Jan 12 2005
The Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott announced that Australian researchers now have the opportunity to access A$70 million in international research funding each year and to lead international research teams as part of the Human Frontier Science Program.
Eleven Human Frontier Science Program research teams had produced Nobel Prize winners, including Australia's own Professor Peter Doherty.
However, until now Australian researchers have not been able to lead an international team under the Program. Instead our researchers have been part of a research team headed up by other member countries, including Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, USA and Japan.
"I congratulate the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for successfully negotiating Australia's membership to the Program.
"This is a significant achievement, giving our researchers access to considerable international funding to support and lead international programs in life sciences research in this country," the Minister said.
CEO of the NHMRC, Professor Alan Pettigrew said membership to the Program offered exciting opportunities for Australia's world-class researchers.
"The Program is unique internationally, in that it promotes fundamental research in life sciences with special emphasis on novel and interdisciplinary research (that is, combining life sciences with other sciences such as physics, chemistry, and computer science). The Program also emphasises international collaboration and support for young investigators.
"For 15 years, the Program has created a framework for competitive, collaborative, international research of the highest calibre, and provided young scientists with the opportunity to emerge as talented researchers capable of making the breakthrough scientific contributions of the future. It is very exciting that Australia is now a full participant in the Program," Professor Pettigrew explained.