5 September 2022

Studies of indoor air quality and its impact on health in Australian homes and schools are among international research collaborations funded by the Australian Government.

The University of Queensland will lead studies of Australian homes to establish a better understanding of indoor air quality, identifying chemicals, their sources and strategies to promote healthier homes, as part of a comparative European study INQUIRE.

Researchers from Monash University will assess the effect of ventilation, hygiene strategies and air purification on indoor air quality in primary schools and the health outcomes of children in Melbourne. The studies will contribute to guidelines and recommendations that support health promotion and disease prevention for children in schools.

NHMRC welcomes the Australian Government’s $6.9 million investment to support nine international collaborative grants in health and medical research.

The funding will support collaborative research with partners in the European Union and the United Kingdom.

The research will address known and emerging research gaps and challenges, increase scientific impact and build research capacity for Australia.

The $6.9 million is provided through two international research funding partnerships:

  • $3.4 million for seven NHMRC-European Union (EU) collaborative research grants to support Australian participation in leading international collaborative research under Horizon Europe. The projects will address a range of important health priorities such as mental health, developmental disorders, cerebral palsy, air pollution and quality of life for cancer survivors.

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies.

  • $3.5 million for two NHMRC–National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) collaborative research grants. The research will examine ways to improve patients’ quality of life following surgical treatment of rectal cancer and the cost-effectiveness of lumbar fusion surgery for severe low back pain.

The NHMRC–NIHR Collaborative Research Grant Scheme supports Australian institutions and researchers participating in international collaborative research selected for funding through the United Kingdom’s NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. The HTA Programme funds independent research into the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests.

The NHMRC funding provided through these schemes will support the Australian component of the collaborative partnerships, while the international research partners will be funded by their respective funding agencies.

NHMRC–EU Collaborative Research Grants funded are:

Chief Investigator Title Administering Institution Budget
Professor Christel Middeldorp Youth-GEMs: Gene Environment interactions in Mental health trajectories of Youth University of Queensland $499,332
Professor Roslyn Boyd Clinical validation of Artificial Intelligence for providing a personalized motor clinical profile assessment and rehabilitation of upper limb in children with unilateral Cerebral Palsy University of Queensland $499,779
Dr Eva Zopf PREFERABLE-II - Personalised Exercise-Oncology for improvement of supportive care: a super umbrella trial to demonstrate the (cost)effectiveness of live-remote exercise in cancer survivors Cabrini Health $457,547
Professor Yuming Guo Improvement of school indoor air quality and children's health Monash University $499,557
Professor Kevin Thomas Identification of chemical and biological determinants, their sources, and strategies to promote healthier homes in Europe (INQUIRE) University of Queensland $499,819
Professor Angela Morgan Risk and Resilience in Developmental Diversity and Mental Health Murdoch Children’s Research Institute $499,734
Associate Professor Klaus Schubert PsychSTRATA University of Adelaide $498,335


NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grants are:

Chief Investigator Title Administering Institution Budget
Dr Kheng-Seong Ng Pathway Of Low Anterior Resection syndrome relief after Surgery (POLARiS) trial University of Sydney $1,106,974
Professor Nadine Foster The clinical and cost-effectiveness of lumbar fusion surgery for patients with persistent, severe low back pain: FusiOn veRsus bEst coNServative Care (the FORENSIC trial) University of Queensland $2,373,198