AAMRI eNews October 2018

AAMRI eNews October 2018

8th October, 2018

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – Medical Research Delivers event Oct 16
  2. Government update –  New Statement of Principles for Australian Innovation Precincts
  3. NHMRC & ARC updates –  new Corporate Plan and advisory board announcements
  4. MRFF updates – update on the consultation process
  5. Sector news –  Warning of ‘scam conferences’
  6. Reports & resources – Research Australia 2018 Opinion Poll report released
  7. Funding & award opportunities – new PhD and scholarships announced
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – Public lecture at NGV, Mon 15 Oct

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

1. AAMRI news

Invitation: Medical Research Delivers – Canberra, Tuesday, 16 October

Join our distinguished guests for the launch of the AAMRI commissioned KPMG report: Economic Impact of Medical Research in Australia. In this groundbreaking report we will find out just how many jobs medical research supports, its contribution to GDP, and how medical research investment leads to lower health care costs, as well as a stronger economy. RSVP via our website.

AAMRI welcomes new President Elect

AAMRI is pleased to welcome Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, Australia as our new President Elect. As well as his position at The George Institute, Professor Perkovic is a Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney, and a Staff Specialist in Nephrology at the Royal North Shore Hospital. He leads several international clinical trials and has been involved in developing Australian and global treatment guidelines. AAMRI is delighted that Professor Vlado Perkovic has agreed to take on the position of President following our AGM in November.

2018 AAMRI Members Report – Australia’s Medical Research Institute Snapshot

We’re pleased to make available our 2018 AAMRI Members Report – an in-depth look at our sector that shines a light on the progress that’s been made since we published our first ever sector snapshot two years ago. As a sector we need to monitor, analyse and benchmark ourselves, to know what we have achieved and to identify the areas where more effort is needed. This report provides an MRI sector snapshot and focuses on four key areas: our workforce, funding the systemic costs of research, success in securing research funding and the research translation pipeline.

AAMRI Annual Convention & Dinner

Draft program now released: 2018 AAMRI Annual Convention & Dinner – 26-27 November (Canberra)

Our 2018 Convention Program is now available online. We have had a record number of registrations for the Convention and places are filling up fast. There are only a handful of discounted hotel rooms still available. Register now to avoid missing out.

AAMRI submissions:

Submission on the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill

In previous submissions to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, AAMRI had expressed its concern on the potential impact that the Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 could have had on the medical research sector. In particular AAMRI was concerned that the Bill could see MRIs needing to register as political campaigners because of loose definitions in the Bill that would have deemed many health promotion activities as political campaigning activities – read more on our website.

2.  Government and policy update 

New Statement of Principles for Australian Innovation Precincts

From the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the Statement of Principles for Australian Innovation Precincts provides advice on best-practice to drive successful development of innovation precincts.

Data Sharing and Release Legislation – roundtables

A new Commonwealth Data Sharing and Release Bill has been developed to help provide a more efficient framework to govern data across Government and provide a focus on identifying and managing risk. The legislation introduces the concept of the ‘trusted user’ for researcher access to public data, as well as the establishment of the National Data Commissioner. You can provide feedback on the Bill by participating in one of the following roundtable consultation events.


Proposed Medicines and Poisons Regulatory Scheme 2018 – QLD

The draft Medicines and Poisons regulatory scheme (including pest management) is open for consultation. The draft legislation will establish a contemporary framework for the regulation of medicines, poisons and pest management in Queensland. Closes 5pm, 16 October 2018.

Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness in Australia

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Thursday, 18 October 2018. Information that may assist in preparing a submission to the Committee may be viewed here.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (now closed)

The online consultation to develop the detailed Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is now closed, it was open from 17 – 25 Sept 2018. To stay up to date with information on how the Royal Commission will progress, please subscribe via this link.

Productivity Commission Inquiry into the role of mental health in the Australian economy

Announced today, the Australian Government will establish a Productivity Commission Inquiry into the role of mental health in the Australian economy and the best ways to support and improve national mental wellbeing. We will keep you posted on when it is open for submissions.

3. NHMRC & ARC updates

Update – Investigator grants guide to applicants and category descriptors

NHMRC anticipates publishing a Guide to Applicants including Category Descriptors for the Investigator Grants scheme in late October on GrantConnect. This information will assist applicants to begin preparing their application in advance of the funding opportunity opening on 5 December 2018.

Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis

NHMRC has approved recommendations made in the Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. An update of the 2009 edition, it includes recommendations on the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis and reviews the latest evidence on new and commonly used therapies.

NHMRC Corporate Plan 2018-2019 

NHMRC’s Corporate Plan 2018-2019 is now available. It identifies the major health issues for the next three years, processes for dealing with these issues and a strategy for medical research and public health research. See NHMRC’s website for more information.

