29 June 2021

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

Diamond-enriched silk dressings the answer to next-generation smart wound treatment 

The NHMRC Ideas Grant scheme supports innovative research projects addressing specific questions. The funding supports thousands of researchers to pursue their goals and a broad range of research from discovery science through to clinical research, health services and public health research. 

With a $900,000 Ideas Grant, Professor Brant Gibson from RMIT University has teamed up with a cross-discipline collaboration of scientists to develop a diamond-enriched smart dressing made of silk. This dressing enables doctors to read the chemistry of an infected or healing wound and could be the answer to more effective therapies, particularly for burns.

The smart dressing monitors the temperature of a wound and pH balance to detect infection.

The team includes renowned burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood, known as co-developer of spray-on skin to treat severe burns. Professor Woods said the smart dressing was the next generation of wound management that would drive new therapies for wound treatment. 

As we come to the end of Burns Awareness Month, discover more about the future of burns treatment on NHMRC’s website.

$5.9 million for Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases 

NHMRC is proud to support international research through its participation in the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) and provide an important opportunity for Australian researchers to help reduce the burden of chronic diseases in vulnerable communities around the world. 

By working with other international funding agencies through the GACD, we can amplify our impact on non-communicable diseases in the communities that are most affected and have less access to the advances of modern medicine.

This is now more important than ever as chronic conditions can increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

Find out more about our latest funding announcement in the media release and about the role Australia can play on the GACD website.

$74 million investment in Australian-led clinical trials

The Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies 2020 outcomes were announced by the Health Minister, the Hon. Greg Hunt, on 20 June.

Find out more about the $74 million investment in 20 clinical trials and 10 cohort studies to find better ways to prevent, detect and treat disease in the media release.

Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 2021 update 

The Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant scheme for funding commencing mid-2022 will open Wednesday 30 June 2021. Minimum data is due 28 July 2021 and applications close 25 August 2021.

Further details will be available on GrantConnect and NHMRC’s website.

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

NHMRC-CIHR Healthy Cities Implementation Science Team Grant Scheme 2021 Grant Opportunity 

NHMRC is providing up to $5 million of funding to support Australian researchers participating in the joint NHMRC-Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Healthy Cities Implementation Science Team Grant Scheme 2021 Grant Opportunity.  

Canada/Australia collaborative Stage 1 applications (Letter of Intent) are to be submitted to CIHR by 11 August 2021.

For further information visit NHMRC’s website and GrantConnect.

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  opened for applications in Sapphire on 23 June 2021. Applications will close at 5 pm (AEST) on 18 August 2021, with minimum data due by 5 pm (AEST) on 4 Aug 2021.

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

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

Ideas Grants 2021

Ideas Grants Peer Review Processes

NHMRC would like to thank the peer reviewers who completed their Conflicts of Interest (COI) and suitability declarations, and those who provided suitability against additional applications These efforts all help to optimise the quality of our peer review process. 

NHMRC appreciates the willingness of researchers to make themselves available for peer review. We are currently working through the declarations received and assigning the 2635 applications to more than 700 assessors based on the best available self-declared suitability matches following the suitability and COI survey outcomes. 

NHMRC will notify assessors as soon as possible to confirm their appointments and which applications they have been assigned to assess.

Peer Review Key Dates* 

  • Late June/early July 2021 peer reviewers assigned to applications (based on results of the COI and suitability survey)
  • July-September 2021 peer reviewers review applications and submit scores and comments against Ideas Grant assessment criteria for each allocated application.
  • December 2021 notification of outcomes.

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

If you have any questions, please contact your secretariat. Sapphire enquiries should be directed to the Research Help Centre via email

MRFF Grant Opportunities

Upcoming Key Dates for MRFF grant opportunities:

2021 MRFF – Rare Cancer Rare Disease and Unmet Need Grant Opportunity

Key application dates for Stream 2 are:

Status: Open for Applications
Minimum data was due by 23 June 2021
Applications close at 7 July 2021

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 at 18 August 2021

2021 MRFF – 2021 Innovative Therapies For Mental Illness Grant Opportunity

Key application dates are:

Status: Open for Applications
Minimum data is due by 7 July 2021
Applications close at 21 July 2021

2021 MRFF – 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 at 18 August 2021

2021 MRFF – 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 at 8 September 2021

2021 MRFF – 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 at 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, 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.

Embryo Licensing Committee Report 

The NHMRC Licensing Committee’s six-monthly report has been tabled in Parliament. These reports include information about both the operation of this Act and licences issued under the Act. This is the 37th Biannual Report published by the NHMRC Licensing Committee available on NHMRC’s website.

Key application dates

Funding Scheme - open Open date Minimum data due Applications close
MRFF - Rare Cancer Rare Disease and Unmet Need - Stream 2 12-May-21 23-Jun-21 7-Jul-21
MRFF – 2021 Innovative Therapies for Mental Illness  17-Mar-21 7-Jul-21 21-Jul-21
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
MRFF – 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Round 1 (21.1) 17-Mar-21 25-Aug-21 8-Sep-21

*NB schemes are in order of closing dates

Upcoming

Funding scheme - upcoming Open date Minimum data due Applications close
2021 Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants 30-Jun-21 28-Jul-21 25-Aug-21
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

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

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