26 July 2021

Welcome to Tracker, NHMRC’s fortnightly newsletter with the latest information on major activities and funding opportunities.

Australian research delivers rapid test for earlier Hep B treatment 

Hepatitis B is an infectious disease that causes the liver to become inflamed and contributes to increasing rates of liver cancer in Australia and globally. 

A point-of-care test that uses a single droplet of blood to measure liver damage is hoped to overcome barriers to treatment of hepatitis B, in research funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The simple test, developed by the Burnet Institute and its spinoff company, Nanjing BioPoint Diagnostics, could help counter increasing rates of chronic hepatitis B and associated liver cancer worldwide, particularly in countries and communities where the disease is endemic, and diagnosis and treatment rates are low.

Burnet Institute and University of Melbourne researcher Dr Jessica Howell received a $381, 948 NHMRC Ideas Grant to further validate the point-of-care test for liver inflammation.

Visit NHMRC's website to read more about Dr Jessica Howell’s research. 

Ideas Grants 2021

Ideas Grants Peer Review Processes

Peer reviewers commenced assessing applications in Sapphire on Monday 12 July 2021

If peer reviewers have any questions about the assessment process, please contact your secretariat. Technical Sapphire enquiries should be directed to NHMRC's Research Help Centre via email.

NHMRC appreciates the willingness of so many people to make themselves available for peer review.

Peer Review Mentors have been assigned to the 2021 Ideas Grants Scheme to assist peer reviewers undertake their role assessing Ideas grants applications. Ideas Grant peer reviewers who would like advice from a mentor on the assessment phase, interpretation of the category descriptors or procedural aspects of the peer review process should contact their secretariat.

Ideas Grants Peer Review Mentor Video

A video with advice about peer review for Ideas Grants 2021 from five of our peer review mentors is now available on NHMRC's website. The video covers topics including how to apply the category descriptors, assessing innovation and creativity, and applying the Indigenous Research Excellence Criteria.

Development Grants 2021 

Development Grants Peer Review Processes

NHMRC would like to thank the peer reviewers who completed their Conflicts of Interest (COI) and suitability declarations. NHMRC will notify assessors as soon as possible to confirm which applications they have been assigned to assess.

Peer Review Key Dates* 

•    Early August 2021 applications will be assigned to peer reviewers (based on results of the COI and suitability survey) 
•    Early August to early September 2021 peer reviewers review applications and submit scores and comments 
•    December 2021 notification of outcomes.

* The Development Grant peer review process and timelines are subject to change. NHMRC will notify peer reviewers of any timing changes as soon as practicable. 

Please contact the secretariat for any questions. Sapphire enquiries should be directed to NHMRC’s Research Help Centre via email

Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Biotoxin-related illnesses 

The Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Biotoxin-related illnesses has opened in Sapphire

Key application dates:

Minimum data is due by 5pm (AEST) on 1 September 2021 
Applications close at 5pm (AEST) on 15 September 2021.

This TCR aims to support research that will improve our understanding of the origin and pathophysiology of biotoxin-related illnesses, such as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.  This will assist in improving the diagnosis, treatment and management of individuals with biotoxin-related illness.
Further details, including the grant guidelines, are available on the GrantConnect (GO4959) and NHMRC’s website.

Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Participation in Cancer Screening Programs 2021

The Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Participation in Cancer Screening Programs 2021 is open for applications in Sapphire

Key application dates:

Minimum data is due by 5pm ACT (AEST) on Wednesday 4 August 2021
Applications close at 5pm (AEST) on Wednesday 18 August 2021

This TCR aims to improve participation across the three national cancer screening programs - bowel, breast and cervical - over the next three years under the National Preventive Health Strategy.

Further details, including the grant guidelines, are available on the GrantConnect (GO4893) and NHMRC’s website.

Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2021 

Minimum data must be entered into Sapphire by 5:00pm (AEST) on 28 July 2021

Minimum data fields for Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2021 are outlined at Appendix D to the Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2021 Guidelines. 

Failure to meet this deadline and minimum data requirements will result in the application not proceeding. 

Further details are available on GrantConnect. Please contact the Research Help Centre by email for further information or assistance.

