The NHMRC has delivered another $125 million for Australian health and medical research projects, including $106 million for ten Program Grants.
NHMRC funding announcement 4 February 2017:
Total funding: $125.3 million
It brings the total amount announced in the 2016 NHMRC funding round to $829 million, of which $788 million were for competitive grants.
While this is significantly less than the $892 million invested in the 2015 round, that year's outcome was boosted by special funding initiatives, the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative and Preparing Australia for the Genomics Revolution.
Highlights in the new announcement include $13.5 million for a Program Grant led by Professor Joseph Trapani from the University of Melbourne, who will continue a longstanding collaboration developing new immunotherapies that enhance the ability of the patient's own immune system to overcome cancer.
And a Program Grant worth almost $20 million will support research led by Professor James McCarthy from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, which seeks to develop new tools that will help eliminate a series of major infectious diseases occuring in the tropics, such as malaria and certain worm infections.
The Program Grant scheme is the NHMRC's second largest competitive grant scheme and provides critical strategic long-term strategic funding. However, all of this year's funding went to Australia's larger states - Victoria ($40 million), New South Wales ($37 million); and Queensland ($29 million).
This further adds to an already significant concentration of NHMRC funding, also in per capita terms, towards larger population centres Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane (see our previous ARDR analysis "NHMRC grants: Lucky who works in Victoria" and Hunger Games).