22 October 2021

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) welcomes today’s announcement of funding for the Synergy Grant scheme.

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, announced $85 million funding for 17 projects.

Seventeen multidisciplinary research teams will each receive $5 million over five years to find solutions to major questions in human health that cannot be answered by individual investigators. 

The Synergy Grant scheme was introduced in 2019 and is designed to support highly collaborative teams of diverse researchers to work together to address major problems in any area of human health and medical research, from discovery to translation. Notably, over 50 per cent of the Synergy Grants awarded in this round are led by women. 

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said the success of female lead investigators in the latest Synergy Grant outcomes was encouraging for all as well as for many other women starting out on their research careers.

“The projects funded today are exciting examples of what is possible when different disciplines and perspectives are brought together to solve a problem. While the Synergy Grant outcomes for female lead investigators are significant, NHMRC continues to work on ways to ensure women are equally represented at all careers levels and across all our grant schemes,” Professor Kelso said. 

Full details of all grant results are available by downloading the Summary of the results of the NHMRC 2021 Grant Application Round on the grant outcomes page.


Synergy Grants announced today are:

Chief Investigator Name      

Application Title Administering Institution   Budget ($)
Professor Kate Schroder 
Mining the host-pathogen interface to deliver a drug pipeline for treating intractable and emerging infections University of Queensland   5,000,000
Professor Paul Haber
Linking clinical and basic science discovery to find new treatments for alcohol use disorder   University of Sydney 5,000,000
Professor Monika Janda
Roadmap Options for Melanoma Screening in Australia (Melanoma-ROSA)   University of Queensland   5,000,000

Professor Mark Jenkins
Tackling Australia’s low screening participation to prevent bowel cancer morbidity and deaths University of Melbourne 5,000,000

Associate Professor Kate Sutherland
Improving outcomes for lung cancer patients: Discovering targetable vulnerabilities in lung cancer   The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research   5,000,000

Professor Philip Hansbro
Defining the role and therapeutic manipulation of the gut-lung axis in respiratory disease University of Technology Sydney   5,000,000

Professor Anne Kavanagh 
Interventions for better life-time mental health outcomes for young Australians with disability University of Melbourne   5,000,000

Professor Ingrid Scheffer
"Integrative-omics" for precision medicine in the epilepsies   University of Melbourne 5,000,000
Professor Jonathan Carapetis
STopping Acute Rheumatic Fever Infections to Strengthen Health (STARFISH)   University of Western Australia   5,000,000

Professor Roslyn Boyd
Cerebral Palsy SYNERGY Network to Protect, Repair and improve Outcomes   University of Queensland   5,000,000
Professor Mark Parsons
SERPICO Stroke: Synergistic Enhancement of Research design with Precision analytics to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Stroke. University of New South Wales   5,000,000
Associate Professor Misty Jenkins
Rational design of novel CARs for safe and effective brain cancer immunotherapy   The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research   5,000,000
Professor Monica Slavin
Improving patient outcomes through implementation of digital and diagnostic innovations for infections in cancer   University of Melbourne   5,000,000

Professor Andrew Roberts
Understanding and averting blood cancer resistance to therapy The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research   5,000,000
Professor Patrick Brennan
IMPACT: IMplementation of x-ray PhAse-Contrast Tomography to transform cancer diagnosis   University of Sydney 5,000,000

Professor Alex Brown
Respecting the Gift - Empowering Indigenous Communities in Genomic Medicine   South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Limited 5,000,000
Professor Melissa Southey
National Precision Health Research Translation for Breast and Prostate Cancer Prevention and Early Detection   Monash University   5,000,000
    Total 85,000,000


NHMRC Media Team
M: 0422 008 512
E: media@nhmrc.gov.au