European Union 2021 Horizon Europe topics for funding in 2022 

The European Union (EU) has advertised the 2021 funding calls for its Horizon Europe program. NHMRC is considering supporting the following topics under the NHMRC-EU Collaborative Research Grant Scheme: 

•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-STAYHLTH-01-02: Towards a molecular and neurobiological understanding of mental health and mental illness for the benefit of citizens and patients
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-ENVHLTH-02-02: Indoor air quality and health
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-DISEASE-04-01: Improved supportive, palliative, survivorship and end-of-life care of cancer patients
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-DISEASE-04-04: Clinical validation of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for treatment and care
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-DISEASE-04-07: Personalised medicine and infectious diseases: understanding the individual host response to viruses (e.g., SARS-CoV-2)
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CARE-05-01: Enhancing quality of care and patient safety
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-TOOL-06-01: Smart medical devices and their surgical implantation for use in resource-constrained settings
•    HORIZON-HLTH-2021-TOOL-06-02: Next generation advanced therapies to treat highly prevalent and high burden diseases with unmet medical needs

Interested parties should refer to GrantConnect for further information.

NHMRC will provide confirmation of support for these topics at a later date.

Partnership Projects Peer Review Cycle 2 (PRC2) 2021 

Key application dates

•    Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2: minimum data due Wednesday 28 July 2021; applications close on Thursday 12 August 2021.
•    Partnership Projects 2021 PRC3: open for applications Thursday 29 July 2021.

Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2 funding with other organisations

In addition to partner organisations identified in the Partnership Projects 2021 Guidelines (section 4.4), applicants may select the following funding opportunity from the Department of Health:

•    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Obesity Prevention Research special initiative. This special initiative provides the opportunity for community organisations that are contributing to health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop a relationship with a researcher to strengthen the evidence in FASD and obesity research. For further information see section 2.3 of the Partnership Projects 2021 Guidelines available via the Partnership Projects 2021 Grant Opportunity on GrantConnect.

MRFF Grant Opportunities 

Upcoming Key Dates for MRFF grant opportunities:

Rare Cancer Rare Disease and Unmet Need Grant Opportunity

Key application dates for Stream 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 are:
Status: Open for Applications
Minimum data is due by 4 August 2021
Applications close on 18 August 2021

Note: Applications for Stream 2 closed on 7 July 2021.

COVID-19 Health Impacts of Vaccination Schedules Grant Opportunity

Key application dates are:
Status: Open for Applications
Minimum data is due by 4 August 2021
Applications close on 18 August 2021

International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity Round 1 (21.1)

Key application dates are:
Status: Open for Applications
Minimum data is due by 25 August 2021
Applications close on 8 September 2021

International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity Round 2 (21.2)

Key application dates are:
Applications open on 26 August 2021
Minimum data is due by 2 February 2022
Applications close on 16 February 2022

Applicants who intend to submit applications to MRFF grant opportunities should ensure that:

- they have an active Sapphire account, or request access to Sapphire as soon as possible
- the participating institutions they intend to list in their application are available in Sapphire
- if a participating institution is not available, please email help@nhmrc.gov.au, include the URL and request it be added to the system.

Details on how to apply for MRFF grant opportunities and close dates are available on GrantConnect.

Further information on MRFF grant opportunities can be found on NHMRC’s website.

Researchers, consumers, clinicians and health practitioners, as well as those in industry, policy or who manage health services are invited to express their interest in assisting with the assessment of MRFF applications as a member of a grant assessment committee. Register your interest via NHMRC’s online portal.

Sapphire Maintenance

As part of ongoing system improvements, Sapphire will be unavailable on Saturday 31 July 2021 between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm (AEST) while a planned platform upgrade occurs. 

Users will not be able to access Sapphire during this time.

This upgrade will improve internal reporting capabilities and has been scheduled on a weekend to minimise disruption to users. NHMRC apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Please contact the Research Help Centre for further information or assistance.

Key application dates

Open

Funding Scheme - Open Open date Minimum data date Applications close
Partnership Projects 2021 PRC2 25-Mar-21 28-Jul-21 12-Aug-21
MRFF - Rare Cancer Rare Disease and Unmet Need - Stream 1,3,4,5,6,7 12-May-21 4-Aug-21 18-Aug-21
MRFF - COVID-19 Health Impacts of Vaccination Schedules 12-May-21 4-Aug-21 18-Aug-21
Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Participation in Cancer Screening Programs 2021 23-Jun-21 4-Aug-21 18-Aug-21
2021 Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 30-Jun-21 28-Jul-21 25-Aug-21
MRFF – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 1 (21.1) 17-Mar-21 25-Aug-21 8-Sep-21
Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Biotoxin-related illnesses 21-July-21 1-Sept-21 15-Sept-21

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates

Upcoming

Funding scheme - upcoming Open date Minimum date due  Applications close
Partnership Projects 2021 PRC3 29-Jul-21 17-Nov-21 1-Dec-21
MRFF - International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 2 (21.2) 26-Aug-21 2-Feb-21 16-Feb-22

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates

Tracker 

Previous editions of Tracker are available on NHMRC’s website.

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