Health minister Greg Hunt has announced over $470 million in new grants for health and medical research.
The $471.9 million in funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) will support hundreds of researchers and teams across the country.
The funding includes $399.7 million for 254 Investigator Grants, which is NHMRC’s largest scheme that provides funding over five years for researchers at all career stages, and $44 million for 17 Centres of Research Excellence over five years.
"In addition, thanks to our Government’s ongoing collaboration with health providers and other sectors, $28.6 million has been committed by partners alongside $20.4 million from the Australian Government to fund 16 projects through the NHMRC Partnership Project scheme," said Minister Hunt.
More than $12 million in funding is dedicated to research on SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – and over $84 million for research in infectious diseases.
“Every day we acknowledge the extraordinary work of Australia’s health and medical researchers not only to confront the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to continue their outstanding research to find solutions to the ongoing health issues we face,” he said.
“The grants include support for the next generation of research leaders seeking to develop more effective vaccines for respiratory diseases, investigate the missing genetics of rare diseases and help make the revolution in genomic medicine accessible and useful to everyone.
“Through decades of investment, the NHMRC has helped build the foundations of this critical sector based on competitive, peer-reviewed health and medical research of the highest quality and the highest standards of ethics and integrity.”
NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said NHMRC also seeks to address the challenges currently facing the health and medical research sector by supporting additional early and mid-career researchers and women in the sector, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research and researchers.
“NHMRC funds investigator-led research where Australia’s highest-performing health and medical researchers set out to solve the health problems they see in their community, in their clinical practice and in their own lives.
“As have all sections of the community, the health and medical research sector has contended with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector has delivered against these odds, bringing Australia’s best science and scientists to the problem. The remarkable quality of projects funded in these schemes shows that Australia’s health and medical researchers are as passionate and skilled as ever to explore solutions for the range of health problems that concern us most.”