Author: BioMedVic

Victorian Cancer Agency 2018 Funding Round – now open

The Victorian Cancer Agency is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services that funds translational cancer research to improve clinical practice and outcomes for Victorian cancer patients.

The following funding schemes are now open and will close at 11.59pm on 12 June 2018:

Two new schemes offered in 2018 under the Improving Cancer Outcomes Collaborative Research Grants

  • Improving Cancer Outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians
  • Improving Outcomes for Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers

Workforce Schemes

  • Early Career Seed Grants
  • Mid-Career Research Fellowships
  • Nursing and Allied Health Clinical Research Fellowships

Applications are encouraged from multiple disciplines across the translational cancer research continuum.

See more information, including guidelines, funding rules and a link to the application forms on the Victorian Cancer Agency website.

Industry-Academia Links Celebrated at UROP Welcome Forum

The iconic Melbourne Town Hall Portico was the premier location to spot the next generation of scientists this month, as BioMedVic and CSL welcomed the 28th round of UROP scholars.

UROP is a highly competitive undergraduate employment scheme that places gifted undergraduate students in research teams in Victorian universities, research institutes, hospitals and industry.

Students accepted into UROP come from diverse backgrounds including biomedical science, chemistry, computational science, maths and engineering. Since 2004, BioMedVic is proud to have upskilled over 640 students by placing them in research jobs, said UROP Program Manager Dr Viviane Richter.

A panel of past and present UROP scholars, including Sabrina Lewis (UROP scholar at the Centre for Eye Research Australia), Gabi Abrahams (UROP scholar at CSIRO) and Cindy Hua (UROP scholar at CSL) described their UROP experience to an enthusiastic crowd of over 70 attendees. The panellists generously shared stories of their research, provided advice and discussed how the program has shaped their personal career path in science.

Dr Richter expressed BioMedVic’s gratitude to CSL for its continued Principal Sponsorship of the program. Dr Andrew Nash, Senior Vice President for Research at CSL, acknowledged the success of UROP and provided insights from his own research career as well as sharing the success story of CSL, Australia’s largest biotech company and global biotherapy industry leader. Dr Nash also awarded the new UROP cohort their certificates and UROP lapel badges.

The formalities were followed by a Speed Networking Activity where participants were asked to share what they love about science with another person in a challenging 60 seconds. Conversation erupted on the balcony with the connections made on the day too many to count!

BioMedVic and the UROP team extend a big thank you to everyone who attended and made the event such a success.

See more information on UROP here.


Principal Sponsor

CSL logo

Event Sponsor


City of Melbourne

Eureka Prizes – Applications Open

Established in 1990, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes have rewarded outstanding achievement in Australian science and science communication for almost 30 years. These prestigious prizes are presented annually and recognise excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science (see the full list of entry categories).

Entries are now open and close 4 May 2018.

Prize winners will be announced at the 2018 Award Dinner, aka the “Oscars of Australian science”, on 29 August.

See further information here.

Launch – J&J Innovation Partnering Office at Monash

Innovation in Victoria is set to flourish as Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with the Victorian Government and Monash University, launched a Victorian office for identifying, nurturing and accelerating the commercial development of early stage health care solutions sourced from research organisations across the state.

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent was delighted to be in attendance when the new Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office at Monash (JJIPO@MONASH) was officially opened on 15 February by Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy MP.

JJIPO@MONASH will enable greater access by Victorian researchers and companies to the global expertise in the scientist research, investment, and commercialisation arms of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, which span pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products.

The commitment from Johnson & Johnson is a testament to the world-class health and medical research capability in Victoria.

With a focus on generating healthcare solutions through partnerships, Johnson & Johnson Innovation already has research collaborations with a number of BioMedVic member organisations including Monash University, the University of Melbourne, RMIT University and St Vincent’s Institute. Building on these connections, the JJIPO@MONASH will act as a hub to “coordinate and upskill the Victorian life science community and to develop programs which will facilitate greater connectivity at both a state and global level,” said Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University (Enterprise) Sarah Newton.

Jan Tennent said the long term commitment was “great for research, great for industry, and great for Victorians and for people everywhere.”

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science – Applications Open

The Prime Minister’s Prizes recognise Australian scientists, innovators and science educators for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching. There are five Science Prizes and two Science Teaching prizes, awarding up to $750,000 in total each year. Each prize recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money and an award certificate.

