Prof Chris Cowell, Director, wraps up 2016

22 December 2016


It is wonderful to briefly reflect on an exciting and successful year for the Kids Research Institute.. We should be justly proud of our achievements, but also recognise that it is a highly competitive environment and that success may not always be achieved on our first attempt. – perseverance can be a virtue!

Grant Outcomes

 Researchers have had an excellent outcome with grants and major contracts in 2016.

Our NHMRC success rate for 2016 was  20%, which is pleasingly above the national average of 15.2%.  Researchers were chief investigators on a total of 23 NHMRC grants and fellowships announced in 2016, equating to approximately $29M in research funding. Our researchers were the lead CI (CIA) on seven awards – four NHMRC project grants, one Centre of Research Excellence, one fellowship and one partnership project.

It should be noted that approximately 64% of NHMRC applications were in the fundable, but not funded category. Therefore, many very good research proposals have unfortunately not been funded – hopefully investigators will review and refresh their applications with input from the Westmead precinct grants leadership.

The University of Sydney will be offering near miss grants and once they have been finalised  Kids Trsearch Institute will again offer two near miss grants.  

Congratulations to all successful recipients and best wishes for everyone’s future research activities.

Capital Works

The Level 2 refurbishment of KRI is well underway with the relocation of the CKR and NCIRS research groups to WIMR and CMRI respectively. Thank you to both groups for undertaking all the additional work needed to move offices, including massive records management tasks to provide a ‘paper light’ environment in their temporary surrounds. The building works will likely commence in Block 3 in the late January.

A special thanks to Kirrilee Drew who has coordinated this relocation so effectively and with good humour. Thanks also for the excellent support of the other members of Capital Works team, Rebecca Rielly, Cate Smith, Ben Ferry, Wagdi Hana and our external consultants from Health Infrastructure and PWC.

The last few weeks has been our first experience of disruption brought about by the refurbishment – unfortunately 2017 promises more of the same, but it will all be worthwhile with completion of new office and  meeting room spaces and a Clinical Research Centre by year end.


Paediatrio is a research integration initiative, partnering Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI), Children's Cancer Institute (CCI)  and Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, that was officially launched by The Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister of Health, in a ceremony held in the Speaker’s Garden at Parliament House, on Tuesday, 13th December. The inaugural chair of the Paediatrio Board is Kathryn Greiner, AO, an individual who is highly enthusiastic about our research capabilities and opportunities for the future.

Paediatrio will bring together NSW’s three leading paediatric research organisations and the Universities of Sydney and NSW in a unique collaboration that will enable NSW to set the national agenda for child health research. We look forward to 2017, and beyond, as Paediatrio positively impacts on research priorities to improve health for children in NSW and nationally.

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