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Urgent Call for Research - Hendra Virus

On 29 July 2011, the Australian Government announced funding to boost research into issues raised by recent identified cases of the Hendra virus.

This funding will go towards better understanding the virus in terms of its impact on human health, animal health and environmental biodiversity.

NHMRC will focus on the human health issues related to Hendra Virus.

NHMRC has developed an Urgent Call for Research to better understand and fight the Hendra Virus, setting aside up to $3 million. The Urgent Call for Research has two primary aims:

  1. To better understand the biology of Henipaviruses, particularly Hendra Virus, and
  2. To develop management procedures and better treatments humans affected by Henipaviruses, particularly Hendra Virus.

Outcomes of the Hendra Virus Urgent Call for Research

The Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Health, has approved NHMRC’s funding recommendations for the recent Hendra Virus Urgent Call for Research.  Eight grants totaling $3,002,486 have been awarded funding.  View the full media release.

Details of the funded grants can be found here.

Background information - Urgent Calls for Research

In 2000, the NHMRC developed the following definition of urgent research:

Urgent research is research that must be undertaken rapidly in response to a threat to public health. The threat may be generalised, or specific to particular groups of individuals, and may be identified as either a current major problem, a potential major problem or a problem which is expected to increase in the future.

The main catalysts for urgent research will be the fact that a disease or illness or its variant(s) is previously unknown or unidentified, it has a high morbidity and/or mortality rate, and thus attracts publicity and public and/or government concern about the disease/illness.

From this definition, NHMRC developed a process for considering requests for urgent research that involves a risk assessment against the following criteria:

  •  immediate threat to public health;
  •  potential to spread, population at risk;
  •  unfamiliarity with the disease;
  •  high morbidity or mortality; and
  •  broad economic impact of the threat.

Urgent Calls for Research are a special type of NHMRC’s Targeted Call for Research (TCR)  scheme.  

Further information about the criteria and processes for TCRs (PDF, 93KB)

More information about the national response to the Hendra Virus is available from http://www.daff.gov.au/animal-plant-health/pests-diseases-weeds/animal/hendra.

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Archived Information: Apply for funding

The NHMRCs Research Grants Management System (RGMS) must be used to access/enter your CV and Profile, and submit your Hendra Virus Urgent Call for Research (UCR) application.

Applicants who are not yet registered on RGMS should contact the Research Help Centre on help@nhmrc.gov.au for more information.

A complete UCR application consists of:

  1. Parts A and B of the application form
  2. The relevant information in your RGMS Profile and CV
  3. The uploaded PDF document containing your Detailed Background and Research Plan, including Track Record for each Chief Investigator
  4. If relevant, the uploaded PDF document relating to Career Interruption

Prior to submission, applicants are to ensure they:

  • Read all relevant reference material; and
  • Liaise with their Administering Institution to identify any specific requirements that the institution may have.

Key dates

The key dates for the UCR are:

  • Applications Open     9 November 2011
  • Applications Close     17:00hrs AEDST on 18 January 2012

Documentation to apply for a Hendra Virus UCR grant

Page reviewed: 7 June, 2012