Dean’s Innovation Grants 2020

Two grants of $50,000 will be awarded to researchers with projects with translational potential

Do you have a research project that you’d like to see translated to clinical practice? Then do consider applying for the Dean’s Innovation Grants, open from today.


This year’s scheme will see two grants of up to $50,000 awarded to researchers with compelling projects that have the potential to achieve significant societal impact and/or economic benefit – in line with initiatives such as the Medical Research Future Fund and its mission to transform research to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability.

Previous grant recipients include Associate Professor Laura Downie, inaugural winner in 2018, who is now leading the development of a novel point-of-care device called ADMiER that diagnoses dry eye disease. The ADMiER team has built a research-grade prototype, secured a strong IP portfolio, and generated and published a clinical dataset that demonstrates proof of concept for the device’s diagnostic utility.

Dr Downie has this advice to researchers considering applying for the Dean’s Innovation Grants:

“For me, this award has opened up many opportunities for collaboration, industry engagement and networking, both within and beyond the Faculty. It is a wonderful initiative that encourages innovation and translation, to impact healthcare and ultimately deliver benefits to patients.”

Applications will be assessed using the following selection criteria:

  1. A clearly defined commercial and/or translational goal with significant potential for future funding by government and/or industry.
  2. Potential to address an unmet clinical need and deliver significant societal impact.
  3. Project milestones and deliverables that are achievable within 12 months of the start of funding and within the requested budget.
  4. Demonstrated capacity for excellence in research and innovation.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch their projects in a ‘Shark Tank’-style pitch event to a judging panel comprising representatives from industry. As mentioned, two successful grant recipients will be announced and finalists will have the opportunity to participate in SPARK Melbourne, a training program designed to accelerate the commercial and entrepreneurial capabilities of our researchers.

Applications are open to level A, B and C researchers (you must hold a salaried appointment in the Faculty) working on translational research requiring further funding to progress to the proof-of-concept stage.

For more information or to apply, please visit

Applications close at midnight on 14 August 2020.