SPA CEO on agreeing funding principles for research

30 November 2014

It was not a gathering of the usual suspects who came together last week to discuss research funding principles. It was a rare coming together of organisations across government, business and NFPs with an interest and involvement in research funding. Our aim is to develop a set of principles for funding research that will facilitate:

– More targeted & efficient funding for research and research infrastructure

– Collaboration between government, philanthropic and NFP funders

– Transparency and accountability in reporting

– Commitment to longer term funding

– Contribution to our 10 year goal of halving suicides in Australia.

The catalyst for this not so usual gathering is the development of a National Research Action Plan for Suicide Prevention (NRAP) and while SPA has convened the group I anticipate that the final principles will have application across all funding agencies. It was the fourth in a series of workshops to inform the development of the NRAP. To date researchers, service providers and those with lived experience have contributed independently towards the document and early in the new year they will return together to come to a consensus on what needs to drive suicide prevention research in Australia.

Like many other areas there is much knowledge that resides in the annals of academia about suicide prevention and this needs to be put into action and measured so we can move on to explore new questions that arise from the evidence of what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t work. There will be plenty of opportunity for comment on the draft document ahead of its release on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2015.

If you would like to receive a draft of the plan to comment during its development, contact me and I will make sure you receive the final consultation draft around May next year. Email me at with the subject heading NRAP comment.

More on National Coalition for Suicide Prevention Projects on our website.

Best wishes
Sue Murray