Funding avenues

Government funders

Name Description Relevant Grants Timing
Australian Research Council The Australian Research Council (ARC) funds research via two key elements: the Discovery Program and the Linkage Program. The ARC supports a variety of research programs including science, social science and humanities, but does not support clinical or dental research. Some domains of MS-related research may fall within the basic science, social or behavioural sciences disciplines. Within the Discovery Program the ARC offers support for individual-led projects and fellowships at several stages, including early career fellowships (DECRA) and Future Fellowships for mid-career researchers. The ARC also supports infrastructure and equipment support via the Linkage Program, which aims to facilitate links between research facilities and across institutes, industry, and not-for-profit organisations.

People support:

  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
  • Future Fellowship
  • Project or Infrastructure:
  • Discovery Project
  • Linkage Project
  • Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities
  • ARC Centres of Excellence
Annual funding rounds
Australian Government Department of Health

The federal Department of Health does not typically support investigator-led research directly via grant schemes. A large component of the Department of Health research support is via the National Health and Medical Research Council, but the Department of Health also supports research infrastructure via major funding schemes known as Flexible Funds awarded to organisations such as MS Research Australia.

At the time of writing, planning was underway in the Department of Health to establish a new Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF). The MRFF seeks to provide a complementary research funding structure to that provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council. The MRFF was passed by the Senate in mid-2015 with a view to being established over the course of 2015/2016.

Flexible Funds awarded to organisations for major infrastructure support Annual funding rounds
Australian Government Department of Education and Training

Administered by the Department of Science and Industry until 2013, the Australian Postgraduate Award scholarships are now administered by individual institutes on behalf of the Department of Education. Applications are accepted annually to support local (APA) and international (IPRS) postgraduate students who receive a fixed stipend for the duration of their candidature.

The Department of Education also provides infrastructure support to higher education institutes including the Research Training Scheme, which covers the bulk of fees for higher-degree research students, as well as Research Infrastructure Block Grants that are awarded on the basis of each institute’s success in obtaining competitive funding from schemes listed on the Australian Competitive Grants Register.

People support:

  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  • Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships
  • Endeavour Mobility GrantsInfrastructure: Research Infrastructure Block Grants
Annual funding rounds
Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships The Australian Government’s Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, and Endeavour Mobility Grants, support two-way engagement between Australia and the rest of the world. Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are merit-based awards providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development in other countries, and for citizens around the world to do the same in Australia. Endeavour Mobility Grants support Australian undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational education and training students to undertake short term international travel for study, practicums, clinical placements, internships, or volunteer projects that contribute to their Australian qualification. Travel Fellowships and scholarships Annual funding rounds
National Health and Medical Research Council The NHMRC is the principal funder of health and medical research in Australia, and has been the largest funder of MS research nationwide. In the past ten years, the NHMRC have awarded over $40 million to MS researchers around Australia. A range of funding support is available from the NHMRC for investigator-led research projects and cross-institutional programs. The NHMRC also funds a range of people support schemes for early career, mid-career, and senior academics.

People support:

  • Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Early Career Fellowship
  • Career Development Fellowship
  • Research Fellowship
  • Practitioner Fellowship
  • Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship Project or Infrastructure
  • Project Grant
  • Program Grant
  • Development Grant
  • Centres of Research Excellence
  • Partnership Programs or Centres
  • Equipment Grants and Infrastructure Support
Annual funding rounds April/May
State Government Offices for Health and Medical Research

The New South Wales Office for Health and Medical Research (NSW OHMR) is a key supporter of MS research in NSW. The NSW OHMR occasionally funds investigator-led research via an open application process, but primarily provides support for major state-wide initiatives and targeted infrastructure development. The specific funding schemes vary annually depending on the NSW OHMR strategic priorities, but have recently included a 2015 Medical Devices Fund, a 2014 Bioinformatics Collaborative Grant Program, and a 2014 Genomics Collaborative Grant Program. The NSW OHMR has provided significant support for the MS Clinical Trials and Research Network in NSW, and also supports the MS Research Australia Brain Bank.

In Victoria, the Victorian Health Department funds the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), which offers opportunities to partner with VicHealth on both ARC Linkage and NHMRC Partnership Grants. VicHealth also offers targeted funding opportunities based on key health priorities. Major funding is available through the VicHealth Innovation Research Grant which supports innovative population health research.

The Queensland Office for Health and Medical Research provides direct funding support for investigator-led research in Queensland. There are a range of people support grant schemes available, including Research Fellowships and, most recently, targeted Nursing Fellowships and Physiotherapy Research Fellowships.

The Western Australia Department of Health offers several grant schemes for both people-and project support. This includes Clinician Research Fellowships and New Independent Researcher Infrastructure Support Awards, the Research Translation Projects, as well as Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund. The WA Government also supports the Lotterywest Foundation and the Healthway foundation that each fund competitive grants. Lotterywest grants are awarded to organisations, while Healthway Health Promotion grants are awarded to individuals.

Primarily fund via targeted calls for major infrastructure or project funding. Varied
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