UNSW attracts $56m in latest NHMRC funding round


Toned photo of a backlit microscope lens in a science laboratory
Stefanie Menezes
Stefanie Menezes,

Twenty-five projects are set to benefit from the National Health and Medical Research Council funding, with UNSW among the top two Australian universities in this round.

Projects to eliminate HIV, reduce the global burden of stroke and advance how we treat post-traumatic mental health are among the UNSW Sydney recipients of the latest round of National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) funding. 

UNSW researchers were awarded $56 million in investigator grants for 25 projects across the faculties of Medicine & Health, Science, and Arts, Design & Architecture. This places UNSW second overall among Australia’s leading Group of Eight universities in this round of funding.

The Investigator Grant Scheme provides five-year funding certainty for high performing health and medical researchers from all career stages. 

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler today also announced a further $411 million to support 229 researchers to tackle the nation’s greatest health challenges, which would be awarded competitively through the NHMRC. The funding is part of the federal government’s “Health Research for a Future Made in Australia” package which has a total investment of $1.89 billion. 

It comes amid the government’s announcement that it will develop a National Health and Medical Research Strategy (National Strategy) to build on Australia’s national strengths and fill any gaps, while attracting researchers and investors.

“Australia’s health and medical research sector punches well above its weight. We are ranked 7th in the world and the new national strategy will help our researchers continue to outperform,” Mr Butler said.  

“Better alignment and coordination of the MRFF and NHMRC funds will achieve the best of both and strengthen Australia’s world-leading research capability to change and improve the health and lives of Australians.”

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise, Professor Nicholas Fisk, said UNSW’s sizeable share of the latest round of NHMRC funding underscored the exceptional scope of discovery and dedication of the University’s researchers and their teams in tackling this century’s major health challenges.

“These outcomes build upon our ongoing success in the Investigator scheme, and I congratulate all recipients,” Prof. Fisk said. “We’re very proud of them and wish them well in leading their teams in achieving their research project aims over the next five years.”

UNSW Medicine & Health was awarded a total of 22 investigator grants worth $48,465,426, two UNSW Science projects received $4,585,405 and a UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture project was granted $2,981,630. Awards were made across UNSW schools, centres and within affiliated medical research institutes, including the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The George Institute for Global Health, The Kirby Institute, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Centre for Social Research in Health and The Black Dog Institute.

Some of the recipients include:

  • Scientia Professor Carla Treloar at the Centre for Social Research in Health and UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture has received $2.98 million to build a knowledge base for effective stigma reduction interventions in health care.

  • Professor Andrew Grulich at the Kirby Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health was awarded $2.98 million for research on achieving HIV elimination and control of related conditions in gay and bisexual men.

  • Professor Craig Anderson Director of Global Brain Health, The George Institute and at UNSW Medicine & Health, has received $2.98 million to develop innovative strategies to reduce the global burden of stroke.

  • Scientia Professor Richard Bryant from the UNSW School of Psychology was awarded $2.98 million to advance how we treat posttraumatic mental health, reduce the barriers to mental health programs in Indigenous communities, and develop scalable interventions in low-and-middle-income countries.

  • Professor Miles Davenport at the Kirby Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health was awarded $2.98 million for his work on translational analytics – integrating experimental and clinical data to understand vaccination and immunity.

  • Professor Stuart Tangye from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and UNSW Medicine & Health has received $2.98 million to investigate cases of immune dysregulatory diseases and what is required to keep our immune system functioning properly.

You can read the full list of recipients here.

Media enquiries

For enquiries about this story please contact Samantha Dunn, UNSW Sydney External Engagement.
Phone: +61 2 9385 2864
Email: samantha.dunn@unsw.edu.au