Australian Medical Research Funding Opportunities

The following Australian funding opportunities are due during August and September 2014 and may be of interest to Australian medical researchers:

  • The Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation

Applications are now open. The Foundation awards grants up to the value of $22,000. Funding is primarily granted for the purchase of equipment but may be sought for other tangibles (e.g. therapeutic or imaging markers, software etc.).

In 2014 a total of $1.054million has been allocated to fund 39 grants, 5 PhD scholarships, 1 fellowship and 3 awards.

Closing date: 1 September 2014 Click here for further information

  • Ian Potter Travel and Conference Grants

Applications for travel and conference grants are now open.

Closing date: 16 September 2014 Click here for further information

  • St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation

Establishment Grants, which may be new appointee grants, new investigator grants, seed grants, or clinician researcher grants, are for 12 months funding for set-up and relocation to St George Hospital

Closing date: 22 August 2014  Click here for further information 

  • NSW Cardiovascular Research Network Research Development Project Grant

Applications are now open for the NSW Cardiovascular Research Network Research Development Project Grant which aims to fund new collaborative research proposals relevant to cardiovascular disease, including stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, to reduce the burden of disease and translate into better health outcomes.

Closing date: 22 August 2014   Click here for further information

  • Leukaemia Foundation PhD Scholarships

Five PhD scholarships and two Clinical PhD scholarships commencing in 2015 are being offered by the leukaemia foundation.

Closing date: 12 September 2014  Click here for further information

  • MND Australia

The MND Research Institute of Australia offers a number of different grants for research into motor neurone disease or fields that are relevant to motor neurone disease

Closing date: 29 August 2014  Click here for further information

  • Kidney Health Australia

Applications for a variety of grants from Kidney Health Australia are now open including project grants, medical science & allied health scholarships and nursing scholarships.

Closing date: 31 August 2014  Click here for further information

Dr Ruth Hadfield, freelance medical writer, is available to assist with grant applications and all types of medical writing.  Find out more at

Disclaimer: Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this information I will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error contained in these web pages.

Australian researchers stressed out and disgruntled by grant application process

Recent research published in the online journal BMJ Open reports that 93% of Australian researchers surveyed are stressed by the workload of grant applications.  The academics surveyed agreed that preparing NHMRC grant proposals always took top priority over other work (97%) and personal (87%) commitments and 88% reported that they were inclined to restrict their holidays during the grant writing season.

Dr Danielle Herbert, School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, conducted the research after finding that  there was very little evidence on the emotional or personal cost to researchers who prepare grant applications. Researchers (n=239) completed a survey with particular reference to NHMRC grant applications and also provided detailed comments about any personal impact or consequences for their home, work and family life.

Dr Herbert found that, for home life, six major themes were apparent.  These included impact on children, family (including partner) and friends, stress at home, increased time spent working at home and the need to restrict family holidays.

In BMJ Open, Dr Herbert reported that, ‘The conflict between the single annual funding deadline and spending holidays with children and family is a recurring issue for researchers with family responsibilities. Most university research offices require the application up to 5 weeks before the deadline so that most researchers work on the application over the Australian summer when the community takes extended Christmas holidays. The summer holiday season is also the longest school holiday period (6–8 weeks) in Australia, and many researchers express their frustration and guilt at not spending more time with their children and families.’

Typical comments received from the academic researchers included:

I have a young family and our lives are put on hold for 3 months at the worst possible time of year. We have to pay for childcare so there is a huge financial cost plus the personal cost of not being with my children.


I have sacrificed personal time, holidays, many social and work commitments, sleep, exercise and much more to devote months to writing grants.


This year was particularly bad and by the end of it I was an emotional wreck.


What should be the happiest time of the year (kids on holiday, summer, Christmas) is now the most stressful because of the perfect storm of ARC & NHMRC grant deadlines and teaching commitments for the new year.


A minority of those surveyed reported that applying for grants did not take over their work (3%) and they did not become stressed (7%).

A comment received by one such person was: ‘The people who complain about lack of time are those who are unorganised or who have poor ideas/preliminary data for grants.’

Dr Herbert concluded that, ‘The timing of the funding cycle could be shifted to minimise applicant burden, give Australian researchers more time to work on actual research and to be with their families.’  She added that personal costs may also be minimised by streamlining the application process.