This year, the selection criteria have changed, which means more Australians will be eligible.

The changes include:

  • Nominations for the Prize for New Innovators now need to show exceptional achievement towards successful commercialisation to be recognised (instead of demonstrated commercial success) and the amount of research experience necessary has been reduced from four to two years (full-time or FTE) in Australia.
  • Mathematics and technology teachers and Part-time teachers are now eligible for nomination for the Science Teaching Prizes.

Applications close 26 March 2018.

See the eligibility criteria and more information about the nomination and assessment process here.

UROP – Now Accepting Projects

Are you interested in employing talented undergrad students in your research team? Supervisors are invited to submit applications to host students through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Entry into the scheme by students is highly competitive and Biomedical Research Victoria coordinates the selection of students and their matching to suitable projects.

Submit your project before 5 March.

More information for supervisors here

Submit to our Events Diary in 2019!

Are you hosting a seminar, conference or research week? You can promote events through the BioMedVic Events Diary free of charge. This benefit includes promotion through the BioMedVic website and weekly Events Diary email distribution to our mailing list.

Examples of events to submit include, but are not limited to, seminars, conferences, expos and research weeks. For the current listing of events, please view the BioMedVic Events Diary or subscribe to the weekly email here.

Make sure your events are in the BioMedVic Events Diary!

Simply complete our online submission form to start promoting an event happening at your organisation!

BioMedVic Communications Professionals Forum – Save the Date!

Communications professionals – make sure to put this event in your diary!

Join us at the 2018 BioMedVic Communications Professionals Forum, a professional development forum designed specifically by and for communications professionals working in Victoria’s health and medical research sector. Hear from key opinion leaders and communications experts from health and medical research organisations across Victoria, as they share their stories, experiences and insights on how best to value, recognise and measure the success of communication in our sector.

Tuesday 24 April, 9am-5pm @ RMIT University Storey Hall

Stay tuned – details coming soon!


BioMedVic gratefully acknowledges the Event Venue Sponsor:


MRFF grant funding announced

Victorian researchers from BioMedVic Members including The University of Melbourne and Monash University will share in almost $12m of funding disbursed under the MRFF Next Generation Researchers fellowship scheme and the MRFF Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Capacity program.

BioMedVic congratulates Fellowship recipients Prof Helena Teede, Prof Peter Cameron, Prof Andrew Wei, A/Prof Antonio Verdejo-Garcia and Dr Donna Urquhart from Monash University and Prof Alexander Thompson, A/Prof Lianne Schmaal, A/Prof Christopher Davey and A/Prof Steven Tong from The University of Melbourne.

Greg Hunt announced this new grant funding for medical research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute on 18 January. See further details in the Government press release.

Report: Trends in Australian Clinical Trials

BioMedVic welcomes a new report released by the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry that reveals insights into the landscape of clinical trials in Australia.

The report draws on data from over 10,000 Australian clinical trials registered between 2006 and 2015 and identifies national trends in clinical trial activity.

Over 5 million people participated in Australian clinical trials during the reported period, with 18, 19 and 7 percent participating in cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health disorders trials, respectively.

The report identifies a moderate growth in the total number of trials registered each year, reflecting increases in non-industry-sponsored smaller-scale trials and non-drug interventions. In fact, non-drug trials grew from 43 percent in 2006 to 58 percent in 2015.

Industry-funded trials remain the largest investment source – estimated at $930 million of the total $1.1 billion spent on clinical trials in Australia each year. Government provides over $164 million for clinical trials through the NHMRC and other sources, with growth in investment anticipated through the MRFF.

The report calls for further assessment of the reduction in trial size over 2006-2015 (median of 167 participants down to 97) and proposes this change could be due either to appropriate changes for more targeted therapies, or inappropriate reductions in sample size.

The report stresses the need for a publicly-accessible national database of all clinical trials conducted in Australia, to help reduce unnecessary overlap, facilitate the promotion of research collaboration and a reduction in publication bias, as well as highlight research gaps.

“Given their demonstrable value, clinical trials in Australia appear to have a bright future, particularly if ongoing investment is made,” writes ANZCTR Manager Prof Lisa Askie and Director Prof John Simes. “The optimisation of such investment will require multiple strategies, including making full use of the data available through the ANZCTR, now and into the future.”

Updated editions of The Clinical Trials Landscape in Australia are planned for every two years.