15 December 2023

Two hundred and thirty-two exceptional health and medical research projects will share in $268 million through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grant scheme announced today by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP.

With a focus on innovation and creativity, NHMRC’s Ideas Grant scheme enables researchers at all career stages to work together to address specific research questions to advance within their field for the improvement of health for all Australians.

Successful recipients will be supported to undertake new and important research across a diverse range of health and medical challenges including mental health and cancer, as well as cardiovascular and infectious diseases - including coronavirus.

The Ideas Grants funded cover the spectrum of broad research areas, from basic science to clinical medicine, public health, and health services research:

  • Dr Adi Idris of Queensland University of Technology will develop a rapidly deployable direct acting nose spray targeting COVID-19 and other common cold viruses in both the lungs and the nose.
  • Professor Peter Catcheside of Flinders University will combine wearable sensor data with high performance physiology and data-driven analysis methods to create personalised body-clock tracking and circadian light retiming methods to aid shift-workers and those with circadian sleep disorders.
  • Associate Professor Marita Helfer of the Menzies School of Health Research, in partnership with Outback Stores and Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, will co-design and pilot innovative supply-side strategies to reduce commercial tobacco use among First Nations and non-Indigenous peoples, effectively aligning with the National Tobacco Strategy and complementing the national Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.
  • Associate Professor Wayne Crismani of St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research will improve the next generation of diagnostics and management of chronic conditions, with a particular focus on Fanconi anaemia which is a rare genetic disorder that affects multiple organs and systems of the body.

A full list of funding outcomes for Ideas Grants is available on NHMRC's Outcomes of funding rounds.

Quotes attributable to NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh:

  • 'The Ideas Grant scheme supports innovative research that contributes to the health of all Australians.'
  • 'The scheme provides opportunities for researchers at every career stage to translate their ideas, whether it be formed in the laboratory, in the clinic or in the community, into deliverable evidence-based outcomes.'
  • 'The diversity across researcher career stage, discipline, disease focus and location will support a wide array of new research and answer some of Australia’s burning health and medical questions.'