[ASC-list] medical research funding: Discoveries Need Dollars campaign

Penny Fannin penny_fannin at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 18 08:27:42 UTC 2011

Further to Cathy Sage's message, the threat to research funding is genuine. Word from inside govt (see http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/brace-for-higher-medicine-costs/story-e6frea6u-1226019422621) is that the cut to the NHMRC will be $400 million over three years. NHMRC annual budget is about $750 million. The ASMR and AAMRI are responding. At the same time a grassroots campaign, Discoveries Needs Dollars, has also been created that encourages individual researchers as well as their friends, families and anyone who has benefitted from medical research (pretty much everyone, in some way or other) to show their support for medical research through traditional means such as letter writing but also with social media.
Below is some campaign information I sent to the comms managers at the MRIs earlier today. I urge you to circulate it. Without Australia's researchers there's not going to be much science for us to communicate:
I am writing to encourage your support of a national campaign (www.discoveriesneeddollars.org) that has been created to protect medical research funding in the  
coming federal budget.

As you may be aware, the Federal Government is reviewing funding to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) in the lead-up to the May budget.  The information we have is that the cut to the NHMRC will be $400 million over three years - this is huge given the annual NHMRC budget is about $750 million.
Obviously the repercussions for your researchers and institute are enormous in terms of job losses but there are broader implications for the Australian community’s health, healthcare costs, and Australia's long-term economic position.

Discoveries Need Dollars is a grassroots campaign that aims to mobilise researchers and the wider community to campaign against NHMRC budget cuts.

It also presents an opportunity for you to promote your institute's past, and current, discoveries to a new audience (the campaign's followers). We are also seeking researchers to profile throughout the campaign -if you have any suggestions please let me know).

There are several ways people can participate in the campaign and show their support for maintaining medical research funding at current levels:

·      Write to federal members of parliament, details at www.discoveriesneeddollars.org, and ask them to protect medical research funding. This is the most significant thing you can do to aid the campaign. Letter templates are available on the website.
·      Email federal members of parliament, details at www.discoveriesneeddollars.org, to voice your support for medical research.
·      Like the Discoveries Need Dollars Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Discoveries-Need-Dollars-Protect-medical-research/116869478388097 and join the conversation.
·      Follow @protectresearch on Twitter http://twitter.com/protectresearch and tweet your support of medical research using the #protectresearch hashtag
·      Join the Discoveries Need Dollars LinkedIn group http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Discoveries-Need-Dollars-website-is-3824249.S.46681494
·      Add the Protect Medical Research Twibbon http://twibbon.com/cause/Discoveries-need-dollars/Join to your Twitter and Facebook profile pictures to show your support.
·      Add the Discoveries Need Dollars email signature (downloadable from www.discoveriesneeddollars.org) to your emails.

Any support you can lend to this campaign is appreciated - if we don't  support our own researchers how can we expect anyone else to?

Kind regards,


Ms Penny Fannin BSc GradDipJourn MPRIA
0417 125 700 
penny_fannin at hotmail.com 

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