Dr Herbert also suggested that the personal cost of unsuccessful proposals combined with a lack of feedback may predispose some researchers to become depressed and despondent about future applications.  She recommended that the level of mental health and mood disorders of researchers during funding rounds should be investigated further.

You can read the free full text of the study here.

Dr Ruth Hadfield is available to assist with all types of medical writing, including grant applications and manuscript preparation. You can find out more here.

Women less likely to be awarded research funds, new study shows

A new study published in the journal BMJ open has found that female scientists are awarded significantly less research funding compared to their male counterparts.

The research, conducted by Professor Michael Head at University College London, investigated awards made to UK academic institutions for research in the infectious disease area between 1997 and 2010.

In total, 6,052 studies were included in the analysis and findings showed that 72% of awards were to men and only 28% to women.

“Women received less funding in absolute amounts and in relative terms, by funder and  the type of science funded along the R&D pipeline. These differences in funding between men and women persist over time,” the authors stated.

Men also received increased amounts of funding with a total of £1.786 million (78.5%), while women received only £488 million (21.5%). The researchers showed that there has been an increase in the total share of funding received by women, which improved from around 14% in 1998 to  27% in 2009.

Analysis of the sums awarded to individual research projects showed that women also received substantially less money than men did. The average value of a grant awarded to men was £179,389 compared with £125,556 for women.

“We strongly urge policy-makers, funders and scientists to urgently investigate the  factors leading to the observed differences and develop policies to address them, in order to ensure  that women are appropriately supported in scientific endeavour,”the authors concluded.

The full article can be accessed here.

Australian Medical Research Funding Opportunities – due December/January

The following Australian funding opportunities are due during December 2013 or January 2014 and may be of interest to Australian medical researchers:

  • Perpetual Funding Opportunities 2014

Closing date: 15 December 2013  Click here for further information

  • BUPA Health Foundation Grants Program

Expressions of interest now open. The Foundation is looking to fund projects that:

      • Empower people to either prevent or better manage health conditions or to use health education and engagement to tackle health risk factors and promote healthy lifestyle habits.
      • Grants range from $100,000 to $500,000 for up to three years.

Closing date: 16 December 2013  Click here for further information

  • Heart Foundation Partnership Grants

Closing date: 12 February 2014  Click here for further information 

  • Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellowships

Offering five-year post-doctoral fellowships on an innovative scheme.

Candidates that present an unusual research project that departs from the mainstream and that have a remarkable track record will be short-listed and could emerge from the annual selection process with an award for the prestigious grant.

Simply apply with a ground-breaking research idea to secure financial support for up to five years, working at an academic institution of your choice anywhere in the world.

Closing date: 15 January 2014   Click here for further information

  • Parkinson’s Innovation Grants

Parkinson’s UK offer innovation grants are offered for up to £35,000 for a maximum of 12 months.

Innovative research might include:

      • examining the delivery of healthcare services to people with Parkinson’s
      • exploring bold new ideas that could lay the foundations for bigger studies in the future
      • developing practical improvements for the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their carers

Closing date: 29 January 2014  Click here for further information

  • The Ian Potter Foundation – Health & Disability Grants

Closing date: 4 February 2014  Click here for further information

  • The Ian Potter Foundation – Medical Research Grants

Closing date: 4 February 2014  Click here for further information

Disclaimer: Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this information I will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error contained in these web pages.

Australian Medical Research Funding Opportunities – due September

The following Australian funding opportunities are due during September and may be of interest:

  • Leukaemia Foundation PhD Scholarships

Closing date: 13 September 2013  Click here for further information

  • Ian Potter Foundation Grants

Community Wellbeing and Travel/Conference

Closing date: 17 September 2013  Click here for further information

  • Cancer Institute NSW Translational Cancer Research Centre (TCRC) Grants

Closing date: 30 September 2013  Click here for further information 

Closing date: 16 September 2013   Click here for further information

  • ARC Linkage Project Grants

Proposals open: 18 September 2013 Click here for further information

Disclaimer: Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this information I will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error contained in these web pages.

Google Grants for AdWords

Is your not-for-profit organisation eligible for a Google Grant for free Google AdWords advertising?

When you make a Google search, at the top, bottom and side of the search results page advertising appears.  These advertisements are paid for by companies on a ‘pay per click’ basis; advertisements only appear when certain keywords, chosen by the advertiser, are entered.

Google is offering grants to Australian not-for-profit organisations for AdWord campaigns.

