NHMRC has funded a number of research grants that are directly or indirectly related to bushfires.

During the ten-year period 2011 – 2020, NHMRC supported research that is specific to the health impacts of bushfires, as well as research that is relevant but not necessarily focused on bushfires, as shown below.

Research Topic Expenditure 2011 – 2020 Description
Bushfires $4,867,930 Research that is relevant to the health impacts of bushfires
The occupational health of firefighters $946,800 Research that is relevant to the occupational health of firefighters
Air pollution $13,587,550 Research on the health effects of air pollution. This includes but is not limited to smoke from bushfires. It also includes all other forms of air pollution, such as dust, pollen and other airborne particulates.
Burns $6,961,020 Research related to burns from all sources, including sources other than bushfires

Note - Individual grants may be allocated to more than one research topic. In order to avoid double counting, the totals for different research topics cannot be added together.

Some examples of research projects that may be relevant to the health effects of bushfires are:

  • 2018 – Early Career Fellowship – Effects of long-term air pollution and risk of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer – University of Melbourne –  $335,619
  • 2018 – Project Grant – The use of biomarkers in children to predict healing potential and optimise burn wound care – Queensland University of Technology – $1,253,847
  • 2016 – Centre of Research Excellence – Energy transitions, air pollution and health in Australia – University of New South Wales – $2,603,030
  • 2013 – Partnership Project Grant – Improving the Resilience, Health and Wellbeing of Australian Firefighters: A Study of the Metropolitan Fire Service of South Australia – University of Adelaide – $354,728
  • 2011 – Centre of Research Excellence – Air pollution and human health – University of Sydney – $2,584,848

A full list of grants that may be relevant to the health effects of bushfires can be found below.

Notes on the list of grants provided below

The majority of NHMRC funding is investigator-initiated and is not directed by NHMRC to any specific disease, health or research topic. The subject matter of each application is determined by the applicants. Additionally, a proportion of NHMRC funds is directed to specific topics primarily through the Targeted Calls for Research and International Collaboration schemes, or priorities identified in the NHMRC Corporate Plan.

Funding decisions are the outcome of a competitive process that relies on the collective judgement of independent peer reviewers. There is strong demand for NHMRC funding and the process is very competitive, so not all high quality research proposals are able to be funded.

For reporting purposes, NHMRC classifies applications against disease, health and research topics based on information provided at the time of application including an application’s title, keywords, media summaries and other research classifications where appropriate.

This process results in the classification of applications to more than one topic. NHMRC does not apportion funding when more than one topic is indicated and the full value of the grant is attributed.

Relevance to the topic may be either a direct focus or a broader focus such as a longer term potential benefit. The resulting datasets may include a broad range of research from discovery science through to clinical research, health services and public health research.

"Expenditure 2011 - 2020" is the amount paid to the grant during the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2020. Some grants may also have payments that fall before or after that period.

"Total grant budget" is the total amount awarded to the grant across all years of the grant as at the date this report was run (7 July 2021). Note that indexation applied annually to most grants will change the total awarded and these changes will be reflected in future iterations of this report. All amounts have been rounded to the nearest dollar.