New OpportunitiesMRFF - 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 Grant Opportunity


The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) - Coronavirus Research Response Initiative: 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 Grant Opportunity is open in Sapphire and will close 5:00pm (AEST) on 6 April 2020. No minimum data is due, but interested applicants are requested to contact the NHMRC and Health team as soon as possible if they are intending to apply.

Note that limited time frames are available to complete streamlined applications to facilitate the commencement of research as soon as possible. The NHMRC is also looking for research and industry experts to assess MRFF 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 grant opportunity applications – tell us about your expertise on NHMRC's online portal.

Applications to this Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Coronavirus Research Response: 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 grant opportunity must propose a clinical trial that accelerates the implementation of treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID-19 in order to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.

Applicants should note that the research funded by this grant opportunity is not intended to be used for development of vaccines or anti-viral therapies for COVID-19. These issues are the subject of separate MRFF grant opportunities. 

The objective of the 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 Grant Opportunity is to use clinical trials to accelerate the implementation of treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID 19. To be competitive for funding, applicants must propose a clinical trial that delivers against the above objective.

The intended outcome of the research funded under this priority is to use clinical trials to accelerate the implementation of safe and effective treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID 19. This includes the identification of plausible pathways to clinical practice within 12 months of commencement.

Applications must address the desired outcomes described in section 1.3 of the grant guidelines. For more information, including the grant guidelines, visit the opportunity on

This opportunity is supported by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

New OpportunitiesDatabases and other information on COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation and the National Institutes of Health


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a dedicated COVID-19 section on their website that provides a database on COVID-19 related publications, resources and information. The WHO also provides detail on their Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) and the International Clinical Trials registry platform.

The National Library of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has created an open-resource literature hub known as LitCovid, that aims to curate the most comprehensive collection of international COVID-19 research papers.

As detailed in Nature, LitCovid has been developed with the support of the US National Institutes of Health’s intramural research programme, and is updated daily with newly published articles. The aim is to provide timely insight from the scientific literature into the biology of the virus and the diagnosis and management of those who have been infected.

LitCovid has a sophisticated search function that can identify roughly 35% more relevant articles than do conventional keyword-based searches for entries such as ‘COVID-19’ or ‘nCOV’. The articles are categorised by topic - overview, disease mechanism, transmission dynamics, treatment, case report and epidemic forecasting - as well as by geographic location for visualisation on a world map.

The NIH website on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients has a list of available resources for researchers and applicants. The resources include links to NIH Guide Notices and FAQs as well as information provided by the CDC and the WHO. 

The Deputy Director for Extramural Research, Dr Michael Lauer, has released a statement and video link on flexibilities needed for COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Assistance and application advice is available from the Flinders' Grants and Tenders team.

Note other databases and resources may exist, but these two have been brought to our attention by members of Flinders’ research community who were keen to share these resources with colleagues. Please contact us if you wish to alert us to other COVID-19 related research news, information or resources.

Flinders Research NewsAn update from the ARC CEO Professor Sue Thomas

Australian Research Council

Professor Sue Thomas, has released a statement to the Australian research sector regarding the COVID-19 impact.

It includes information on: extension of reporting obligation deadlines; information on the National Competitive Grants Program.

"I would like to provide reassurance that the ARC is doing its best to support you during what is proving to be an extremely challenging time.

We understand that most of you have been, or will be, affected by the current viral pandemic and that, in turn, your research may also have been disrupted. Please be assured that we hear your concerns about being able to progress your work in the midst of many other immediate priorities, and of the consequent need for us to be flexible and generous in dealing with your circumstances. 

Like all of you, we are carefully monitoring the current COVID-19 situation, taking into account the advice being issued by the Australian Government, particularly the Chief Medical Officer, and adjusting our contingency plans as the landscape changes. We are also working to address current workforce issues that are arising due to interruptions to local school services.  

I know that many of you are anxious to understand exactly what that means we are doing and how we can assist you. Some of you have made specific suggestions of how we might respond, and we are grateful that you are thinking about how the research sector can be supported. 

At this stage, the ARC is continuing its administration of the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) across grant application, peer review and post-award activities. We are very conscious of the need to balance what we do for researchers working on existing ARC-funded projects with how we support researchers to progress applications for future funding, understanding that researchers from both groups are under significant stress right now. These activities are essential to support researchers’ careers and the stability of the research community, and both must continue to be supported from within the existing ARC funding envelope.

