Date published: 
6 February 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Morrison Government is investing $5.5 million in ten ground-breaking medical research projects aimed at improving outcomes in mental health, dementia, aged care, cerebral palsy, diabetes and many more life-changing conditions.     

The Government’s funding contribution is part of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s commitment to international collaboration, and supports research grants awarded under joint schemes with the European Union and with the UK National Institute for Health Research.  

This support allows Australian researchers to engage with world leading researchers and facilities on projects of the highest calibre, and helps translate scientific discoveries into realworld outcomes that benefit communities in Australia and elsewhere.   

Dr Victoria Ross from Griffith University is leading MINDUP Australia to evaluate workplace interventions to address poor mental health and elevated suicide risk.   

By partnering with the European MINDUP project to conduct a controlled trial in Australia, this research will accelerate implementation of effective mental health promotion and intervention programs in the Australian construction industry. 

The project is supported by MATES in Construction, which says, “Every year 190 Australians working in the construction industry take their own lives, this means we lose a construction worker every second day to suicide. For our young workers, the facts are that they are well over two times more likely to take their own lives than other young Australian men.” 

$2.7 million will also be provided to four international research projects on personalised medicine and clinical trials to improve dementia diagnosis and treatment. This funding complements the Morrison Government’s current $185 million Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission, supported by the Medical Research Future Fund, and previous $200 million investment in the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative (2014-2019). 

Other funded international research projects will contribute to improved early detection and intervention for cerebral palsy, prevention of gestational diabetes and infant brain injury in preterm birth, and diagnosis and treatment of common infectious and inflammatory diseases, as well as improved interventions in dementia and mental health.   

The 10 grants funded will support Australian partnerships with leading research teams in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.  

Research funding recipients

NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grant Scheme

Chief Investigator Application Title Administering Institution Budget 
Doctor Rosie Watson  COmBining memantine And cholinesterase inhibitors in Lewy body dementia treatment Trial (COBALT) University of Melbourne 1,218,120.05

NHMRC-EU Collaborative Research Grant Scheme

Chief Investigator  Application Title Administering Institution Budget 
Professor Roslyn Boyd  Born-To-Get-There: Implementation of early detection and early intervention in remote Australia  The University of Queensland 499,329.50
Professor Luis Salvador-Carulla  European platform to promote wellbeing and health in the workplace (EMPOWER) Australian National University  499,221.80
Professor Helena Teede  IMPlementaion ACTion to prevent DIABETES from Bump 2 Baby (IMPACT DIABETES B2B)  Monash University  497,609.10
Professor David Walker  Brain injury in the premature born infant: stem cell regeneration research network  RMIT University 496,586.50
Doctor Victoria Ross  Mental health promotion and intervention program in the Australian context: MINDUP Australia  Griffith University 421,778.80
Professor Lachlan Coin  DIAMONDS - Diagnosis and Management of Febrile Illness using RNA Personalised Molecular Signature Diagnosis  University of Melbourne 391,896.60

NHMRC-European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND)

Chief Investigator Application Title Administering Institution  Budget
Professor Glenda Halliday  Diagnostic and prognostic precision medicine for behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia  University of Sydney  498,850.00 
Professor Colin Masters  Blood Proteins for early Discrimination of dEmentias (bPRIDE)  University of Melbourne  498,412.20 
Doctor Samantha Burnham  E-DADS: Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease Subtypes  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 488,725.00
Ministers: