Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Can you help our clinical embryology students? Sperm donors urgently needed this week!!

It is that time of the year again that our clinical embryology students (40 of them) are doing important training in semen analysis and we need you (or your partners) to help us out!  

The practicals are held on Tuesday 12th April, Wednesday  13th April, Thurs 14th April and Friday 15th April , so if you can help us with a sperm donation on any of those days that would be great. Some of you helped out last year, and if you can do so again that would be good, but new comers are welcome!   

Please email or ring Sally Catt (sally.catt@monash.edu or 0416821654 or wk  99024818 and she will deliver a coded pot (or 2) for you to take home, and will give more specific instructions then.  As we are on the 5th floor in the MMC, we can collect from TRF, MIMR/E block (your office, whatever).

For those on site, we do have access to an official semen collection room on the 3rd floor E Block.  If using this facility, there is a secretary or nurse available, and she can hand out appropriate DVDs and magazines, if required (yes there’s a comfy sofa and a tv!). The pot can be left in the room or returned to our office. You just need to indicate to the staff there whether you have left it or not.
Rewards? You can, if you ask, get an unofficial verbal/brief written assessment of the sperm prep (but, if you would rather not know, that’s fine too). I will be handing out a chocolate or a bottle of beer as a thank you and a way of replenishing stocks! (sorry, we are not allowed to pay). 

Please note this request is sent on behalf of Dr.Sally Catt to assist in the training of our embryologists. We understand that this is an unusual request but please take the time to read and consider it, as you will be providing a valuable service in training people who greatly assist infertile couples.  We really appreciate your help.

Monash medical student’s research recognised at world meeting of paediatric infectious diseases

Ben Cailes and Assoc Prof Jim Buttery,
NICU at Monash Medical Centre
School of Clinical Sciences’ medical student Ben Cailes will present two abstracts at the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) next month in Brighton, UK.

Ben completed his Bachelor of Medical Sciences (Honours) last year at St George’s Hospital University of London, where he analysed UK neonatal unit data to monitor the epidemiology of neonatal infection.

His research efforts resulted in Ben successfully submitting two abstracts to the world’s largest Meeting of paediatric infectious diseases.

“My research project was centred on collecting and analysing data from over 30 UK neonatal units dating back to 2004,” said Ben.

“Our aim was to identify epidemiological trends in the pathogens which cause neonatal sepsis and the rates of antimicrobial resistance exhibited by these organisms.”

One of Ben’s submitted abstracts received a ‘top score’ from ESPID and he will give a 10 minute presentation on the epidemiology of neonatal infections in the UK.

“I will also give a 7 minute presentation on my other abstract, focusing on the pathogen Coagulase negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) and potential methods for distinguishing cases of true CoNS septicaemia from cases where CoNS from the skin flora have contaminated the blood culture,” said Ben.

Ben said it is a great honour to have his work from last year recognised, particularly given the size and importance of the ESPID conference in the field of paediatric infectious diseases.

“I am very excited at the prospect of being able to share my findings with interested and highly-informed audiences and I look forward to what will undoubtedly be a challenging but rewarding experience.”

“I would also like to thank my supervisor Associate Professor Jim Buttery, Monash Children's Hospital and my co-supervisor Professor Paul Heath, St George's Hospital University of London as this would not have been possible without their hard work and support.”

"Ben's research utilised data from NeoNIN (neonin.co.uk), an international collaborative neonatal network focussed on reducing and improving care of infections in neonatal intensive care units (NICU)," said Associate Professor Jim Buttery, Department of Paediatrics at Monash University and Director of Research, Monash Children's Hospital. 

"This important work will be followed up by another BMedSc student in 2016, Joanna Wang, who will focus on identifying preventable risk factors for enterococcal infections in NICU."

Monash Children’s Hospital is also a member of NeoNIN, which is led by Paul Heath, a Monash University graduate and Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of London.

Ben and the research team aim to publish their results in a peer-reviewed journal later this year, adding to a review article on this topic Ben published last year in Early Human Development.  Read his article here.

Monday, 11 April 2016

SCS students acknowledged at recent Faculty awards

Michelle Volovsky
School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) students were acknowledged for their outstanding academic achievement at the annual Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences' Prize Night last month.

Held at the Australian Synchrotron, the event contributes to creating an environment where excellence is promoted, expected and recognised, and is  also used as an opportunity to acknowledge the generosity and ongoing support of prize donors.

SCS students recognised at the event were:

Julian Cassar, Year 4 Carl Wood Prize recipient
Michelle Volovsky, Year 4 RANZCOG Women's Health Prize
Shagun Narula, Year 4 Queen Victoria Medical Centre Prize

The students thank their tutors, especially Dr Shavi Fernando, and friends and family, for their constant academic, emotional and spiritual support throughout the year.

The Cutting Edge – the newsletter of the Monash University Academic Surgical Group (MUASG)

Welcome to the first edition of The Cutting Edge – the newsletter of the Monash University Academic Surgical Group (MUASG).  We aim to keep you informed about the activities of Surgical Departments across Monash University as well as what is going on in the broader Faculty and University.  In this way we hope to encourage and support our teaching and research activities.

PhD student Kim D'Costa receives France travel grant

Kimberley D'Costa, a third year PhD student from the Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation laboratory in Hudson's Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, has received a travel grant as part of the Science Mobilisation Program initiated by the Embassy of France in Australia.

The grant will enable her to spend up to four weeks in Prof. Ivo Boneca's laboratory at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, where she will have access to techniques and infection models vital for the progress of her research aims. 

Kim's PhD project (Modifications of Helicobacter pylori peptidoglycan and their impact on Nod1-mediated host cell responses) is part of an existing scientific collaboration between her PhD supervisor, A/Prof. Richard Ferrero, and Dr. Boneca. 

Preliminary data from their research suggests that the human pathogen, H. pylori, may modulate its peptidoglycan composition to actively engage the NOD1 signaling pathway, thereby initiating responses that favour bacterial persistence in vivo.

Leadership and Innovation in Health - executive education program opportunity, August 2016 at MHTP

Monash University in collaboration with the Harvard Macy Institute will deliver a five-day short course, right on our doorstep. In this unique program on Leadership, Innovation and Sustainability in Health, thought leaders from Monash University, the Harvard Macy Institute, and internationally, will share their expertise to provide you with innovative ways to tackle health care challenges in the Australian context.

The 5 day program will take place 15-19 August, Translational Research Facility (TRF) at the Monash Health Translation Precinct.

What you can expect

You will work closely with local and international thought leaders to identify challenges and develop strategies to lead and manage innovation and change in health care reform through your individual project work, case studies, journal clubs and group discussions. Examples of themes that will be covered are:

  • Health care system design and funding
  • Health workforce planning and development
  • Challenges to current health care delivery in Australasia and internationally
  • Innovations in health care system and education planning

Who should register?

This program has been exclusively designed for senior executive leaders in health care services, governance, policy and education.

CID Weekly Seminar TODAY 12pm: Human lymph node stromal cells are able to fundamentally regulate adaptive and innate immunity

12:00 - 1:00pm, Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building

A light lunch is served prior to the seminar at 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building.

Further information available from CID Weekly Seminar Series website [http://www.med.monash.edu.au/scs/medicine/cid/seminar-series.html]

Please note that the CID Weekly Seminar will not be held on Tuesday 19 April and Tuesday 26 April in lieu of the CID Research Retreat being held on 21 and 22 April.

Human lymph node stromal cells are able to fundamentally regulate adaptive and innate immunity, presented by Dr Anne Fletcher, Birmingham Fellow, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Fibroblastic reticular cells found in secondary lymphoid organs are known to fundamentally regulate T and B cell immunity. Here we report that human and mouse FRCs support the survival and development of lymph node macrophages.  We also show for the first time that human FRCs regulate human T cell proliferation and activation, through 4 newly defined molecular mechanisms. When expanded ex vivo and administered to mice, human FRCs improve outcomes for autoimmune liver disease.
Anne Fletcher is a Birmingham Fellow in the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the University of Birmingham, UK, where she has been a faculty member since 2014. Anne completed her PhD at Monash University in 2008, working on thymic stroma in the laboratory of Profs. Richard Boyd and Ann Chidgey. She underwent postdoctoral training in FRC biology at Harvard Medical School, courtesy of a CJ Martin fellowship, working with A/Prof Shannon Turley. Her research interests lie in studying the stromal cells that support adaptive immune responses, and this has been a fruitful niche, yielding 2 patents and 42 publications to date, published in Nature Immunology, Science Translational Medicine, Immunity and J Exp Med. She runs a research group together with her husband Kostas, examining novel interactions between fibroblastic reticular cells and other leukocytes found in secondary lymphoid organs.  Their most recent finding is that sleep is almost entirely optional, after the birth of their 2nd child 10 weeks ago.

Hudson Special Seminar - 12 April: "GD2-specific CAR T cell theapy for metastatic melanoma"

Prof Michael Brown, Director of Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, Senior Medical Oncologist at Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre, Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide will talk about "GD2-specific CAR T cell theapy for metastatic melanoma".

Tuesday 12 April, 2.30-3.30pm, Boardrooms A & B, Level 3, Hudson Building

Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Boardrooms.

In a bench to bedside effort, researchers in the Translational Oncology Laboratory are applying advances in immunotherapeutic technologies to the treatment of melanoma, myeloid leukemia, brain and lung cancers, which affect millions around the world. The two major technologies of interest are chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) for re-directing lymphocytes toward cancers and antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for targeting potent cytotoxins to cancers.

We are developing pre-clinical and clinical approaches for the treatment of these cancers to aid in diagnosis, therapy monitoring and treatment. Much of our research is collaborative, working in association with the RAH Cancer Clinical Trials Unit and partnering with other laboratories within the Centre for Cancer Biology.

Grand Rounds- Rehabilitation and Aged Care Services - 13 April

Unit: Rehabilitation and Aged Care Services
Presenter: Dr Karen Hitchcock
Topic: #Medicine#Humanity
Date: Wednesday 13 April 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

"End malaria for good" hosted by Burnet Institute, 18 April

Monday 18 April 2016, 2:00 - 5:00pm  
AMREP Lecture Theatre, 75 Commercial Road, Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct,  Melbourne

Is it possible to eliminate malaria, a deadly disease that kills 600,000 people each year, in our region and globally? Ahead of World Malaria Day 2016, join us at Burnet to hear insights from leading experts in their field about how this might be achieved.

Find out how the spread and prevalence of other diseases can impact on malaria elimination; how drug resistance hinders the path to elimination; about the importance of political support and lobbying; and the urgent need for vaccines and new drug treatments.

An interactive Q&A session will conclude the day.  To register: burnet.edu.au/events  Flyer attached here.

myResearch Showcase 20 April - Invitation

You are invited to attend the next myResearch Showcase scheduled on 20 April 2016 from 11am – 12pm on Clayton campus.

This showcase is open to all researchers and professional staff.   
We will demonstrate these features of the online system, Pure:

·        Award milestones for grants and contracts: viewing and editing
·        Research outputs: importing, claiming and using ORCID
·        Activities: overview of categories

How to register
To accept the invitation and for venue details, please register here.

Can't attend in person?

The presentation slides and a recording of the demo will be made available via the myResearch google site following the event.

Advances in 3D Printed Biomedical Devices - 28th April, 2016

Hosted by Monash Institute of Medical Engineering

3D printing enables the creation of medical implants and surgical tools customised to fit in a patient’s body or surgeon’s hand; rapid prototyping of devices for use in clinical trials; and creation of orthopaedic and dental implants with complex designs.  The global market for 3D printed medical devices is predicted to reach USD 2 billion by 2020 (MarketsandMarkets 2015). 

In this event, Professor Xinhua Wu will talk about Monash University’s capabilities in 3D printing and the advantages of using this technology in biomedical implants, surgical tools and guides. Professor Wu will present examples of her research centre’s work in prototyping and manufacturing complex components, designed in collaboration with leading surgeons.  Dr Declan Brazil from Signature Orthopaedics will provide a medical device company perspective of the role of 3D printing in design and development of novel orthopaedic devices.  Dr Elizabeth Sigston from Monash Health will talk about the development of 3D printed components in reconstructive surgery. Dr Arthur Brandwood will outline a regulatory perspective of this technology.

Thursday, 28th April, 4:00pm to 5:20pm - Followed by a Networking session (ends at 6:30pm)

Studio 1, ACMI, Australian Centre for the Moving Image,
                    Federation Square, Melbourne

RSVP:      Friday, 22nd April 2016

Register here  Monash University is a member of BioMelbourne Network so please tick the Member option when registering.

Science on the Swan Conference in Perth: 3-5 May 2016

The theme of  the "Science on the Swan Conference" this year is "Cutting Edge" and is a jam-packed three day meeting with outstanding speakers (13 international and 17 national speakers).

A copy of the conference program is attached:
Day 1 is devoted to Big Data, Precision Medicine and Cancer
Day 2 to Imaging and New technologies and
Day 3 to Bioengineering, 3D printing and genomics.

Further information is available at http://scienceontheswan.com.au/

If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Professor Peter Leedman (peter.leedman@perkins.uwa.edu.au)

Invitation to Fragment-Based Drug Design Down Under, 12-15 July

The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences is hosting the conference "Fragment-Based Drug Design Down Under" on 12-15 July 2016 at Monash University Parkville Campus. 

The 2016 FBDD-DU conference brings together biologists, biochemists and chemists from academia and industry to discuss the latest techniques and progress in the dynamic area of fragment-based drug discovery.

Plenary speakers
James Murray
Head of Structural Sciences, Vernalis (R&D) U.K.
Gianni Chessari
Director of Computational Chemistry and Drug Design
Astex Pharmaceuticals, U.K.
Abstract submission is due by 13 May 2016.  Register online at http://fbddoz.com.au/  Flyer is attached here.

VIIN Careers Evening 2016 - Registration Open! 2 June

Wondering what to do next? This is a great opportunity for Postgraduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers to hear about alternative career paths.
Thursday 02 June, 6:30pm, Woodward Conference Centre, Carlton

Confirmed Speakers:

Hayley Newton

Senior Lecturer
University of Melbourne

Elizabeth Finkel
Cosmos Magazine

Jennifer Herz
Founder and Managing Director
Biointelect Pty Ltd

more speakers announced soon...

Registration is free and open to all Victorian Infection and Immunity Researchers and Postgraduate Students. Drinks and finger food will be provided.
Visit the event page >  Register now >

Introduction to NGS Data Analysis, 14-15 June

This course will be run by Bioplatforms Australia, in collaboration with CSIRO. BPA are a group funded mainly by the Commonwealth Government to provide scientific infrastructure, technology services and training in the areas of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics.

The Monash Bioinformatics Platform are partnering with Bioplatforms Australia for this event and can offer a special discounted price to Monash University.

The full fee for the 2 days is $330. Monash University staff and students only pay $105.20 (excl. GST). They will also get priority in the workshop application process.

Full information including how to apply can be found here:

For questions about this workshop, please email:
Katherine Champ, Bioplatforms Australia: kchamp@bioplatforms.com

Annual Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Student Symposium – Call for Abstracts

Calling all medical research students!   As part of this year’s Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Medical Research Week® in Victoria, the The ASMR Victorian Student Symposium Committee are proud to present the 7th ASMR Victoria Student Research Symposium

Friday 3rd June at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

An exciting all day showcase symposium for ALL Victorian medical research students (UROP, Undergraduate, Honours, Masters, PhD, and more) to present their work, listen to some of Victoria’s top medical researchers, and network in a friendly environment! During the symposium, research students participate in oral, “3-minute-thesis” styled oral, and poster presentations in ALL disciplines of medical research.

For each educational level, many prizes and awards are given including a ticket to the prestigious ASMR GALA dinner, where the awardee will have an opportunity to dine with well-known researchers.

Registration and abstract submission are NOW open.
Abstract submission closes: 18th April 2016, 5pm 
Registration closes: 2nd June 2016, 5pm

This event is part of the Medical Research Week® undertaken by the Australian Society for Medical Research. For more information please visit the ASMR website:

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund 2016 is open: apply now!

To be in the running to share in $1 million in individual grants, please visit ampstomorrowfund.com.au and click the blue ‘Apply’ button.

The online application process consists of five steps. For guidance, please see our ‘Sample application’ and FAQS on the AMP Tomorrow Fund Tips and tools page.

Be sure to save each page of the application form as you complete it. You have until 4pm (AEST) on Wednesday 18 May to submit your application and be in the running to receive a grant of between $10,000 and $100,000. 

World Health Summit (WHS) Startup Track 2016

This is to inform you about an initiative of the World Health Summit, the WHS Startup Track 2016, which has recently opened for applications.

The WHS Startup Track highlights and showcases outstanding ideas and innovative business concepts that have the potential to revolutionize healthcare and improve Global Health. From among the applicants, representatives from 25 startups will be invited to attend the World Health Summit 2016, 10 finalists will subsequently pitch their concepts to the WHS audience and jury on October 10. The winner receives coaching sessions with experts, and is granted special access to potential scientific and business advisors in the international WHS network and among members of the M8 Alliance.

Young entrepreneurs may apply until 30 June 2016startups@worldhealthsummit.org

In 2015, the WHS received 75 applications from 17 countries.  Please find all information attached as PDF and online at www.worldhealthsummit.org/the-summit/startup-track

Funding opportunity for ECRs: Leading charities announce early-career funding

Four charities, including the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have set up an international programme to fund up to 50 early-career biomedical scientists worldwide. 

Read all about it at:

RACV Sir Edmund Memorial Scholarship

The RACV Sir Edmund Herring Memorial Scholarship aims to prevent road trauma and improve the quality of care delivered to road trauma victims.
The scholarship has been awarded annually since 1983 in memory of the late Sir Edmund Herring, a former Lieutenant Governor of Victoria and RACV Patron for 34 years.
Applicants must be health professionals who are Australian residents and work in the state of Victoria.
The successful candidate(s) receives up to $58,000 to undertake a project that will benefit the motoring public.
Previously funded projects include the trial of speech pathology tests to better identify high level communication problems in brain injury patients and the development of guidelines for returning to driving following a traumatic brain injury.
Applications for the 2016 Scholarship are now open and will close on Friday 6 May 2016
For more information about the Scholarship program please contact Rory Sackville - Community Programs Coordinator on 03 9790 2995.

Winter Research Scholarships - are you looking for research students?

The online submission form for advertising your Winter projects is now open and closes Monday 2 May 5pm. If you have never submitted a project before and would like to for this period, please email Annie Mastoras (annie.mastoras@monash.edu) your authcate username and she will give you access to the form.  If you already have access you can begin to enter your project details at the following link:

Advertising NEW projects 
Projects submitted on this form will be automatically deployed to the website and available for students to view once applications open. Once you submit a project, you will be given the option to view the project on the scholarships website 
·         Follow the instructions
For re-advertising projects from a previous round
If you have already submitted projects over previous rounds and want to re-advertise the same project, there is no need to re-enter all the details.
·         Once you log in, select “Manage your submitted research projects”. Your previous projects will all be listed. 
·         Select the project you wish to re-advertise.
·         Make any changes (if necessary)
·         Scroll to the bottom of the form and you will see the following statement:   This project was used in a previous round. Saving changes to this form will republish this project for applications opening: Tuesday 3 May 2016.
·         Select “Save changes” 
The website for the listing of projects available will also be live from Tuesday 3 May 2016 and will accessible at:

Students will be able to view and apply for all projects from Tuesday 3 May until Friday 20 May (5pm).

