$3.6m to accelerate success for WA health and medical researchers

  • McGowan Government program sets up WA researchers for excellence
  • $3.6 million funding awarded to 20 local researchers close to securing grants from Australia’s peak health and medical research funding body 
  • The McGowan Government has announced $3.6 million to be awarded to help Western Australian researchers secure highly sought-after National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

    The WA Near Miss Awards (WANMA) program targets researchers who narrowly missed out on securing a NHMRC grant. The grants are considered a critical career milestone for emerging researchers.

    The $3.6 million in WANMA funding will be shared between 20 recipients and includes four Fellowships (up to $600,000 each) and 16 Emerging Leadership grants ($100,000 each).

    The Fellowships and Emerging Leadership grants will assist recipients to enhance their applications for resubmission to a future NHMRC selection round.

    New cutting-edge tests and monitoring for sepsis, and development of vaccines for respiratory illnesses are just two of 20 new research endeavours to be supported by a WA funding boost.

    Clinical Associate Professor Stephen Macdonald received a Fellowship for his vision to improve survival rates from sepsis, which causes around 8,000 deaths each year in Australia.

    Associate Professor Macdonald’s project will see patients with sepsis admitted to a ‘virtual’ ward and closely monitored round-the-clock by specialist doctors and nurses, as well as a clinical registry set up and the study of new diagnostic tests to recognise sepsis early.

    Dr Hannah Moore received a Fellowship for her goal to see vaccines developed for two infectious diseases that are not yet vaccine preventable.

    Dr Moore will research respiratory syncytial virus, which causes respiratory infections in young children, and group A streptococcus, a bacterium that causes a range of diseases in children and adults.

    The WANMA program is funded by the McGowan Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund, which provides a secure source of funding to drive health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation.

    More information about the WANMA Emerging Leaders 2021 recipients can be found on the FHRI Fund website.

    As stated by Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:

    “The McGowan Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund is providing a strategic funding injection that will set local researchers on a stable, self-sustaining career pathway.

    “Support for health and medical research will ultimately contribute to finding new ways to keep people healthy and cure disease, benefiting the entire Western Australian community.

    “An investment in research is an investment in the future and the McGowan Government is committed to supporting researchers to realise their full potential.”

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