MFR 8 - Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia

Matter for Review

8.  "Opportunities to improve national and international collaboration between education, research, clinical and other public health related sectors to support the rapid translation of research outcomes into improved health policies and practices. This will include relevant international comparisons."


Health Ethics

The National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 specifies that NHMRC will issue advice and guidelines on ethics and related issues in the fields of health and human and animal research.  The following link provides information on NHMRC activities in this area.

Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs)

Information from HRECs and their organisations is collected by the NHMRC through the process of HREC registration and through an annual reporting process.

NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence (CRE)

Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) supports research which aims to improve health outcomes, and promote/or improve translation of research outcomes primarily into practice. The CRE scheme also supports researchers in capacity building activities in specific areas of need identified by NHMRC.
Funding is provided through three schemes:

NHMRC Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship scheme

Currently undergoing a review and restructure.  Information regarding the key dates for the next round of applications for TRIP Fellowships will be provided during 2012.

NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship

A part-time award intended to assist experienced and productive active clinical clinicians and public health or health services professional researchers who wish to maintain both a research and professional career and undertake research that is linked to their practice or policy.

Australia-China Exchange Early Career Fellowship

The Australia-China Exchange Early Career Fellowship program aims to increase collaboration between Australia and Chinese health and medical researcher by supporting exchange between the two countries.

Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and  National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

In September 2011, NHMRC signed an agreement with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (A*STAR) to promote and encourage research and development activities amongst researchers from Singapore and Australia.

Under this agreement, such collaborations will be facilitated through the joint organisation of symposia and a joint grant call by both parties.

International Cancer Genomics Consortium

“The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, announced on 26 March in Brisbane that NHMRC will fund research into pancreatic and ovarian cancer to the tune of $27.5 M over 5 years as its contribution to the International Cancer Genomics Consortium (ICGC). The consortium spans 24 countries, and is expected to deliver significant benefits in detecting, preventing and treating cancer.”  Excerpt from NHMRC Media Release.

Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases

Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases - (GACD) supports international and interdisciplinary collaborations in research, focusing on chronic non-communicable diseases.

Particular emphasis is placed on cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), chronic respiratory conditions, type 2 diabetes, and several cancers. Work of the GACD will focus in particular on the needs of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) and on low income populations in more developed countries.  Current members of the GACD include: the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Medical Research Councils (MRC) of the United Kingdom and South Africa, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS).

Human Frontier Science Program

The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) supports international and interdisciplinary collaborations in basic research, focusing on complex mechanisms of living organisms.  Australia is a member through the NHMRC.

Particular emphasis is placed on:

California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

International collaboration on regenerative medicine - NHMRC has partnered with the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to give Australian researchers access to funding in this breakthrough area.