks from drinking alcohol. The draft guidelines are open for public comment until 24 Feb 2020.

Cancer Australia Lung Cancer Screening enquiry

The enquiry is being held to investigate the feasibility for a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer. Closes 17 Feb 2020.

Select Committee on Autism

In November 2019, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Autism to inquire into and report on the services, support and life outcomes for autistic people. The closing date for submissions is 14 April 2020.

3.  Sector news

New Secretary of the Department of Health

AAMRI welcomes Professor Brendan Murphy as the new Secretary of the Department of Health. Professor Murphy is well respected by the health sector and has worked for 40 years in the Australian health system as a doctor, medical researcher and senior executive. We wish Glenys Beauchamp PSM the best in her retirement and thank her for her many years of service.

CRC seeks collaborators for National Digital Health Datathon Series

In partnership with Microsoft, Digital Health CRC will be holding a National Digital Health Datathon Series in 2020. Academia and industry will come together in an intensive, multi-day format to extract meaningful findings for the health sector. If your organisation has data available that might suit the datathon and/or a problem you want solved, please contact Digital Health CRC’s Education Manager, Dr Melanie Haines.

WA releases new cancer plan

The WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 is a blueprint for action over the next five years – it includes objectives to establish a central system to capture, manage and share cancer data across WA hospitals and planned improvements to the delivery of cancer care throughout the State.

Funding announcements:


  • Professor Fabienne Mackay has been appointed the eighth Director and CEO of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Professor Philip O’Connell has begun his previously announced appointment as the new executive director of the Westmead Institute for Medical Research

4.  NHMRC update

EOI – MRFF Grant Assessment Committee

The Department of Health is seeking interest from a range of stakeholders to assist in MRFF grant review and assessment processes as a member of a Grant Assessment Committee for a number of 2019-20 MRFF grant opportunities.

Toolkit for Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research

NHMRC has releases this Toolkit to provide practical advice on engaging with consumers and the community to undertake high quality and relevant research.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research: National Network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers

This TCR aims to bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research groups and their support networks to create a structure that builds capacity and improves the capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers. EOI’s now open, closes 12 Feb 2020.

NHMRC European Union Joint Programme (JPND)

JPND is aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases and coordinating investment into research, they are currently calling for proposals. Only research with a key focus on Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias will be funded through this grant opportunity. Closes 01 July 2020.

5.  MRFF update

$32m investment through the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative

MTPConnect was successful in a competitive grant process to help the next generation of health and medical research innovators partner with the medical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical sectors. REDI is funded through the MRFF, you can read more about REDI here.

New MRFF Newsletter

The Medical Research Future Fund has started a monthly newsletter. It will provide the latest news and information about the MRFF, including open grant opportunities. Subscribe here.

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 opportunities closing soon:

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.

Funding announcements:

6.  Other funding & award opportunities

Women in Leadership Awards 2020

These awards recognise and champion women, at different stages of their careers, who have made outstanding contributions to advancing the biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceutical sector. Open to members of the BioMelbourne Network, nominations close 11 Feb 2020.

Kidney Disease Research

The purpose of this grant opportunity from the Department of Health is to provide optimal care and support for patients, families and carers of those with kidney disease, health professional education and improve research and data on kidney disease. Closes 13 Feb 2020.

National Foundation for Medical Research & Innovation (NFMRI)

There are three funding opportunities available through the NFMRI. The General Grant Round covering all diseases and conditions from Australian publicly funded research organisations, the Cystic Fibrosis Grant Round, and the  Alzheimer’s Disease Grant Round. All close 16 March 2020.

Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) – funding programs

SPA currently has three different funding programs on offer. SPA’s Innovation Research Grants (round 3), which closes 7 February 2020, their PhD Scholarship and their Post-Doctoral Partnership which both close 20 March 2020.

Women in Leadership Scholarships now Available

Scholarships of $2 – $5k are currently available to women working in the health sector to help support their participation in a range of career building leadership development programs. The initiative is providing junior through to executive managers with scholarships to support their growth and development. EOIs due 20 March, 2020.

Asahi Kasei Pharmaceutical: Open Innovation Program 2020

This program is an open innovation platform started in 2016 to recruit candidates for research collaborations related to drug discovery. They will accept a broad range of proposals from around the world based upon their program criteria on their website. Closes 26 Feb 2020.

2019 David Syme Research Prize

The Australia-wide prize recognises the best original research in Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Geology produced in Australia during the past two years (1 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2019). Worth approx $8,900, closes on 29 April 2020.

The Jian Zhou Medal – nominations open

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences has launched its first honorific award, the Jian Zhou Medal, which will be awarded annually to a rising star of Australian health and medical science. Closes 30 April 2020.

7.  Reports and resources

Report on Government Services 2020

The annual Report on Government Services provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 – 20-21 Feb 2020 (Adelaide)

Presented by the Australian Academy of Science in collaboration with Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE). The conference program is now available.

CEDA event – Accelerating R&D in NSW – 20 Feb (Sydney)

CEDA examines drivers of R&D in our economy and its role in our innovation ecosystem. Keynote address by Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Premier, the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP, who joins Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte and David Gonski AC for a broader discussion panel. Lunch event, members price start at $197.

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

The Molecular Approaches to Malaria Conference 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.

GAP2020 conference – 11-13 May 2019 (Melbourne)

For the first time, Peter Mac will proudly host GAP2020 next year. It is a global forum for the exploration of impactful, innovative ideas and research that underpin the effort to eradicate cancer. GAP2020 is a unique opportunity to hear from experts from Peter Mac and MD Anderson, along with national and international guests.

The Science on the Swan 2020 Conference – 17-19 May 2020, (Perth)

Based in WA the theme for 2020 is Driving Translational Research – Embedding Research and Innovation in Health Care. Key dates – abstracts close 25 Feb, early bird registration opens 28 Jan and closes 17 March 2020.

Dementia Research: Discovery, Innovation and Translation – Abstracts now open – 31 May – 2 June 2020 (Adelaide)

The Forum will consider the discoveries and innovation achieved by Australia’s dementia researchers as well as look forward to the task of translating research outcomes into practice.

Save the date:

  • Clinical Trials 2020: National Tribute and Awards Ceremony –  20 May 2020 (more details to come)