2020 Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research

Applications are currently open for the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research, recognising the exceptional contributions and capabilities of Victoria’s emerging early career researchers in their PhD studies.

Recipients of the Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research category awards receive $5,000 and an additional $15,000 is granted to the Premier’s Excellence award winner, receiving $20,000 in total prize money.

The five award categories include:

  • Aboriginal Researcher undertaking research in any field of health and medical research
  • Health Services Researcher
  • Public Health Researcher
  • Basic Science Researcher
  • Clinical Researcher

Key Dates:

  • Applications Open: 1 August 2019
  • Applications Close: 30 September 2019
  • Awards Ceremony: 23 March 2020

You can find more information regarding application requirements, eligibility and selection criteria here.

Honouring career excellence

Biomedical Research Victoria is delighted to announce the recipient of the 2018 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Career Recognition Award – Professor Rinaldo Bellomo AO.

Professor Rinaldo Bellomo has an internationally outstanding track record in conducting patient-based research and a three-decade long influence on peers, colleagues, the healthcare sector, patients and the next generation of clinician researchers.

He has published over 1200 peer reviewed publications and is the most cited critical care researcher in the world. Prof Bellomo is also the most cited biomedical investigator in the history of Australian medicine. His research has resulted in the Medical Emergency Team (MET) concept, which is now the standard of care throughout Australian hospitals, all Scandinavian countries, and dozens more.

Prof Bellomo is Director of Intensive Care Research (Austin Hospital), Professor of Intensive Care Medicine (The University of Melbourne) and Senior Research Advisor (Melbourne Health).

When talking about Prof Bellomo mentorship, his nominator, A/Prof Adam Deane, identifies as “one of the many fortunate mid-career clinician researchers to whom he tirelessly provides ongoing support and mentorship”.

The Award will be presented by BioMedVic CEO Prof Jan Tennent at an event to be hosted by Austin Health later in the month.


You can find more information about past recipients of the award here.

Catherine Granger: “The BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Award really made a difference to my career”

Dr Catherine Granger is Head of Physiotherapy Research and Chair of the Allied Health Research and Quality Committee at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at The University of Melbourne. In 2017, Catherine won a BioMedVic VCRN Early Career Clinician Researcher Award in recognition of her achievements and commitment to clinical research. In 2018, she was selected by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as one of the “Top 5 scientists” for the year. For the first time, the 5 scientists were all women, and were identified by ABC as “ambassadors for their fields and role models for future scientists”.

Catherine’s research has been praised because of its relevance. Her work brings insight into the role of exercise and physiotherapy in the treatment of patients with lung cancer; more specifically, Catherine is researching how being physically active can improve outcomes for patients with cancer, such as quality of life and daily functioning. She is also interested in the current models of care within the health system, and how they can be improved to ensure that patients with cancer are advised regarding the benefits of physical activity.

BioMedVic spoke to Catherine about her career and scientific endeavours some months after receiving the BioMedVic VCRN Early Career Clinician Researcher Award and her selection as a “Top 5 scientists for 2018”. Read on to find out how these recent recognitions have impacted her career.


Yours was not a traditional pathway into research. As practicing physiotherapist you got into research after finding some gaps in the literature regarding exercise and lung cancer patients. How did this shape your approach to research?

I had been working for four years in public hospitals in Melbourne as a physiotherapist before starting my PhD, so my academic research has truly complemented my practicing experience. These double skills help me to easily translate research into practice and therefore my studies are clinically meaningful.

How did the BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Award impact your work?

It has made a very deep difference. As an early career researcher, my biggest challenge is funding. Regardless of your ideas or team, without financial support you can’t continue your career. The BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) Award allowed me to travel to two amazing conferences, the Australian Lung Cancer Conference in Sydney and the World Lung Cancer Conference in Canada. Participating in these events was extremely important for subsequent funding, because publicly presenting my research at conferences, networking with other researchers and health professionals… it all helps to build up a track record, improve my CV and raise my profile, which collectively make my grant applications more competitive.

And the results are already visible: this year I have received the biggest project grants of my career from the Cancer Council Victoria, which will enable me to continue my research on lung cancer and exercise. I want to highlight that the BioMedVic ECCR Award really made a difference to my career. I’m very grateful to BioMedVic!

In 2018, you also got selected by the ABC as one of the “Top 5 scientists” for the year. How did that recognition impact your career?

Well, the recognition came with a science communication training that was extremely valuable. We were working alongside science journalists who helped us a lot in the process. We wrote an online media article for the general public, produced a radio segment and podcast for a more specific audience, and filmed engaging social media videos. The whole experience was very rewarding and changed the way I think about communicating science. Now I understand the crucial role that good communication can play for my research, not only in the form of academic papers but also in the way my research findings reach and inform clinical practice and thus can have a positive impact on patients.

Nowadays I’m always looking for new ways to communicate my research. Besides articles, I speak on the radio, present at consumer groups, reach patients and the public via Twitter… I’m trying to get my message out in as many ways as I can!


ABC’s Top 5 scientists 2018. Dr Granger on the right.

What’s the next steps for your career?  

Now it’s time for me to increase my research capacity and grow my team so that we can have a bigger and better impact on clinical practice with patients. My career aspiration is to be a leader of clinical-based cancer exercise research and to generate high-quality research to improve treatment for people with cancer and their outcomes. Particularly, I would like to focus on developing strong skills in randomised control trial best practice.


