15 December 2023

15 expert teams will share in over $13 million of funding administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to undertake research with international collaborators that addresses urgent global health challenges.

NHMRC’s international collaborative health research funding spans across multiple schemes that partner with funding agencies in Asia, as well as the United Kingdom and European Union. 

Funded research under these schemes will address known and emerging research gaps and challenges, increase scientific impact, and build research capacity for Australia.

NHMRC funding supports Australian researchers' participation and collaboration in leading international collaborative research, while the international research partners will be funded by their respective funding agencies.

  • $2.3 million will support three projects focussing on diagnostics and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance through the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR).
    • The JPIAMR is an international collaborative organisation and platform, engaging 29 nations and the European Commission to curb antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with a ‘One Health’ approach.
    • The NHMRC-JPIAMR 2023 call on ‘Development of innovative strategies, tools, technologies, and methods for diagnostics and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)’ provides funding support for Australian participation and collaboration in transnational research for a funding period of up to five years.
    • Among the successful recipients is Professor Steven Djordjevic, from the University of Technology Sydney, who will define a suite of genetic markers that best describe AMR status of a targeted location and integrate them into multiplexed platforms using new technologies that do not require cultivation of bacteria.
  • $3 million will support four projects focussing on the effects of climate change on health through the NHMRC-e-ASIA Joint Research Program.
    • The research funded through this collaboration supports international joint research projects through multilateral processes to promote innovation and contribute to economic development in the East Asian region.
    • Among the successful recipients is Doctor Catherine Gordon at the QIMR Berghofer, who will use an intensive multi-component “One Health” approach to eliminate Schistosoma mekongi in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Cambodia before its transmission is exacerbated by the effects of climate change in the region. 
  • $2.5 million will support three projects focussing on neuroscience through the NHMRC-NEURON 2023 collaborative research grant scheme.
    • Established under the Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research scheme of the European Commission, NEURON aims to coordinate and optimise research efforts and funding programs in the field of mental, neurological and sensory disorders.
    • The NHMRC-NEURON 2023 call supports Australian participation and collaboration in transnational research projects on ‘Mechanisms of Resilience and Vulnerability to Environmental Challenges in Mental Health’.
    • Of those funded, Professor Anthony Hannan through the University of Melbourne will investigate gene-environment and brain-body interactions to find new ways to prevent and treat mental illnesses attributable to adverse childhood experiences among adults. 
  • $1.5 million will support three projects through the NHMRC-European Union (EU) collaborative research grant scheme.
    • Funding provided through this scheme supports Australian participation in research under Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation.
    • Among this research, Doctor Louise Ellis from Macquarie University will develop, test, and evaluate a toolbox aimed to strengthen resilience and mental wellbeing among aged healthcare workers and informal caregivers. The toolbox will undergo international testing, and will be adapted to suit different contexts, types of health care providers and levels of health systems.
  • $4.2 million will support two projects through the NHMRC-National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme (HTA).
    • Funding provided through this scheme supports Australian institutions and researchers participating in international collaborative research selected for funding through the United Kingdom’s NIHR HTA Programme on selected topics.
    • The NIHR aims to maintain a health research system that supports outstanding individuals, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research that focuses on the needs of patients and the public.
    • Of those funded, Professor David Beard, from the University of Sydney, will investigate the optimal surgical repair technique for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries.

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

Quotes attributable to NHMRC CEO, Professor Steve Wesselingh:

  • “NHMRC supports collaborative and integrated approaches to health and medical research."
  • “Our international collaborative health research funding enables Australian researchers to engage and network with international researchers, bringing great minds together to find answers to health challenges."
  • “By sharing skills and expertise that span across multiple continents, these grants have the power to expand our scientific knowledge and enable its translation into practice.”