Once students submit an application they will be sent an email with a summary of their application including the 3 preferences that they have chosen.

LabArchives update

The faculty is committed to improving its research performance and professionalising its research conduct, and is continuing the roll-out of LabArchives as an electronic replacement for more traditional methods previously used to record research notes/data.

LabArchives provides an excellent way of building, managing, storing, searching and sharing research data and records. With the use of LabArchives supervisors will be able to connect and communicate more effectively with their graduate students and review their work as it progresses anywhere and anytime. We have already received positive feedback from various senior research groups within the faculty who have been part of our pilot and have actively engaged with the platform.

Dr. Jackie How, LabArchives coordinator for the faculty, has been in consultation with School Graduate Research Coordinators and significant work has been conducted in preparation for the up-coming roll out.  We will commence a marketing strategy shortly, which will provide information about the roll out as well as school visits to engage staff and newly enrolled graduate research students with the product.

As part of our commitment to equip new graduate students with an enhanced graduate experience, and the tools necessary to prosper in their future career path, we will be relying on your invaluable support and feedback during the roll-out in coming months as we work together to provide our supervisors and students with a positive and enriching experience. This will also provide Research Group Heads with an opportunity to test LabArchives within their research environment and consider whether they wish in the longer term to migrate their research to this platform.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Grand Challenges Explorations

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions, is accepting grant proposals. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies.

Two-page proposals are being accepted online on the following topics:
Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions are available on the Grand Challenges Explorations Grant Opportunities website.

The application deadline with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is Wednesday 11 May 2016, 11:30 A.M. US Pacific Day Light Time

Sanfilippo Children's Foundation - Grants & Scholarships 2016

2016 Project Grant Round
The Sanfilippo Children's Foundation is currently calling for expressions of interest for:
· Translational Research Grants which provide funding for projects with significant potential to move through the translational pipeline towards treatment. This includes pre-clinical and clinical research to develop new treatments.
· Incubator Grants which focus on small scale projects investigating bright new ideas with the potential to generate results that may attract larger scale funding.  
· Deadline for the submission of expressions of interest is 29th April 2016 AEST. 
· Successful expressions of interest will be invited to submit a full application in mid-May.  
· Deadline for full applications is 25th June 2016 AEST.
· Funding decisions will be made in August 2016.
Visit the Sanfilippo Children's Foundation website for details on how to apply.
For more information, please email research@sanfilippo.org.au

2016 NHMRC Post Graduate Scholarship
The Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation aims to support promising health and medical researchers early in their careers to build next generation capability in the Sanfilippo field of research.

In 2016, in partnership with the NHMRC, we are offering Post Graduate Scholarships to fund outstanding health and medical graduates to attain a research-based postgraduate degree (PhD or a Masters Degree) in the Sanfilippo field.


· Applications open: 27th April 2016 AEST
· Applications Close: 22nd June 2015 AEST

Visit the Sanfilippo Children's Foundation website for details on how to apply.
For more information, please email

International Research Scholars Program

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), The Wellcome Trust and The Gulbenkian Foundation, are jointly holding a competition to award grants to outstanding early career scientists working outside the United States and other G7 countries.

This International Research Scholars Program aims to provide support for promising international scientists and to bring them into an eco-system that can foster their work and allow them to better understand and address biomedical issues of global relevance.

The competition is open to scientists who have trained in the U.S. or United Kingdom for at least one year. Additionally, eligible scientists must have run their own labs for less than seven years, and work in one of the eligible countries. Australia is an eligible country. 

Each scientist who is selected will receive a total of US $650,000 over five years.

Application deadline with MRO is Monday 20 June 2016 and Thursday 30 June 2016 with HHMI

For more information please visit The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) website.

Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme

Applications open this week for a new round of the Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme, which funds exchanges for leading researchers in the early stages of their careers. 

