Young Australian researchers to benefit from new $50 million grants scheme
Young researchers in Australia will benefit from funding of $50 million over nine years as part of a new competitive grants scheme, Senator Kay Patterson, Federal Minister for Health and Ageing said today.
7 August 2002
Young Australian researchers to benefit from new $50 million grants schemeYoung researchers in Australia will benefit from funding of $50 million over nine years as part of a new competitive grants scheme, Senator Kay Patterson, Federal Minister for Health and Ageing said today.
This year, $9.3 million in grants have been awarded to four teams of population health researchers located in Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria.
Capacity Building Grants in Population Health Research were established by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), as part of a strategy to further develop high quality population health research, seeking the answers to the challenges that major diseases present to the Australian community.
"The grants will enable internationally recognised research teams to employ more junior researchers at the team investigator level," Senator Patterson said.
"In turn, these young researchers will benefit from the experience of working with leading research teams over the life of the grants.
"The four successful teams, in this first round, offer new and innovative ways of developing young researchers. By building on the proven record of the host institutions this grant will position Australian population health, and health services research, at the leading edge of new areas of international interest."
These grants are possible because of the Howard Government's 1999 commitment to double medical research funding to the NHMRC, recognising the importance of building strong foundations for medical research in Australia.
Details of the four recipient teams are attached.
1. Improving health outcomes with population-based biological, social and environmental information and research methods.Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (WA)
Professor C D'Arcy Holman
Professor Fiona Stanley
Professor Stephen Zubrick
Associate Professor Matthew Knuiman
Associate Professor Michael Hobbs
Associate Professor Nicholas de Klerk
Associate Professor Carol Bower
Associate Professor Mark Stevenson
$3.05 million over five years
This proposal brings together two partner institutions and research teams in an integrated program through pooling of experience, sharing of databases and other resources and joint mentoring of new researchers to achieve improved health status through a "whole of life" and "intergenerational" view of health and health determinants. The proposal incorporates real consumer participation throughout the grant.
The grant will help position Australia in the newly emerging research skills and methodology involved with data linkages. Building on the successful multi-disciplinary research environments at both institutions, the grant will provide additional funds for these two groups to work cooperatively together. The groups currently operate with established links to researchers on a national basis and will be exploring aspects from the biomedical, clinical and health service delivery perspective to link environmental and social determinants of health from early childhood to adulthood. The grant will provide research training in a whole of life approach. In particular, researchers will gain experience in linking research findings into health policy with active consumer involvement to improve health outcomes.
2. Environment and population health: research development from local to globalNational Centre for Epidemiology and Health (NCEPH) Australian National University (ACT)
Professor Tony McMichael
Professor Tord Kjellstrom
Dr Anne-Louise Ponsonby
Professor Neils Becker
Dr Dorothy Broom
Dr Gabriele Bammer
Dr Keith Dear
Dr James Butler
$2.47million over five years
Professor McMichael's application for capacity building in environmental health will build expertise to address not just local environmental factors but those of a more global nature such as the effect of global warming on health.
Professor McMichael is one of only two NHMRC Burnet Fellows (the other being Professor Peter Doherty). This prestigious award is made in recognition of the international reputation of Australian researchers who were at the time working overseas to be taken up on return to Australia to undertake research.
This grant will help position Australia in a newly emerging priority area of research, both nationally and internationally, by offering innovative and structured research skills mentoring for seven early career researchers within a well-funded cutting edge research environment. The group operates with established links to biomedical, clinical, social research and health policy researchers and health policy and clinical service delivery programs and will provide an emphasis on policy relevant research.
3. Methodology for population health research: training and innovation in longitudinal studies.International Health and Public Health Divisions, School of Population Health, University of Queensland and the Population and Clinical Science Division, Queensland Institute for Medical Research
Professor Gail Williams
Professor Annette Dobson
Professor Jacob Najman
Professor Alan Lopez
Professor Adele Green
Dr David Purdie
Dr Christopher Bain
Dr Philip Schulter
$1.96 million over five years
This proposal builds on the applicants' experience with existing cohort studies to identify, evaluate and address areas of methodological concern, particularly with longitudinal studies. The group's ability to develop robust longitudinal methods in relation to these concerns will have the potential for both increasing knowledge of the determinants of population health and increasing their ability to attract trainee biostatisticians, an identified area of need in the country as a whole.
The grant will help position Australia at the cutting edge of research skills and methodology involved with longitudinal studies. Longitudinal studies provide a powerful means of collecting information about the health of populations. This grant will use multi-disciplinary approaches to develop innovative methods for designing longitudinal studies, collecting and analysing data and communicating results to improve people's health.
4. Platform for young public health researchers to upgrade their scientific training experience and independent status.Cancer Epidemiology Centre, The Cancer Council Victoria and the Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Dallas English
Professor Graham Giles
Professor David Hill
Professor John Hopper
Dr Melanie Wakefield
$1.84 million over five years
This proposal builds on the applicants' experience with existing large prospective studies and on studies of families of patients with bowel, breast or prostate cancer. The research environment will expose early career researchers to a number of multi-disciplinary approaches relating primarily to prevention of cancer, including studies of the role of diet and genetic factors in the development of cancer, as well as intervention trials to promote healthy eating and cessation of smoking.
The grant will build Australian capacity in research at the forefront of dietary, molecular and genetic epidemiology, including the development of statistical methods for the analysis of family data, and interventions to change behaviour. The grant will also allow clustering of the largest group of genetic epidemiologist/statisticians in Australia, provide a basis for data linkage with State and Commonwealth health services data bases and allow greater development of existing links with international researchers in these areas.
Media Contact: Marnie Gaffney, Senator Patterson's office, (02) 6277 7220
Jeanne Klener, NHMRC, (02) 6289 5796