Review of NHMRC funding programs

The NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso has appointed an Expert Advisory Group to provide advice and assistance to the NHMRC in undertaking a Review of Funding Programs. A Consultation Paper was issued in July and was followed by a series of public forums in August.

Research Australia has made a submission in response to the Consultation Paper supporting the proposal for two streams of grants, one which emphasises the researchers’ track record and the other on the research proposal. The submission proposes that the limit on the number of Chief Investigators be removed and does not support a fixed duration of 5 years for grants. Research Australia supports the proposal for early career people grants with a research component, and recommends that a Fellowship Program independent of Team or Investigator grants be retained, particularly for researchers who participate in and support multiple research projects and would be adversely affected by the proposed caps on the number of grants a person can apply for or hold.

NHMRC Review

National commission of Audit

The Government has established a National Commission of Audit (NCOA) to identify areas of waste and duplication in Commonwealth Government Expenditure. Research Australia has made a submission to the NCOA. The Government has given a commitment to protect funding for health and medical research, and Research Australia has sought to ensure that the Commission is aware of the breadth and extent of HMR funding, and that this goes far beyond NHMRC grants. Research Australia has also urged the Commission to support implementation of the McKeon Review’s recommendations as a means of making our health system safer, more effective and efficient; even small improvements in efficiency in the $140 billion health sector can generate significant savings.

National commission of Audit