It aims to:
  • foster research collaboration of the highest quality between Australian researchers from participating Universities Australia member universities and German researchers from German universities, research institutes and universities of applied sciences; and
  • produce research outcomes and the exchange of skills and knowledge of mutual benefit to Australia and Germany.
The scheme supports travel and living expenses for Australian researchers to spend time at partner institutions in Germany and for collaborating German researchers to spend time at Australian universities. Researchers must be working on a joint research project with their German counterparts, rather than simply furthering their own individual research in Germany.

Proposals must provide opportunities for exchanges between early career researchers. However it is not compulsory to be an ECR to apply. The German collaborating partner must submit a corresponding application, with the same project title, to the DAAD in Germany by the closing date. Projects which do not include ECRs on both sides will not be considered. 

Researchers from the Humanities and Social Sciences are encouraged to apply.

Monash applicants must be:
  • employed as an academic staff member in a teaching and research or research only role at Monash University and with a contract that is valid for the duration of the relevant funding period; or 
  • enrolled for the duration of the relevant funding period as a PhD or Research Masters student at Monash University and be involved in a research project application submitted by an eligible staff member at Monash.
The scheme is open to researchers in all academic fields involved in a collaborative project with German research partners.

Funding for Monash applicants is provided from Monash Strategic Fund and will cover the costs of:
  • return economy airfares from Australia to Germany;
  • a per diem of either maximum AUD250 per day or a maximum of AUD3,500 per month per person.
The maximum amount of funding available per Australian application is AUD12,500 per year for two years. Universities may elect to fund projects at a lower level.

The maximum amount of funding available per German application is EUR8,000 per project per year funded by DAAD. Grants will cover the costs of economy airfares and living expenses.

Further information is now available on the Universities Australia website.

Closing date with MRO is Friday 17 June 2016. Applications are to be emailed to: adm-researchgrants.contracts@monash.edu

MRO will arrange for the review, ranking and selection of Monash applications to be provided to DAAD via Universities Australia.

For more information please contact
​Dennis Batson ​

Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant - Applications Close 30 April 2016

The Fulbright Commission warmly encourages applications for a Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant (FAIG).  Applications close on Saturday 30 April 2016

Four grants of AUD $5,000 each are on offer, two for Australian and two for American Alumni.
FAIG selection criteria:

Alumni must:
·       have been Students, Specialists or Scholars with the Australian-American Fulbright Program 
·       currently be residing in their country of origin
·       not previously have received a FAIG 
·       possess a high academic and/or professional standing 
·       show an ability to build and enhance institutional links

Competitive applications will:
·       demonstrate the pertinence of this new visit to the host country
·       clearly and comprehensively outline the purpose of the visit 
·       show a record of communication with the host institution 
·       convey the potential host or home institutions' willingness to share costs 
·       outline concrete and feasible expected outcomes 
·       highlight the potential for long-term institutional collaborations 

In order to apply click on this link: http://www.fulbright.com.au/index.php/alumnis/enrichment-opportunities

Grand Challenges Grant Opportunities

This is a reminder of various currently open grant opportunities.

1) Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions, is accepting grant proposals until May 11, 2016, 11:30 A.M. US Pacific Day Light Time. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies.

Two-page proposals are being accepted online on the following topics:

Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions in Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish are available here.

2) The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), The Wellcome Trust and The Gulbenkian Foundation, are jointly holding a competition to award grants to outstanding early career scientists working outside the United States and other G7 countries. This International Research Scholars program aims to provide support for promising international scientists and to bring them into an eco-system that can foster their work and allow them to better understand and address biomedical issues of global relevance.

We invite you to check this blog by Dr. Chris Wilson. Application deadline is June 30, 2016. For more information please visit here.

3) The Blue Economy Challenge: Launching a Blue Revolution for Aquaculture: This challenge aims to find solutions to three important issues of aquaculture: 1) Rethinking feed for aquaculture 2) New ocean products and 3) Sustainable design by encouraging innovations that will revolutionize aquaculture in the developing world with a focus on the Indian Ocean region, where transformations in aquaculture can help eradicate poverty, end hunger, and preserve ecosystems.

Application deadline is 
June 30, 2016

For more information please visit http://www.theblueeconomychallenge.org