Mater Research secures Ian Potter Foundation grant as part of AAMRI Research Impact Working Group

Thursday 21 June 2018

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) Research Impact Working Group, which comprises a small number of institutes including Mater Research, recently secured funding from the Ian Potter Foundation to develop a framework for identifying and measuring research impact in medical research institutes. The working group will be responsible for driving the project, with advice from a wider advisory group.

The working group was awarded $140 000 over two years to develop the framework, which will enhance the sector’s capacity to translate research and knowledge into impacts, maximising return on investment made by government, industry and philanthropic funders. Mater Research has committed a further $10 000 towards the project.

Dr Tobias Schoep from Telethon Kids Institute, who leads the working group, said he was looking forward to working on the project.

“The long‐term vision of this project is the sector‐wide adoption of a set of good practices, and indicators of their implementation, that further improve the excellent work of medical research institutes in achieving research impacts,” Dr Schoep said.

Mater Research Development Manager Dr Johanna Barclay represents Mater Research on the working group and will co-lead the Queensland chapter, along with Dr Sally Pearson from QIMR Berghofer.

“As researchers, we have a responsibility to report on what we’re doing, to ensure the public has confidence in us,” Dr Barclay said.

“Developing this framework will allow us to be transparent in what we’re doing and how it’s benefiting people.”

Mater Research Acting CEO Dr Maree Knight said the framework will be extremely valuable.

“Mater Research is very happy to be involved in this important AAMRI initiative.  We believe that this framework will be valuable to us, and the entire Australian medical research institute community, in helping us to effectively evaluate and communicate the important work that we do.”

Dr Barclay said she is grateful to be involved in the initiative, which is due to kick off in June.

“I’m grateful to Mater Research’s executives who have supported my involvement in this project. This underscores our dedication to the responsible and impactful use of our public funding to drive better health outcomes,” she said.

“At the end of this project, we’ll have a framework that will be simple, easy for people to implement and standardised, so that when we talk about research impact, we’ll all be talking about the same thing.

“Being able to talk about our research in a meaningful way means we can advocate for research funding and ensure what we do is aligned with community needs.”