Multidisciplinary and multi-institution research is often the key to scientific advancement. NHMRC supports collaborative approaches to health and medical research. We facilitate collaborative networks and international research partnerships, and researchers can explore opportunities to work with NHMRC or use our facilities.

Guided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Corporate Plan, NHMRC will endeavour to support collaborative approaches to health and medical research internationally, including:

  • connecting, supporting and encouraging links with researchers in health and non-health related disciplines,
  • supporting a full breadth of health and medical research through international research partnerships, and
  • engage in collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches to solving health problems.

NHMRC International Engagement Strategy

Within the framework of the Corporate Plan, the NHMRC has established a strategy for prioritising new and existing activities with our international partners. 

The NHMRC International Engagement Strategy 2016-2019 outlines NHMRC’s approach to working with our international partners over the three year period.

The Strategy identifies four key principles for international engagement:

  • strategic alignment
  • potential for scientific impact
  • potential for scientific diplomacy, and
  • resource implications. 

NHMRC International Engagement Strategy 2016-2019

NHMRC Agreements – Research Funding

NHMRC provides assistance to Australian researchers to participate in collaborative research projects with international researchers through both bilateral and multilateral arrangements. You Can read more about this on the Collaborative Health Research page.

Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH)

The overarching goal of the global alliance is to accelerate progress in medicine by encouraging widespread access to genomic and clinical data by developing a common framework of international technical, operational and ethical standards needed to ensure the interoperability of genomic research platforms in a secure and responsible manner.

The global alliance will work to:

  • bring together the research, clinical, and disease advocacy communities and the private sector to support and promote the responsible sharing of genomic data and
  • collaborate with interested parties to create an information platform that is open and accessible, and provides common standards, formats and tools to stakeholders in the genomic research community.

Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) website

Current status

NHMRC’s membership on the GA4GH provides Australia with an opportunity for international collaboration and information sharing of genomic and clinical data to help unlock potential advancements in medicine and science.

Global Genomic Medicine Collaboration (G2MC)

G2MC is a collaboration among global leaders in the implementation of genomic medicine in clinical care. Arising from the 2014 Global Leaders in Genomic Medicine Summit, the purpose of G2MC is to identify opportunities and foster global collaborations for enabling the demonstration of value and the effective use of genomics in medicine. Engaging multiple stakeholders across the globe, the G2MC group, under the auspices of the Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health, seeks to improve global health by catalysing the implementation of genomic tools and knowledge into health care delivery globally.

Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R)

NHMRC’s membership on GloPID-R provides Australia with an opportunity for international collaboration and information sharing in preparation for an outbreak of a new or emerging infectious disease health threat.

NHMRC is member of two GloPID-R working groups.  The Data Sharing Working Group aims to develop strategies and principles to expedite sharing of data during a public health emergency and the Response Plan Working Group is developing a Response Plan which includes complementary practical tools and solutions.

Specific objectives:

  • facilitate the exchange of information
  • address scientific, legal, ethical and financial challenges
  • implement a ‘One Health’ approach with close cooperation between human and animal health researchers
  • establish a strategic agenda for research response
  • connect infectious disease research networks
  • actively involve developing countries.

The Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness

Current status

NHMRC’s membership on GloPID-R provides Australia with an opportunity for international collaboration and information sharing in preparation for an outbreak of a new or emerging infectious disease health threat.

Heads of International (Biomedical) Research Organisations (HIROs)

HIROs brings together the Chief Executives of the world’s main funding agencies for medical research, including the NHMRC, the UK Medical Research Council, the US National Institutes of Health, the Indian Academy of Medical Science, the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many other international health and medical research funding agencies.

HIROs play a significant role in the promotion of policy collaboration towards health and medical research issues. 

Current status

Participation in HIROs offers NHMRC important linkages with international research organisations and the opportunity to collaborate on and influence health and medical research issues of global relevance. From 2018, HIROs will meet annually in June.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) website

Current status

NHMRC and ICMR signed a Memorandum of Understanding on research collaboration in February 2016.  NHMRC is in discussion with ICMR about activities to advance the development of research cooperation in health and medical research between India and Australia.

International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders (IAMHRF)

The International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders (IAMHRF) is a collaborative group of mental health research funding organisations from around the world. The mission of the IAMHRF is to accelerate progress in the mental health landscape by increasing the impact of mental health research investments.

Members are diverse in their scope and mandate and fund across the mental health research spectrum ranging from the basic biomedical sciences, translational and health services research as well as health promotion and illness prevention research.

Member organisations comprise government organizations, private enterprises, foundations and charities 

Current status

NHMRC accepted an invitation to join the IAMHRF in August 2014. For further information refer to the IAMHRF’s website.

Tripartite Agreement on International Indigenous Health Research

A letter of intent for the Tripartite Agreement, with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) was renewed on 21 December 2017.  This is the third  five-year agreement which builds on a relationship from  2002.

Current status

While priority areas are yet to be confirmed, capacity building of Indigenous researchers will remain a focus.

The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS)

ICLAS is an international scientific organisation dedicated to advancing human and animal health by promoting the ethical care and use of laboratory animals in research worldwide.

The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) website

Current status

Membership of ICLAS allows NHMRC to work with international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the World Veterinary Association, to ensure world-wide improvements in the ethical and humane use of animals in research.

Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) is Japan’s national body to promote integrated research and development in the field of medicine, from basic research to clinical trials.

Current status

NHMRC and AMED signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in October 2018.  NHMRC is working with AMED to advance the development of research cooperation in health and medical research between Japan and Australia.

NHMRC and AMED are currently planning a joint workshop in early March 2019 to help researchers develop proposals for the e-ASIA JRP health call and to explore further opportunities for bilateral cooperation.

European Research Council (ERC)

The European Research Council is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. The ERC, currently part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, aims at selecting and funding excellent researchers of any nationality and age in order to run projects across the European Research Area.

Current status

NHMRC and ERC signed an Implementing Arrangement in October 2018.  The arrangement aims to help talented NHMRC-funded researchers to join ERC teams across Europe and enable the exchange of ideas and experiences in order to perform cutting-edge science together.

For further information see the FAQs.