Latest news and stories

Professor Melissa Wake and her team

Achieving in the classroom

‘More than 90 per cent of children six to seven years of age with reading difficulties have low working memory.'1

  • News
  • 11 September 2017
Mary Jane Black and Associate Professor Gurmeet Singh, Professor Wendy Hoy

Protecting premature babies from kidney disease

‘18 per cent of all Indigenous Australian adults have chronic kidney disease—two times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians.’

  • News
  • 7 September 2017
Professor Jackob Najman and his team

Forty years of mental health research

‘One in every ten mothers experience repeated episodes of major depression over their life course—on average, experiencing depression one in every six days of their lives.'

  • News
  • 6 September 2017
Professor Marshall and her team

Saving lives—one vaccine at a time

‘There has been a 73 per cent reduction in children hospitalised from severe chicken pox infection since the introduction of the (varicella) vaccine to the National Immunisation Program in Australia in 2005.'1

  • News
  • 31 August 2017

Adding immune T cells to the mix—giving bone marrow transplant patients a fighting chance

‘Over 2,000 stem cell transplants are performed in Australia each year. For many patients, infections after transplant result in suffering and poor quality of life even if their original disease is cure1’

  • News
  • 25 August 2017
bionic eye

Vision of the future

It is estimated 384,000 Australians are blind or have low vision1

  • News
  • 18 August 2017

NNIDR National Public Lecture tour 2017

NNIDR held its National Public Lecture Tour Series in March and April 2017. The tour commenced in Sydney on 15 March 2017 during Brain Awareness Week and visited all Australian capitals. The tour was part of the Australian Government’s $200 million Boosting Dementia Research initiative.

  • News
  • 1 August 2017

$40 million for dementia research projects

The Australian Government is allocating more than $40 million to medical research projects which will improve the lives of Australians fighting dementia.

  • Media release
  • 1 August 2017
Minister Hunt

New funding investment in dementia research

A brief summary of a federal government grant announcement, with the health minister pledging over $40 million for medical research into dementia. Forty-five projects will receive funding to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer’s disease. 

  • News
  • 31 July 2017

Outstanding Australian researchers recognised

Exceptional researchers in the fields of infectious disease, autoimmunity, chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease are among the Australian researchers honoured with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Excellence Awards.

  • News
  • 13 July 2017
Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson and Professor Mark Dawson

Blood testing to monitor cancer

Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson, her husband Professor Mark Dawson and a team of clinicians are working together to develop a liquid biopsy—a simple blood test—as an alternative to invasive bone marrow or lymph node tissue biopsies to monitor blood cancers.

  • News
  • 11 July 2017

RAO Consent Request

In accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988, NHMRC seeks your consent as RAO to disclose your contact details (as currently stored in RGMS) on correspondence to members of Federal Parliament in relation to information about grants being awarded in their electorate.

  • RAO alert
  • 10 July 2017
Boy splashing water

Public Statement on water fluoridation - open for public consultation

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released for public consultation a draft Public Statement on community water fluoridation. NHMRC continues to support fluoridating water given fluoride’s role in reducing tooth decay.

  • Media release
  • 4 July 2017

Venous Leg Ulcer guideline released for public consultation

Wounds Australia has released the draft Pan-Pacific Clinical Practice Guideline for Prevention and Management of Venous Leg Ulcers 2ndEdition for public consultation (open from 16 March to 21 April 2017).

It will be seeking NHMRC approval of this guideline under section 14A of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992.

  • Communique
  • 24 June 2017
NHMRC research excellence awards 2016 reward recipients

Outstanding researcher recognised for excellence

This prestigious award recognises outstanding individual achievement by a mid-career Australian researcher and it was an honour to give Dr Elliott this award at the Medical Research Week Dinner hosted by the Australian Society for Medical Research in Melbourne.

  • Media release
  • 8 June 2017

$10 million Targeted Call For Research on dementia in Indigenous communities

The Targeted Call for Research into Dementia in Indigenous Australians provides up to $10 million to support culturally appropriate research specifically addressing the health and care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with dementia and the impact on their families, carers and communities.

  • News
  • 5 June 2017

Medical research reforms to improve our future health

The Australian Government announces the NHMRC’s new research funding program. The new program will reduce the burden on researchers in applying for funding across different funding schemes by providing consolidated, five-year grants for our high-performing researchers at all stages of their careers.

