Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Independent Funder Pledges $500,000 For Immediate Projects

New Zealand’s largest independent medical research funder has launched an urgent, fast-tracked fund specifically for COVID-19 medical research.

The Auckland Medical Research Foundation (AMRF) says it is accelerating the application process to ensure research can start within weeks in response to the unprecedented need during this pandemic.

“The AMRF COVID-19 Research Fund is a dedicated, fast-tracked investment sitting outside of our usual funding rounds,” Sue Brewster, AMRF Executive Director says.

“It will focus only on biomedical, clinical or population-health research, specifically investigating COVID-19, its impact and outcomes.”

Open to researchers whose principal investigators are based in the Auckland/ Northland region, AMRF can grant up to a maximum of $100,000 for each research project, from an initial investment of $500,000. This is over and above the Foundation’s average of more than $3.5 million – granted annually for a wide range of medical research each year – including dementia, cancers, stroke treatments, antibiotic development, heart health and youth mental health.

“We know there is a high demand for research grants, and we can ring-fence donations, so if we are able to raise more funds, we are hopeful we can extend the minimum amount of $500,000 we are investing,” Brewster adds

“There is the potential for the COVID-19 project findings from New Zealand to feed into global research. It is going to be really important to not only take best practices and share them world-wide but also apply them to our unique population needs.

“If we don’t gather the data about what we are learning during this pandemic, we are doomed to be no further ahead next time and the experts are all saying there will be a next time.”

COVID-19 – like the flu, Brewster says, may never be truly eradicated, and there may be other world-wide pandemics. “The lessons we learn from this will be applicable to the next one.”

She acknowledged that researchers around the globe were working towards a cure for the virus, but says AMRF is hoping for a wide-range of applications, looking not only at prevention and treatment strategies but also at isolation measures and impacts, including recuperation and anxiety. Similarly it could be a research project focused on gathering large datasets in population health.

“We anticipate that for some researchers it will be a smart and logical extension of their research field.

“We have never had such a short turnaround for our research grants and the calibre of our Medical Committee will ensure the integrity and rigour being applied to the assessment process. We are committed to the highest quality of research projects being awarded funding. We believe it is critical the research is current and in real-time, particularly as it is such a rapidly-changing landscape.”

Key dates:

· Deadline for applications: April 17

· Applications reviewed: April 17-23

· Successful applicants notified: April 24

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Maritime Union: Deepening Supply Chain Crisis Requires Action

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed pre-existing weaknesses in our logistics sector, and created enormous problems... More>>

Air New Zealand: Employees Recognised With $1,000 Share Award

The efforts Air New Zealand employees made during one of the airline’s toughest years will be recognised via an award of $1,000 worth of company shares to all permanent employees... More>>

Consumer NZ: Bank Complaints On The Rise, Survey Shows

Nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey finds. Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said the number of bank customers reporting problems had jumped to 18%, up from 11% in 2020... More>>

Mercury: Enters Into Binding Agreements To Acquire Trustpower’s Retail Business

Mercury NZ Limited (Mercury) has announced that it has entered into binding agreements with Trustpower Limited (Trustpower, NZX:TPW) to acquire Trustpower’s retail business for NZ$441 million... More>>


ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>

Stats NZ: GDP Climbs 1.6 Percent In March 2021 Quarter Following December Dip

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.6 percent in the March 2021 quarter, following a 1.0 percent fall in the December 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. "After an easing of economic activity in the December quarter, we’ve seen broad-based growth in the first quarter of 2021... More>>