$296 million invested in exceptional ideas by exceptional Australian researchers

The Australian Government is investing $296.8 million in funding to support outstanding health and medical research projects under the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), across three separate funding streams.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Albanese Government is investing $296.8 million in funding to support outstanding health and medical research projects under the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), across three separate funding streams.

232 individual researchers will share in $268 million in funding through the NHMRC Ideas Grant scheme, with a focus on innovation and creativity.

NHMRC’s Ideas Grant scheme enables researchers at all career stages to work together to address specific research questions to advance within their field for the improvement of health for all Australians.

Successful recipients will be supported to undertake new and important research across a diverse range of health and medical challenges including mental health and cancer, as well as cardiovascular and infectious diseases - including coronavirus. 

The Ideas Grants funded cover the spectrum of broad research areas, from basic science to clinical medicine, public health, and health services research:

  • Professor Peter Catcheside of Flinders University will combine wearable sensor data with high performance physiology and data-driven analysis methods to create personalised body-clock tracking and circadian light retiming methods to aid shift-workers and those with circadian sleep disorders.
  • Associate Professor Marita Helfer of the Menzies School of Health Research, in partnership with Outback Stores and Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, will co-design and pilot innovative strategies to reduce commercial tobacco use among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
  • Dr Fatima Valdes Mora of the University of New South Wales will develop a new treatment that targets the genetic mutation commonly found in patients with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a type of brain cancer that currently has no cure and treatment options. The treatment will reverse the molecular changes that make DIPG difficult to treat, ultimately improving clinical outcomes across the patient journey.
  • Associate Professor Wayne Crismani of St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research will improve the next generation of diagnostics and management of chronic conditions, with a particular focus on Fanconi anaemia which is a rare genetic disorder that affects multiple organs and systems of the body.

Additionally, today the Albanese Government has also announced:

  • a further $15 million in funding for 14 projects to support the translation of proof-of-concept research into commercial outcomes under NHMRC’s Development Grant scheme
  • an additional $13 million has been invested to support 15 International Collaborative Grants with partners in the United States of America, Asia as well as the United Kingdom and European Union. NHMRC funding will support the Australian component of the partnerships, while the international research partners will be funded by their respective funding agencies.

A full list of projects funded under the 2023 Ideas Grant scheme, the Development Grant round and international collaborative grants is available here.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“The Albanese Government continues to support groundbreaking, world-class research that addresses some of the nation’s greatest health challenges.

“With its focus on innovation and creativity, the Ideas Grant scheme encourages researchers to push the boundaries of current knowledge to deepen our understanding of health and disease and address our greatest health challenges.


“These investments in health and medical research will foster discovery and innovation, help commercialise proof-of-concepts, and deepen international research ties.”

Quotes attributable to NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh:

“The Ideas Grant scheme supports innovative research that contributes to the health of all Australians.

“The scheme provides opportunities for researchers at every career stage to translate their ideas, whether it be formed in the laboratory, in the clinic or in the community, into deliverable evidence-based outcomes.

“The diversity across researcher career stage, discipline, disease focus and location will support a wide array of new research and answer some of Australia’s burning health and medical questions.”

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