The National Mental Health Commission advisory board – appointment of four new members

The NHMRC advisor board has appointed four new members: Ms Kerry Hawkins, Professor Maree Teesson AC, Ms Christina McGuffie and Rabbi Mendel Kastel OAM.

4. MRFF updates

Update on the MRFF consultation process

Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) engaged with more than 1,200 people through this consultation process and received approximately 350 submissions from a range of interested parties including peak bodies, universities, medical research institutions, clinicians and consumers. These submissions, along with discussions at each of the public forums and targeted roundtables, will be used by AMRAB to inform the next set of MRFF Priorities. There may be opportunity for further consultation, however this will be at AMRAB’s discretion and will be publicised on the MRFF website as required.

5.  Sector news

Warning of ‘scam conferences’ on the rise

There is a reported increase in the amount of scam conferences being circulated, with researchers names being listed, unknown to them, as speakers. You can read more about this in a recent article from the SMH.

Appointment of new Cancer Australia Advisory Council Members

Welcome to the six new members of the Cancer Australia Advisory Council Members, appointed for three years. The Cancer Australia Advisory Council provides strategic advice to support Cancer Australia in the performance of its functions, read the full media release here.

New partnership in Canberra for cancer research

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, the Australian National University and the ACT Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 16 September 2018 to create a collaborative research centre in Canberra.

Survey – collaboration between industry and the research sector

A survey has been developed to investigate the continuing low level of collaboration between industry and the research sector. It is part of a cross-institutional research project, and a first step in developing stakeholder-driven strategies to more effectively facilitate collaborative partnerships. It is funded by a grant from CQUniversity. If you are able to assist, the survey should take approx 15 minutes and can be found online here. The survey closes 5pm, 19 October 2018.

Funding updates:


6.  Reports and resources

The 2018 Australia Speaks! Opinion Poll

Research Australia’s report from their opinion polling for health and medical research is now available to download.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook (digital version now available)

This Handbook provides clinical advice for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice. These recommendations are developed by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and approved by the NHMRC.

CSIRO Future of Health

The CSIRO Future of Health report provides a list of recommendations for improving the health of Australians over the next 15 years, focussed around five central themes: empowering people, addressing health inequity, unlocking the value of digitised data, supporting integrated and precision health solutions, and integrating with the global sector.

Synthetic Biology in Australia: An outlook to 2030

The project report Synthetic Biology in Australia: an outlook to 2030, launched by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO FAA FTSE at Customs House in Brisbane on 4 September 2018, is available on the Australian Council of Learned Academies website.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

7.  Funding & award opportunities

Closing soon

Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy Domestic PhD scholarships (3)

This includes one PhD scholarship, one Master of Research Year 2 plus PhD Bundle Scholarship and one Master of Research Year 2 Top Up Scholarship. All offered on a full-time basis. Closes 31 October 2018.

Brain and Breast Cancer Research Collaborative Initiative

The aim of this initiative is to leverage the connection between primary brain and breast cancer research to facilitate new approaches to tackling these cancers that may benefit many more people compared to tumour-specific approaches. Closing 5pm, 12 November 2018.

Global Innovation Linkages program Round 2

Provides matched funding to assist Australian businesses and researchers to collaborate with global partners on strategically focused, leading-edge research and development projects. The program will support projects focussed on developing high quality products, services or processes that respond to industry challenges. Closes 5pm (ACT local time) 14 November 2018.

Endeavour Leadership Program

The Endeavour Leadership Program is the Australian Government’s two way mobility program for short and long term study, research and professional development with Australia’s priority partner countries. Closes 11:30am (ACT local time) 15 November 2018.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowships

Applications are now being received for visits to Japan commencing between 1 April and 30 November 2019. Closing date is 5pm (AEDT) Wednesday 21 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 is 30 November 2018.

Australian National Commission for UNESCO grants program

The Australian National Commission for UNESCO’s small grants program is open for applications and closes on 5pm (AEST) Friday, 23 November 2018.

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

Upcoming events

Public lecture – Prof Jeffrey Flier: The obesity paradox – Mon, 15 October 2018 (Melbourne)

Presented by Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Professor Jeffrey Flier, former Dean of Medicine at Harvard University, presents a special talk on why medical science hasn’t mitigated the global obesity epidemic. Location: Clemenger Auditorium, National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Read the online Flyer here.

AusBiotech 2018

Keynote speaker details are now available. Conference runs, 31 October – 02 November, Brisbane.

Research Australia Health & Medical Research Awards 2018 –  Thu, 08 November 2018 (Sydney)

Research Australia and its Board are hosting the 16th annual celebration in honour of health and medical research.

10th Annual Gerard Crock lecture – Thu, 22 November 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.

ACTA Summit 2018 – 29-30 November 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.

Symposiums & Summits

7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation – 27/28 November 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 useable. Early bird registration deadline: 26 October 2018.

Intelligence 18: AI in Healthcare Summit, 21 November 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).