The National Health and Medical Research Council announced and re-announced a bunch of grants yesterday. Most of the money was new but a big-ish bucket was already out there, from previous rounds and courtesy of Health Minister Greg Hunt, Aged Care Minister Kern Wyatt and Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie announcing local funding, notably in Perth and Newcastle, over recent weeks. Commendable productivity – as a learned reader points out, given the amount of money involved these grants need regular reporting for maximum political benefit.
Overall competitive grant announcements for all of 2017 were given out on a predictable path. The Group of Eight needed pantechnicons to transport their funding while other institutions did it on a fixie with a shopping basket.
Monash University drove away in a mighty rig, carrying off $103m, it was followed by the University of Sydney ($97m), University of Melbourne ($95m), UNSW ($83m) University of Queensland ($67m), UWA ($32m), University of Adelaide ($31m) and ANU ($18m). All up the Group of Eight accounted for $546m, a touch under 65 per cent of competitive grants.
The NHMRC has also addressed with impressive pragmatism the endemic problem of women winning less grants than men – stumping up fresh funding for 34 projects that have female chief investigators. This brings the funding rate for projects with women leads to 15.3 per cent compared to 17.1 per cent for those with men.