  • Media release
  • 25 May 2017

Announcement on NHMRC’s grant program

NHMRC is moving forward with changes to its grant program to ensure it continues to support the best Australian health and medical research and researchers. A restructured grant program will be implemented in late 2018 – early 2019, for peer review during 2019 and funding in 2020.

  • RAO alert
  • 24 May 2017

No-needle flu vaccine on the way

19 separate influenza strains have emerged in humans during the past century, including seven in the past five years alone1

  • News
  • 18 May 2017

Unmet Grant Conditions and Milestones in RGMS Preventing Payments

NHMRC has identified a number of grants with unmet grant conditions or milestones in RGMS, which are preventing payments to Administering Institutions. 

  • RAO alert
  • 17 May 2017

Targeted Call for Research into Dementia in Indigenous Australians

Please be aware that key dates for this research call have changed and supersede any previous dates for this particular call. These are now as follows:

  • Minimum data due in RGMS—5:00pm AEST 28 June 2017
  • Closing date for applications—5:00pm AEST 12 July 2017.

Further details are available on the NHMRC website.

  • RAO alert
  • 12 May 2017

Budget 2017: NHMRC welcomes the first round of expenditure from the Medical Research Future Fund

The Australian Government announced the first round of investments from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) in the 2017 Budget. This MRFF funding is in addition to the Australian Government’s funding of around $800m per year to NHMRC for health and medical research.

  • News
  • 10 May 2017

Report on promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of life released today

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the Report on the Evidence: promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of life (Report on the Evidence).

  • News
  • 3 May 2017
female speech therapist with a girl

Guiding children through traumatic brain injuries

Professor Morgan is Lead of the Neuroscience of Speech research group at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) and Head of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. She is also one of the guideline developers for MCRI’s first Clinical practice guideline for the management of communication and swallowing disorders following paediatric traumatic brain injury for children 0 to 18 years of age (communication and swallowing guideline).

  • News
  • 27 April 2017

NHMRC releases updated assisted reproductive technology guidelines

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017 (ART guidelines).

This update replaces the 2007 ART guidelines and provides contemporary ethical guidance for the conduct of ART in the clinical setting.

  • Media release
  • 20 April 2017

Two leading dementia experts headline NNIDR Public lecture tour

The NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research commences its Public Lecture Tour 2017 during Brain Awareness Week with stops around the country throughout March and April 2017.

  • News
  • 18 April 2017

Update: Structural Review

As expected, and not surprisingly, the sector is keen to hear the outcome of the review that has been undertaken on the structure of our grant program. While a final decision has not yet been reached, I can advise that the review is in its final stages. I thank all of you who have contributed to our consultations, for your interest, constructive advice and patience throughout.

  • Communique
  • 7 April 2017

Insufficient evidence for the safety of e-cigarettes

National Health and Medical Research Council CEO, Professor Anne Kelso AO, has today released a statement updating Australians on the latest evidence for the safety, quality and efficacy of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). 

  • Media release
  • 3 April 2017
Yvonne Cadet-James, Professor Sandra Eades, Ali Drummond, Professor Kelvin Kong, and Dr Yvette Roe

Chance leads an Indigenous woman into a health and medical research career

I always wanted to become a nurse, so I used to practice on dolls and teddy bears, and sometimes younger siblings, who drew the line at some procedures-like operations’

  • News
  • 31 March 2017

NHMRC/A*STAR Joint Call for Research—closing soon

The NHMRC/A*STAR Joint Call for Research closes at 5pm AEDT (2pm SGT) Wednesday 22 March 2017.

Prior to the submission of applications, please ensure all eligibility requirements set out in the Section 6 of the Scheme-Specific Funding Rules and Section 7 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017 are met.

  • RAO alert
  • 17 March 2017

Extraordinary life of an Indigenous medical researcher

‘I have just felt really privileged for most of my life, I love my work, I love what I do, and I really enjoy the people I work with, and it comes from spending part of my career in medical research. It just gives you a lot of flexibility and opportunities that you don’t get with standard clinical hospital jobs or general practice.’

  • News
  • 16 March 2017
Professor Natalie Matosin

Understanding stress leads to Forbes 30 under 30 list

One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience a mental disorder each year. Almost half experience mental disorder in their lifetime.1

  • News
  • 9 March 2017
Dr Wyatt

Getting to the molecular level of science to inspire other women

Dr Wyatt, from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, is investigating how the body functions at the molecular level. Her current Project Grant explores the relationship between proteins that become toxic when they are damaged (referred to as ‘misfolded’ by researchers), and chemicals such as hypochlorite that are produced by the body during inflammation.

