The following examples have been developed to accompany the ARC Medical Research Policy (v2020.1). The ARC acknowledges that research is complex and often multidisciplinary, so it is not possible to provide a specific example for every potential application. The following examples are intended to be illustrative of the Policy, and are shown under broad headings that are not intended to be specific or limited to single disciplines or Fields of Research. All eligibility comments shown in the examples are indicative based on the information presented only; please also note every application submitted for ARC support will be assessed individually, and in its entirety.

Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences (MPCE)

Example 1

The aim of this project is to develop new ways to synthesise novel porous nanomaterials which may have potential future applications as drug delivery platforms. The outcomes from this project will include an improved understanding of techniques for controlling the formation of these nanomaterials.

Eligibility comment: This example is eligible for ARC support as, although it is noted that this application could ultimately have medical applications, it aims to contribute to knowledge in the chemical sciences.

Engineering, Information and Computing Sciences (EIC)

Example 2

This project will develop a novel system for rehabilitation of patients with cardiovascular disease and other co-morbidities such as obesity. The rehabilitation system will be based on an accessible exercise machine, similar to an elliptical trainer, which can be used in the participants’ home, and be linked by Bluetooth to the EG Application (App). The App will record exercise, and participants can enter readings such as blood pressure or blood sugar levels so they can be reported to the health centre automatically through the App, or in person, to assist with evaluation of the equipment’s efficacy, and to assist in monitoring the participants’ wellbeing.

Eligibility comment: This example is not eligible for ARC support as its primary aim is to develop equipment and use smart phone applications to manage and treat human health conditions.  

Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences (SBE)

Example 3

This project will study the inter-connections between the location, nature (i.e. rental versus private ownership) and quality of housing on the one hand, with the patterns of population well-being, on the other. The project will utilise existing large scale data sets, observational studies of selected locations, and surveys of residents’ perceptions of their quality of life, and well-being.

Eligibility comment: This example is eligible for ARC support as it uses population samples and observational data to understand normal human life patterns.  

Example 4

This project will study methods including material and non-material incentives for increasing the physical activity of obese school-children, with the aim of preventing obesity, and thus reducing the prevalence of diabetes in such vulnerable populations. The study will compare the effect of utilising different types of incentives on reducing obesity, and the clinical indicators of pre-diabetes.

Eligibility comment: This example is not eligible for ARC support as it uses an intervention with the aim of modifying a human health condition.  

Example 5

This project aims to study the cognitive development of children from the pre-school level through to the commencement of secondary schooling to identify areas of activity during normal functioning across the several stages of development. It will involve a multi-disciplinary team of educationalists and psychologists, using mixed methods including specialised testing and brain imaging using non-invasive technologies. 

Eligibility Comment: This example is eligible for ARC support as it aims to understand normal human life stages.

Example 6

This project will test the impact of cognitive brain training (CBT) on elderly human participants with the aim of improving their cognitive resilience, thus reducing the likelihood of dementia. The research will measure the impact of different types of CBT on selected cohorts, to test its impact and with the overall aim of reducing the age of onset of dementia.

Eligibility Comment: This example is not eligible for ARC support as it uses an intervention with the aim of understanding, managing or modifying a human health condition.  

Humanities and Creative Arts (HCA)

Example 7

This project will explore the history of influenza in Australia, investigating how the memory of the 1918-9 epidemic has shaped public memory and concern about influenza as well as popular remedies and prevention approaches. Using an analysis of all available print media and literature from 1918 to the present, this project aims to understand how language, reporting and dramatization in literature may influence public understanding or opinion. Lessons are likely to be able to be drawn from this research to inform contemporary and future public health campaigns.

Eligibility Comment: This example is eligible for ARC support as it aims to understand how historical literature and other media can influence public memory and concern, using a human health condition as an example. It is not aiming to undertake clinical studies or group/community-based studies that aim to understand the causes, treatment and/or prevention of human diseases and/or the maintenance of human health.

Example 8

Music has long been seen as beneficial for health, both in preventing disease by improving well-being and in relieving the symptoms of health conditions. This research will examine the effect of learning to play the violin on the health of a cohort of people who have had a cancer diagnosis in the last two years and are either currently undergoing or have recently completed treatment. 

Eligibility Comment: This example is not eligible for ARC support as it aims to modify a human health condition by using learning the violin as an intervention.

Biological Sciences and Biotechnology (BSB)

Example 9

This project examines the ability to regenerate organs in a normal mouse animal model and in doing so aims to contribute to knowledge on cell replacement. Using lung damage as a model we plan to investigate the behaviour of circulating peripheral blood monocytes and whether they might be involved in the pathways for stimulating regeneration. This animal model is ideal to understand this perplexing problem. Ultimately, an understanding of how to regenerate organs in an animal system may contribute to research that would allow replacement in other animals including humans.

Eligibility Comment: This example is eligible for ARC support as it aims to understand fundamental mammalian biological processes. 

Example 10

Australia has the highest level in the world of sun-induced cancer. These can be aggressive tumours with a high mortality rate. The molecular basis of these diseases specifically, Sun Cancer 1 (SC1), is thought to be genetic.  
This project aims to use basic molecular biological techniques to investigate the implications of Dumpy Duck1 (DpDY1) gene pathways and sun induced pathologies, specifically the effect of DpDY1 signalling on P53 a common tumour suppressor gene pathway in an established mouse model of SC1. This knowledge will expand our understanding of genetic pathways leading to SC1 and enable the search for new pharmaceuticals to combat SC1.

Eligibility Comment: This example is not eligible for ARC support as its primary aim is to better understand a human disease and uses an animal model of human disease to understand human health conditions.

Example 11

This project aims to explore the determinants of healthy living into old age, evaluating both a new and existing set of biomarkers associated with the aging process. Our earlier work has indicated a number of biomarkers for age related phenotypes which can vary according to age-related problems. In the project we aim to extend this work to a broader set of indicative biomarkers for better understanding of normal aging processes. Samples have been collected from healthy older subjects and do not include participants known to have any pathology.

Eligibility Comment: This example is eligible for ARC support, as it does not have health or medical goals beyond its aims to understand the normal human ageing process. Although human samples will be used, it does not render the application ineligible as they are only used to support this primary goal, and not to understand, monitor or treat a human health condition.

Example 12

In some forms of dementia, aberrant proteins have been seen in the early phases of disease, which have been detected in patient’s blood and in more invasive biopsies. This project will use advanced biosensors and algorithms combined with fluorescently tagged specific biological markers that would provide a platform to diagnose dementia based on an increased understanding of the relationship between detection of aberrant proteins and disease. This project will develop an accurate preclinical diagnostic test screen for dementia variants using advanced imaging techniques to detect these proteins in dementia patient’s samples and in established animal models of dementia. 

Eligibility Comment: This example is not eligible for ARC support as its primary aims are the better understanding of human disease, human disease diagnosis, and it uses animal models of human disease to understand human health conditions.