Description of a CRE
The APHCRI Centres of Research Excellence in Primary Health Care will provide support for teams of researchers to pursue collaborative research and develop research capacity in primary health care services. The scheme provides funding for innovative, high quality primary health care research. Originality will be a hallmark of the CRE. It is aimed at established investigators with a strong track record of research and of knowledge translation and exchange in a domain of primary health care research who will collaborate with emerging researchers in the area.
The APHCRI CREs may be actual (i.e. comprising a physical entity or Institute) or virtual (i.e. geographically disparate, linking a collaborative research effort from several organisations). They will be multi-institutional with at least two institutions (universities and/or non-government organisations) collaborating in a Centre. To expand research capacity building, a requirement is that at least one collaborating organisation of a CRE will not have received primary APHCRI funding in the past. It is also a requirement that teams will be multidisciplinary, representing the range of disciplines that deliver primary health care services in Australia.
Researchers should show any participation in, and collaborations with international research studies. Proposed international collaborations should be indicated in the application and all funding for either a physical or virtual Centre of Research Excellence must be administered through an Australian administering institution.
The aims of the APHCRI Centres of Research Excellence in Primary Health Care proposal are closely aligned with the National Primary Health Care Strategy and the health care reform agenda. The proposal therefore aims to support the national reform agenda by providing evidence for reform and key directions for change in primary health care policy and systems delivery. The key directions for change are identified as:
- Improving access and reducing inequity;
- Better management of chronic conditions;
- Increased focus on prevention, and
- Improving quality, safety, performance and accountability.
The building blocks as listed in the National Primary Health Care Strategy are: regional integration; information and technology including eHealth; skilled workforce; infrastructure and financing and system performance. To support these directions, the aims of the proposed Centres are to:
- Generate quality primary health care research which informs policy and practice and leads to improved primary health care services and health outcomes for the Australian community.
- Enhance knowledge exchange between the APHCRI Network and the wider primary health care sector (including but not limited to State and Commonwealth Governments) which will enable effective translation of research outcomes into policy and practice.
- Facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration across the Australian primary health care research community.
- Build Australian primary health care research capacity through enhanced career development of research leaders and new researchers.
- Develop positive impacts for the Closing the Gap initiative to improve the health and well being of Indigenous Australians.
- Develop internationally renowned Centres of Excellence in primary health care research.
The APHCRI considers that a key aim of each of the Centres is to build on established excellence by developing research capacity which would enable alternative funding through grants to be sought in future years. The funding structure is designed to support this core principle. Upon successful completion and submission to APHCRI of each of the agreed items of contracted material, each of the successful applications will receive the following:
Year 1 – 2012: $500,000
Year 2 – 2013: $750,000
Year 3 – 2014: $750,000
Year 4 – 2015: $500,000
Variations to this indicative model 2will be considered. However, tapered funding in year one and in year four must be maintained, recognising that CREs are de nove grants and funding will not continue beyond year four.
A single administering institution must be identified for each proposal. The administering institution is either required to be NHMRC registered institution or, in the case of organisations not registered with the NHMRC, must ‘self assess’ according to NHMRC criteria (which can be found at the following linked site: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/grants/policy/policy02.pdf) and submit their assessment to APHCRI for consideration.
Financial statements will be required at the end of each calendar year and all funds must be acquitted in Australian dollars by January 2016.