8 January 2015

Minister for Education
Leader of the House

Young researchers to take on dementia challenge

Australia’s best up and coming researchers are being encouraged to turn their minds to tackling one of the world’s biggest health issues.

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP today announced the opening of a new fellowship scheme to support research into dementia.

The joint fellowships will be funded by the country’s two peak research bodies—the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council—as part of the government’s $200 million Boosting Dementia Research budget initiative.

“Dementia is an incredibly complex disease and one that requires knowledge from all walks of research—neuroscience, bioinformatics, cultural, social and economic research to name only a few,” Minister Pyne said.

“These NHMRC-ARC fellowships ensure we are attracting researchers from all fields, each with an important piece of the puzzle to add,” he said.

Importantly, the fellowships are targeted to researchers who are still early in their careers.

“Despite the rising prevalence of this disease, our understanding of dementia and our diagnostic tools are still in their infancy. To make a real dent in this we need new thinking and creative ideas. I believe Australia’s up and coming researchers have the drive and the enthusiasm to make an enormous contribution,” Mr Pyne said.

“These fellowships are an exciting opportunity for researchers to look beyond their current work and make a difference to the future lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians,” he said.

Up to $46 million of ARC-NHMRC funding is allocated to build the future research workforce by dramatically expanding capacity in dementia research.

The Australian Government has already announced other elements of its dementia initiative including NHMRC Dementia Research Team Grants and the establishment of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research.

The Institute will target and co-ordinate the national research effort and ensure translation into better treatments, care and services to dementia sufferers, carers and their communities.

Researchers can now apply for the grants through NHMRC. Further information is available on the NHMRC website.

Mr Pyne’s Media:
0407 691 050 or pynemedia@education.gov.au 
Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au