  • News
  • 8 March 2017

NHMRC/A*STAR Joint Call for Research— Minimum Data Close

Applicants are reminded that minimum data requirements for the NHMRC/A*STAR Joint Call for Research in Novel Molecular Mechanisms of Obesity and Metabolic Diseases in Singapore and Australia are due in RGMS by Wednesday, 1 March 2017 at 5:00pm AEDT.


  • RAO alert
  • 24 February 2017

Taking a leap into the research world

‘It is important to me to be a role model, an example of a strong resilient Aboriginal woman who can achieve anything she sets her mind to.’

  • News
  • 17 February 2017
fibre-optic ‘smart needle’ camera

Seeing ahead for safer brain surgery

Professor McLaughlin, now working with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, developed this world-first tiny imaging tool to fit inside a surgical needle probe used in brain biopsies.

  • News
  • 25 January 2017

Combatting tropical disease

Mark is a microbiologist, whose love of science and fascination with how the world works led to a life-long passion in medical research.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Reconciliation Week 2016

The artwork communicates empowerment of people over their health, the progression of learning and knowledge out from the meeting place (NHMRC - bottom left corner), where many people are gathered. In the streams are the sources of nutrition and health - ants, berry bush and fish, as well as stars which symbolise new ideas. 

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Excellence in mental health research for men

Suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 years old—accounting for 35% of deaths in 15-24 year olds and 28.6% of deaths in 25-44 year olds (ABS, 2016)

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

20 years plus of funding leads to prestigious Florey Medal

In Australia 112,000 people have wet age-related macular degeneration, with 8,000 new cases diagnosed every year. 

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Commonwealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research 2016

The National Health and Medical Research Council congratulates Dr Joseph Powell from the University of Queensland on winning the annual Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research for 2016.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Associate Professor Julian Elliott recognised for outstanding achievement

Associate Professor Julian Elliott is taking research beyond the clinic with ‘citizen science’ and subsequently scoops this year’s Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Protein: The Key To Improved Kidney Functionality

Associate Professor Gordon Doig and his team showed that critically ill patients who received better nutrition were less likely to develop kidney injury. These findings represent an important first step towards global practice change and offers the potential to reduce the need for surgery, dialysis and transplantation.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017
Adult holding a baby hand

Revolutionary breakthrough to ease discomfort and cost of fertility treatment

Led by UNSW’s School of Women’s and Children’s Health Associate Professor Robert Gilchrist, an international team of researchers have improved an existing treatment known as in-vitro maturation (IVM).

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Mending a broken heart: repairing injured heart cells

Professor Graham and his team embarked on their research to understand how the heart develops after birth and why heart muscle cells lose their ability to divide and make new cells. Their research markedly shifted the goal posts and showed that heart muscle cells actually retain an ability to divide until adolescence. This discovery holds great promise for new approaches to managing a range of heart conditions.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Delivering Australia from neurodegeneration

Associate Professor Helen Cooper’s research aims is to understand the molecular mechanisms controlling the birth of new neurons in the adult brain. In the long-term, it is hoped that these insights will help to design therapeutic approaches to treat neurodegenative diseases.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment: A Safer Way

Professor Stephen Tong and the team of investigators are revolutionising the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, meaning most women presenting with the condition could be treated medically, rather than surgically. Not only will this make treating ectopic pregnancies safer, easier and more effective, but it may save many lives across the developing world where surgery is not possible.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Improving respiratory outcomes for preterm babies

Professor Pillow and her team discovered that the preterm diaphragm is weaker than the diaphragm of babies born after a normal and complete gestation.  This may be due to increased breakdown of the muscle protein and increased susceptibility to damage from oxygen free radicals.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Sanguine advances In detecting colorectal cancer

Associate Professor Leah Cosgrove and her team have developed a simple blood test to diagnose colorectal cancer. A reliable, non-invasive blood test could augment the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, either as an adjunct primary screen for those unable to do the stool test, or in triaging positive subjects to colonoscopy. This could help drive a significant reduction in colorectal cancer deaths in Australia.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017

Diet matters for mental and brain health

Diets around the world have significantly shifted for the worse since the 20th century and this has had a highly negative impact on the health of the global population. At the same time, the burden of mental disorders, particularly depression, has increased significantly. Associate Professor Felice Jacka and her team have established new approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders by looking at what we eat.

  • News
  • 24 January 2017