The Federal Government allegedly plans to cut biomedical research in the next budget by reportedly $400 million. As the total National Health and Medical Research Budget is only around $750 million this would slash medical research in Australia by nearly half (State and philanthropic funding of medical research is a minor contributor to all over medical research funding). Australia punches well above it's weight in research in terms of discoveries and publications, with relatively low funding levels. To cut research funding this savagely defies belief.
Apart from blocking the discovery pipeline for new disease treatments in Australia, the flow on effects in lost jobs, stifled career prospects and loss of talent overseas will be substantial. Research and Development not only increases the health of ordinary Australians, but we get $3 back in economic growth for every dollar spent on research. At the moment, only roughly one in 5 research applications are funded, and as a long term reviewer of grants for the NH&MRC I can say that world class grants are currently missing out on funding. If the proposed cuts come through less than one in ten grants will be funded, with enormous loss. Read more at discoveries need dollars.
Rallies are located at:
MELBOURNE - State Library of Victoria (Swanston St) - Tuesday 12 April @ 12:45-2PM (AEST). RSVP via Rally for Research Facebook page (you need to be logged into Facebook to view this page). Download the Melbourne rally flyer
SYDNEY - Belmore Park (Near Central Railway station) - Tuesday 12 April @ 12:45-2PM (AEST) RSVP via Rally against NHMRC Budget cuts Facebook page (you need to be logged into Facebook to view this page). Download the Sydney rally flyer
ADELAIDE - Steps of Parliament house, North Terrace - Tuesday 12 April @ 12:30PM (Adelaide time) RSVP via Rally for Research Facebook page (you need to be logged into Facebook to view this page).
CANBERRA - John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU Bldg 131, Garran Road - Tuesday 12 April @ 12:30PM (AEST) RSVP via Rally Against NHMRC Budget cuts Facebook page (you need to be logged into Facebook to view this page).
More information here. If you can't come, there is a virtual rally here.
Please also sign the electronic petition (you may need to wait because of the number of hits it is getting).