Ground-breaking research forum set to expand with Minderoo Foundation commitment

December 17, 2020
Research Chair of Minderoo Foundation, Fiona David (left) and Australian Academy of Science Chief Executive, Anna-Maria Arabia. Photo: AAS.

The highly successful Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF), tasked with providing the latest scientific evidence to the Australian Government’s decision makers, will continue and expand with support from Minderoo Foundation.

Australia’s success in containing the COVID-19 outbreak, largely based on an evidence-based response, including the work of the RRIF, is the envy of the world.

In April, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold globally, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel together with the country’s science, research and innovation sectors, began fielding questions from the Federal Government about the coronavirus, in what was a rapidly changing situation.

Chaired by Dr Finkel, the RRIF’s operations are led by the Australian Academy of Science. The RRIF is an innovative model that provides the best and latest evidence to Government to help drive the country’s response to the pandemic.

The RRIF and its impact on the nation has been publicly recognised by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. Minderoo Foundation’s commitment of $400,000 to the Australian Academy of Science will strengthen the RRIF and help lay the foundations for the model into the future.

Australian Academy of Science Chief Executive, Ms Anna-Maria Arabia, warmly welcomed the commitment from Minderoo Foundation.

“This collaboration demonstrates a shared understanding of the need for evidence-informed decision making,” Ms Arabia said.

“The strengths of the RRIF are its multi-disciplinary focus, independence, and ability to rapidly draw on Australia’s best and most relevant experts on any given policy matter.

“The RRIF has demonstrated the critical value of independent evidence to inform social and economic policy and this has been recognised by the Minderoo Foundation.

“This grant sees the RRIF model strengthened for the immediate term. The RRIF will continue its remit to rapidly provide the scientific expertise needed to answer questions received from Australian Government Ministers during the recovery phase of the pandemic.

“We are also working to encourage the adoption of the RRIF as a policy model in the long term to ensure that decision makers are drawing on the best evidence-base possible whatever the policy question.”

Research Chair of Minderoo Foundation Fiona David said the RRIF is fast becoming one of Australia’s greatest research assets, delivering clear evidence on key policy issues at the speed needed to help the country through crises.

“Now more than ever, Minderoo Foundation understands the importance of quality research which can be used to transform and improve the lives of all Australians,” Ms David said.

“Back in May, the RRIF released a report which outlined COVID-19’s devastating impact on Australia’s research sector. In response, Minderoo Foundation launched a fellowship program at the Forrest Research Foundation, to support some of the best and brightest early career researchers in Australia. Our new Prospect Fellowship Program aims to provide stable funding to Australian researchers during this challenging time.

“Minderoo is thrilled to be working with the Australian Academy of Science to be part of the Rapid Research Information Forum. We eagerly anticipate the publication of the next report.”

the logos of the Australian Academy of Science and Minderoo Foundation

Forum member organisations:

the logos of the various RRIF members

© 2021 Australian Academy of Science

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