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Go8 Media Release: Go8 welcomes revamp of medical research programs

The Group of Eight (Go8), comprising Australia’s leading research intensive universities, says announced changes to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants programs will allow researchers to focus on what matters most – excellent research that improves the quality of life for the Australian community.

Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said the changes, announced today by Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt reduces the administrative burden or “red tape” for researchers and will provide greater flexibility for researchers.

“The NHMRC is the major funder of medical research in Australia investing over $800m annually. For its part, the Go8 is the major stakeholder in this research – winning around 60% of funding from 2016 grant programs. As such, we are confident that these changes will help us to deliver quality outcomes for the nation” she said.

“In particular, a focus on greater flexibility in fellowship arrangements and targeted funding for both multidisciplinary solutions to complex problems and clinical trials and supporting researchers at all career stages, will have a profound effect on the medical research landscape in Australia.

“Reducing the administrative burden or “red tape” for researchers in both applying for and reviewing grants will also be a major boon of the restructure, significantly increasing the productivity of the medical research sector.

“As with all structural change, success will depend on the implementation as much as the design of the framework. To that end, the Go8 is committed to working with the NHMRC on the detail of the implementation to ensure the success of the new grants programs in underpinning world class medical research.

“With this restructure of the NHMRC grants programs and the Government commitment to the MRFF in the recent budget, it is a time of exciting opportunity for medical research in Australia. As the major player in Australian medical research the Go8 intends to do its part to ensure that these opportunities are not wasted.”

Contact: Vicki Thomson    Group of Eight Chief Executive   on +61 417 808 472

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