NHMRC opened a Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Debilitating Symptom Complex Attributed to Ticks on 30 May 2018. Applications closed 29 August 2018.

In April 2017, the then Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, asked the NHMRC CEO to fast track a TCR into Lyme-like illnesses in Australia, with funding of up to $3 million. A TCR is a one-time solicitation for grant applications to address a specific health issue.

The Australian Government understands that some Australians suffer from the symptoms of a chronic debilitating illness, which many associate with a tick bite. The Department of Health and Aged Care advises that these people be described as having debilitating symptom complexes attributed to ticks (DSCATT).

An NHMRC Advisory Committee for Research into DSCATT was established to define the context, objectives and desired research outcomes of a TCR on DSCATT to ensure best use of available research funds.

The resultant TCR into DSCATT aimed to support research that helps us to: 

  • better understand the nature, prevalence and causes of DSCATT and the way they impact on the physical, social and psychological health of patients
  • obtain evidence to guide the development of effective tools and procedures for diagnosis, treatment and symptom management.