“Organisations must be institutions or funds that have either been endorsed as such in Australia by the Commissioner of Taxation, or prescribed as charitable institutions in the Income Tax Assessment Regulations of 1997 and have Deductible Gift Recipient status to be considered for this programme.”

Please note that Hospitals and Universities are not eligible.

Click here for further information

Successful grant applications: how to think like a reviewer

What are grant reviewers looking for when they review their stack of submissions?  How can you increase your chances of impressing them?

Review Process

A reviewer will usually have 10-20 grant submissions to review in detail and defend to the rest of the review panel. They are expected to go into each application in detail, checking references, budget details and rating the strength of the application against the other submissions they have been asked to defend.  To increase your chances of being successful, you need to think like a reviewer.

For starters, your application has a better chance at being successful if it is easy to read and follows the required format. Make a good impression by submitting a clear, well-written, properly organised application.

Reviewers will be looking for the following:
  • Significance. Does the project address an important problem in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? If successful, does it have the potential to make a real difference to the knowledge in this field?
  • Investigators. Are the researchers well suited to the project? Do they have appropriate experience and training? Have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their fields?
  • Innovation. Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice? Does it involve new concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
  • Approach. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems and benchmarks for success presented? How will particularly risky aspects be managed?
  • Environment. Will the environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed?
  • Feasibility. Is the project likely to be successful? Are the aims realistic? Have the investigators allowed for sufficient resources and time to see the project through to completion?

St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation

Applications for 2014 grants from the St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, for research at UNSW, are now open.

Categories include:

  • Establishment grants
  • Interim support grants
  • Scholarship grants

Closing date: 30 August 2013

Click here for further information

Disclaimer: Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this information I will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error contained in these web pages.

HCF Research Foundation

The HCF Research Foundation is seeking Expressions of Interest from research teams interested in funding for health services research to begin in January 2014 that will improve the quality, safety and value of health care in Australia.

EOI’s are invited for projects aimed at extending or implementing evidence based medicine for reducing unplanned and/or unwarranted variation in hospital care:

  • Decision aids for patients and clinicians.
  • Clinical appropriateness indicators for high volume and/or high cost procedures that result in significant financial burden to the health system.
  • Strategies to reduce the use of practices with limited evidence based benefits.
  • Understanding, and influencing if appropriate, variation in: transfer rates to other health services such as rehabilitation or hospital in the home type care; how devices, procedures, diagnosis tests and other resources are selected by clinicians.

Closing date: 30 July 2013
Click here for further information

Disclaimer: Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this information I will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error contained in these web pages.

Philanthropy in Australia

It is commonly claimed that Australians are less generous than Americans when it comes to philanthropic donations, but how do we really measure up?

According to Philanthropy Australia it is high net-worth individuals in particular who are less generous. In a report that aimed to investigate methods to increase giving in this income group, it was found that Australian high net-worth and ultra-high net-worth individuals tend to give at comparatively low levels when compared to their counterparts in the USA, UK and Canada.

In fact, percentage-wise, Australian high net-worth individuals donate only slightly more of their taxable income than Australians on lower incomes. According to Philanthropy Australia, in 2010 high net-worth Australians gave less than 2% of their taxable income. In comparison, Canadians gave 3.2% and those in the USA gave 3.5% – 7%.

Australians as a whole are actually very generous and scored the highest in the ‘world giving index’, measured as an average of the proportion of the population who have given money to a charity in the last month (70% of Australians), volunteered (38%) or helped a stranger (64%).

So, why are wealthy Australians so much less generous?  Philanthropy Australia cite a number of potential reasons:

  • The rise in wealth of the high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth populations in Australia has been recent and rapid.
  • The Australian taxation and social welfare system results in a perception that the Government plays the main role in addressing issues
  • Cultural differences in wealth perception: in the USA, wealth is viewed as a combination of assets and philanthropic donations whereas in Australia assets alone are considered.
  • A reluctance of many high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals to appear wealthy.  These individuals prefer to donate inconspicuously and thus inadvertently prevent the promotion of a culture of giving.  Philanthropy Australia believe this is, in part, due to fear of being perceived as a ‘tall poppy’.

In Australia there are approximately 5000 Foundations that give around one billion dollars per annum. This includes over 1000 private ancillary funds and around 2000 charitable trusts and foundations.  Competition for these funds is fierce.


‘Strategies for Increasing High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth Giving’, Prepared for the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

‘Charitable Giving by Country’, The Guardian