Specific elements of the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative

1. Activities to urgently scale up dementia research

A. Large scale research projects

$95 million has been allocated over five years to support additional large scale research projects in priority areas of dementia research identified through the work of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research and feedback from international dementia initiatives.

The Dementia Research Team Grants Scheme has allocated $36 million to six teams to pursue collaborative research, promote effective translation of research, and develop capacity under a dementia research priority framework.

Funding is supporting dementia research across a variety of areas including:

  • Discovery Research
  • Clinical Research
  • Population Health Research
  • Health Services Research

The Boosting Dementia Research Grants Scheme: Priority Round 1 will provide $18 million over three years from 2017 to support research that focuses on implementing dementia research into clinical practice. 

The Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship Scheme will provide $24 million over four years from 2017 to expand leadership in dementia research, by supporting mid-career researchers to transition to leadership positions.

Details of these grants can be found at Outcomes of Funding Rounds.

B. Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research

The Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research is housed within the Queensland Brain Institute based at the University of Queensland. The Centre is receiving $9 million over four years for research into the prevention and treatment of dementia, in accordance with the Australian Government’s election commitment. The Centre comprises a number of different laboratories with complementary expertise aimed at assisting in the development of therapies, tests and tools that will help to prevent and treat dementia in the Australian population and internationally.

The research objectives of the Centre are to:

  • understand the cellular and biochemical changes that the brain undergoes in healthy and pathological ageing, and hence understand the mechanisms involved
  • develop new technologies and tools to better understand pathological processes
  • develop better diagnostic tools, methods and biomarkers, and
  • develop new treatments and methods of prevention.

The Centre is undertaking its activities in close liaison with the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research.

C. Building the workforce

$20 million of funding has been allocated to NHMRC and $26 million has been reprioritised within the Australian Research Council to dramatically expand capacity in dementia research by supporting our best new researchers.

NHMRC and the Australian Research Council (ARC) launched a joint NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowships Scheme on 8 January 2015 as part of the ‘Building the workforce’ element of the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative.

The aims of the Scheme are to support the best emerging dementia researchers and attract scientists into dementia research from other fields, such as neurobiology, immunology, chemistry, bioengineering, information and communications technology, genomics, epidemiology and cell and vascular biology. 

Research supported under this initiative will ensure Australia’s highly skilled, innovative research workforce continues to advance knowledge in dementia and how we can better support people with the disease, their carers and the millions of Australians impacted by the disease now and over the coming decades.

The Scheme is providing opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to undertake advanced training in the health, medical, fundamental sciences, social, economic and cultural fields relevant to dementia, in either Australia or overseas.

Outcomes of the NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowships Scheme are available.

D. NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR)

The NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (The Dementia Institute) is a key element of the Australian Government’s $200 million initiative to boost dementia research.  The Dementia Institute will target, coordinate and translate the strategic expansion of dementia research in Australia. The Institute will collaborate with Australia’s best researchers while also drawing on the expertise of consumers, health professionals, industry and policy makers to translate evidence into policy and practice.

The NNIDR research program has supported Australian participation in international consortia funded under the European Union Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) Call for Proposals: European research projects on neurodegenerative diseases: risk and protective factors, longitudinal cohort approaches and advanced experimental models.  Further details about the Outcomes of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research Grants Priority Round 1 – JPco-fuND scheme are available.

As well, under the NNIDR research program $24 million is available for the Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowships to expand leadership in dementia research, by supporting mid-career researchers to transition to leadership positions