For those of you seeking funding, we are using our usual processes for application submission and peer review to assess your application. There is an existing process where researchers can seek, through their university, short extensions to application submission deadlines because of exceptional circumstances. At this stage we are not moving to longer or blanket extensions because of the cumulative impact this will have on the necessary peer review processes and being able to commence funding in the future. In light of the recently introduced travel restrictions, we have taken a decision to temporarily replace face to face Selection Advisory Committee meetings with video conferencing. This is a format we already have experience with, and we have recently conducted a successful stress test of our systems to ensure their robustness when activated remotely in the event of either assessor or ARC staff isolation, so we are confident we can make it work. Administering organisations and Selection Advisory Committee members have been advised directly about our plans and are supportive. 

For those of you who are already in receipt of ARC funding, we do understand that the current COVID-19 situation may be impacting your capacity to progress your project in the way you outlined, or your ability to fulfil reporting obligations. To assist both researchers and research administrators with managing reporting obligations, the ARC will be extending the following deadlines:

  • End of Year Reports – deadline extended from 31 March 2020 to 31 May 2020
  • Annual/Progress Reporting (for applicable projects) – deadline extended from 31 March 2020 to 31 May 2020
  • Final Reports – initial three month extensions will be automatically approved by the ARC on request. Noting that submission dates for final reports vary project by project and that extensions may impact researchers’ eligibility for future applications, it is not practical to provide a blanket extension. 

We also recognise that, since circumstances are rapidly changing, we may come to the point that our planned ways of doing things are not possible, and we are ready to address that situation too. We are also ready to work with you and your individual situations as the year unfolds. Should you need to vary your research, to either seek an extension or change its scope, we can do that later in the year when there is a more complete understanding of the impact. Researchers will be affected in different ways by the ongoing events and we wish to assure you that we will approach any extensions with understanding.

We hope that this short update provides some reassurance and guidance about the support we are endeavouring to provide you with. We urge all researchers to stay in touch with their research offices regarding ARC applications and ongoing research, and for Research Offices in turn to stay in contact with the ARC so that we can be responsive and understanding. 

We wish all of you, and your families, well at this time and look forward to continuing to support you to the best of our ability.

Professor Sue Thomas
Chief Executive Officer"

New OpportunitiesAustralia-ASEAN – postponement of 2020-21 grant round

Australian-ASEAN banner

The Australia-ASEAN Council has postponed its 2020-21 grant round in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) grants generate opportunities for Australian business, education, science and innovation and the arts to work with partners in Southeast Asia.

The AAC's mission is to increase knowledge and promote Australia's interests in Southeast Asia by initiating and supporting activities designed to enhance awareness, understanding and links between people and institutions in Australia and ten Southeast Asian countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Inspiring Research will provide updates related to future opportunities with the Australia-ASEAN Council.

Further information is available at the Australia-ASEAN Grants webpage.

New OpportunitiesAustralia-India Council – postponement of 2020-21 grant round

Australia-India Council

The Australia-India Council has postponed its 2020-21 grant round in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australia-India Council (AIC)'s mission is to advance Australia's foreign and trade policy interests by building awareness and understanding between the people and institutions of Australia and India.

Inspiring Research will provide updates related to future opportunities with the Australia-India Council.

For more information, visit the Australia-India Council grant webpage.

New OpportunitiesAustralia-Indonesia Institute – postponement of 2020-21 grant round

Australia-Indonesia Institute

The Australia-Indonesia Institute has postponed its 2020-21 grant round in the context of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) was established in 1989 to foster links between Australia and Indonesia by increasing cultural awareness and mutual understanding, and promoting cooperation and exchange.

AII grants contribute to a more broadly based and enduring relationship between Australia and Indonesia and foster positive images of Australia and Indonesia in each other's country.

Inspiring Research will provide updates related to future opportunities with the Australia-Indonesia Institute.

For more information visit the Australia-Indonesia Institute grants webpage.

New OpportunitiesCRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program extended deadline

Cancer Research Institute

In response to the growing disruption and difficulty imposed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) will be extending the Spring 2020 deadline for the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program to 15 April 2020. The Flinders internal deadline for a completed final draft application is 30 March 2020. For application advice and assistance, contact Lucy Sheehan-Hennessy, Research Grants Support Officer (NHMRC and Health).

The aim of the CRI Irvington Fellowship is to further career development and support laboratory research for promising young scientists working under the mentorship of leading immunologists.

The CRI provides funding to ensure that the most promising postdoctoral scientists receive the critical financial support and continued career training needed to pursue their lifesaving work.

The CRI recognises that getting to the next great breakthrough in cancer treatment will require continued investment in fundamental research and training. CRI therefore invites postdoctoral fellows working in both fundamental immunology and tumor immunology to apply for funding.

In recent years, significant advances in immunotherapy have yielded major breakthroughs in cancer treatment. The Institute is seeking hypothesis-driven, mechanistic studies in both immunology and tumor immunology that aim to directly impact our understanding of the immune system’s role in cancer.

Funding is available for USD $175,500 over three years.

For more information, including how to apply, visit the CRI website.

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