We wish Catherine all the best in her research career! If you want to learn more, connect with Catherine here.

Two veski programs calling for applications!

Veski is calling for applications for two of its programs.

2019 STEM sidebyside program

Veski and Monash University, supported by the British Consulate General Melbourne, call for applications for the 2019 STEM sidebyside program. The program will be delivered between May and November 2019 and features workshops and networking opportunities to empower women at different career stages through two streams:

  • Leading the Way – Mid-career emerging leaders
  • Stamina – women who want to, are about to, or have just, return(ed) to work within a STEM industry

Applications close 2.00pm AEST on Thursday, 18 April 2019.

Find application details on the websites for Leading the Way and Stamina.

2019 veski fast smarts program

Innovators are encouraged to send their applications for the final two spots of the 2019 veski fast smarts. In total, nine people will be part of this curated showcase of Melbourne’s brightest innovators.

Veski will deliver its third and final veski fast smarts on 22nd May 2019. You can find more information here.

NHMRC 2018 Research Excellence Awards

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2018 Research Excellence Awards were recently announced in Canberra. These Awards recognise “excellence in the health and medical research sector by celebrating individual achievements, leadership and the exceptional contributions of Australian researchers to their fields of research”.

Four outstanding researchers from BioMedVic members were recognised with different categories of the 2018 Research Excellence Awards:

  • Professor Patrick McGorry AO (University of Melbourne) – Research Fellowship. This award is given to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Research Fellowship scheme.
  • Professor Peter Choong (University of Melbourne, St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne) – Practitioner Fellowship. This award is given to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Practitioner Fellowship scheme.
  • A/Professor Yuming Guo (Monash University) – Career Development Fellowships: Population Health – Level 2
  • A/Professor Rebecca Lim (Monash University) – Career Development Fellowships: Industry – Level 2

BioMedVic warmly congratulates these and all recipients of the NHMRC 2018 Research Excellence Awards.

You can find more information here.

Applications open for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

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. Each prize recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money and an award certificate.

Applications close 12 March 2019. 

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


Science Prizes categories:

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science is awarded for a significant advancement of knowledge through science. Prize money of $250,000 is awarded to the recipients.
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation is awarded for the innovative translation of scientific knowledge into a commercially available product, service or process that has had economic, social and where relevant environmental benefits. Prize money of $250,000 is awarded to the recipients.
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year and Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year each recognise an exceptional achievement in science that benefits, or has the potential to benefit, human welfare or society. Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipients.
  • Prize for New Innovators recognises an exceptional early achievement towards partial or full commercialisation of scientific research with substantial economic, social and where relevant environmental benefits. Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipients.

Science Teaching Prizes categories:

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools — prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipient
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools — Prize money of $50,000 is awarded to the recipient.

BioMedVic members – key drivers of national innovation and translation

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants have been announced for 2018. Of the $526 million awarded, Victoria has secured $347 million (47%), cementing its position as the leading state for medical research in Australia.

Beyond that, two BioMedVic members were the top-ranking institutions nationally, with Monash University securing grants to the value of $103.6M and the University of Melbourne winning $103.3M worth of grant funding.

Outstanding results run even deeper across Victoria’s remarkable health research community, with NHMRC success for:

  • Deakin University ($14.4 million)
  • RMIT University ($4.6 million)
  • St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research ($4.1 million)
  • Swinburne University ($3.4 million)
  • Melbourne Health ($624.882)

BioMedVic warmly congratulates all recipients of this latest round of NHMRC grants.

You can find more information here.

Superstars of STEM: improving visibility of women in science

Science and Technology Australia (STA) has launched this year’s Superstars of STEM in celebration of 60 women with outstanding scientific careers. This initiative aims to improve the public visibility of women in STEM, to achieve an equal representation of female STEM spokespeople in the media, and to promote role models for young girls and women to pursue scientific careers.

Women working in several BioMedVic member organisations are among the 2019 Superstars of STEM:

  • Swinburne University: Muneera Bano and Felicity Furey
  • CSIRO: Sam Grover, Laura Kuhar, Madeline Mitchell, Sharon Hook, Sarah Pearce, Cathy Robinson and Sonja Dominik
  • RMIT: Kate Fox and Asha Rao
  • Monash University: Sharna Jamadar and Kirsten Ellis
  • Deakin University: Ellen Moon
  • Melbourne Health: Anita Goh

You can read more and discover all the Superstars of STEM here.

Three BioMedVic members recognised for their efforts on gender equality and diversity

BioMedVic congratulates its members CSIRO, Monash University and Swinburne University of Technology for receiving the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition for their efforts to improve gender equity and diversity.

The inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Awards were awarded to fifteen institutions around Australia in a ceremony in Canberra on 5th December 2018.

You can read more information on the Athena SWAN Bronze Award here.

University of Melbourne rewards research excellence with Woodward Medal

BioMedVic congratulates Professor Katherine Kedzierska and Professor Geoffrey McFadden for winning the Woodward Medal in Science and Technology for their outstanding contributions in research.

Professor Katherine Kedzierska works at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Doherty Institute. Her research on H7N9 influenza has brought science closer to a universal vaccine for all strains of influenza.

Professor Geoffrey McFadden works at the School of Biosciences of the University of Melbourne. His research aims to better understand malaria metabolism throughout its cycle across humans and mosquitoes.

More information here.