18 September 2020

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) remains committed to supporting dementia research in Australia following the end of the Australian Government's Boosting Dementia Research Initiative (BDRI).

The BDRI invested $200 million over five years from 2014 to 2019 to accelerate research, enhance collaboration and promote advances in dementia research and treatment. It included eleven competitive funding rounds and the establishment of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR).

All of the $200 million ‘boost’ in dementia funding has now been fully allocated and the NNIDR closed on 30 June 2020, having fulfilled its national leadership role in targeting and coordinating the strategic expansion of dementia research in Australia. NNIDR was delivered in partnership with Dementia Australia.

NHMRC is pleased to share an update on key dementia activities, which will form part of our ongoing support.

We acknowledge and thank our key partners in these activities, including Dementia Australia, the National Ageing Research Institute, the Australian Dementia Network and the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration. We also acknowledge the ongoing effort and commitment of dementia researchers, clinicians, carers, and people living with dementia. Together, we aim to better understand dementia, improve dementia prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and improve the quality of life and provision of care.

Expected Grant Opportunity: Centres of Research Excellence in Dementia Research

NHMRC expects to offer a grant opportunity for three Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) in Dementia Research valued at $3 million each over five years (total $9 million). The prospective CREs would aim to build collaborative research capacity and focus on strategic research priorities identified in the NNIDR Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation.

It is expected that one of the prospective dementia CREs would have a specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health focus.

The prospective CRE in Dementia Research grant opportunity would be additional to the Clinical Research, Health Services Research and Public Health Research streams offered through the CRE scheme.

Further information on the CRE grant opportunity for funding commencing in 2021 will be available on the NHMRC CRE and GrantConnect websites closer to the opening date. It is anticipated that the CRE grant opportunity will open for applications in late October 2020.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Roadmap for Dementia Research Translation (2020)

Launched in June 2020, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation provides guidance to government, researchers, industry and philanthropy on Australia’s dementia research strategy and activity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over the longer term.

It is a companion document to the 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation, recognising the differing priorities and guiding principles required to address the challenges of dementia in these communities.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation (see Downloads section) is complemented by a short video.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Dementia Research Action Plan

Co-developed by the NNIDR and National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), the Action Plan includes research priorities and guiding principles to increase inclusion of CALD Australians in dementia research, and improve dementia health and care equity for all Australians.

NHMRC is pleased to announce that NARI will take the lead role in promoting the uptake and integration of principles and priorities contained within the Action Plan into dementia research.
The Action Plan has been translated into a range of languages which are available for download from both NHMRC and NARI.

Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation

Developed by the NNIDR and a broad range of dementia stakeholders, the Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation outlines current and emerging priorities for dementia research in Australia.

Read the Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation (available from Downloads below).

Consumer and Community Involvement in Dementia Research

A guide for community and consumers was recently released: Becoming involved in research – A guide for people living with dementia, their care partners and family members. This booklet provides practical guidance, information and advice for anyone that is interested in getting involved in dementia research projects.

The booklet is available for download here. This resource complements NHMRC’s consumer and community involvement strategy. More information about NHMRC’s consumer and community engagement across the full spectrum of health and medical research can be found on the NHMRC website.

The dementia research consumer booklet was developed by the NNIDR’s Consumer and Community Involvement Reference Group (CCIRG), which brought together people living with dementia, carers and researchers to provide a lived experience perspective to dementia research policy development and NNIDR projects. NHMRC wishes to thank all members of the CCIRG who made their time and expertise available to help promote and support the involvement of people living with dementia, their families and carers in research.

Boosting Dementia Research Initiative 2014-2019 Report

A follow-up to the 2018 Early Outcomes Report, the 2019 Report provides details of the 156 grants that have been awarded to 374 leading dementia researchers, working across 28 universities and research institutions through the five year $200 million BDRI. Research projects funded through the BDRI will continue generating dementia research knowledge and advances through until 2025.

Six case studies are featured in the 2019 Report along with four researcher profiles, highlighting significant successes in dementia research across prevention, treatment, diagnosis and care.

Read the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative 2014-2019 Report (available in Downloads below).

A Snapshot of High Potential Impact Research on Dementia in Australia

The report provides a snapshot of research on dementia and cognitive decline that has high potential to provide a beneficial impact for the growing number of people living with dementia in Australia, and their carers and families. A video is also available, which profiles BDRI funded dementia researchers speaking about the significant impact of this substantial Government investment.

Read A Snapshot of High Potential Impact Research on Dementia in Australia (available in Downloads below).

Watch a short video.

NHMRC dementia webpage redevelopment 

The recently updated Dementia Research section of the NHMRC website provides information on new initiatives and information, latest news, funding calls and legacy resources from the NNIDR and funding outcomes and information from the BDRI. Some of these are detailed below. We encourage you to visit these revised pages and promote them with your colleagues and networks.

Contact us

Please feel free to contact the NHMRC Dementia Research team at dementia.research@nhmrc.gov.au.