Medical Research Future Fund

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a $20 billion vehicle for investment in health and medical research. It represents the single largest boost to research funding in Australia’s history. It will support research and innovation activities with the objective of improving the health and wellbeing of Australians.

The current consultation on MRFF Priorities

We are seeking your input to the University of Melbourne's response to the public consultation to develop the MRFF Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2020-2022.

1. Do the current Priorities remain relevant in the contemporary environment for continuation for a further 12 months? 

2. Should any of the Priorities be emphasised or de-emphasised for the next 12 month period? 

3. Are there unaddressed gaps in knowledge, capacity and effort across the healthcare continuum and research pipeline that would warrant changes to the Priorities?

4. Is there an opportunity to consolidate the Priorities for the remaining twelve months of the Strategy?

Please follow this link to our survey to provide your responses. The survey will close on Friday 25th September in order to allow us time to consolidate all responses into a University-wide response, which must be submitted by Wednesday 7th October. We also encourage individuals, groups or organisations to provide individual submissions through the consultation portal if they wish.

Click here to view the 2018-2021 Priorities.

Click here to view the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021

  • What is the MRFF?

    Established under the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015, the MRFF is a $20 billion investment by the Government to support, transform, and drive cutting-edge medical research and innovation in Australia.

    Strategic and priority areas for the fund are guided by an Advisory Board, who developed the 5-year Strategy (2016–2021) which outline the framework for the MRFF as six strategic platforms:

    1. Strategic and international horizons
    2. Data and infrastructure
    3. Health services and systems
    4. Capacity and collaborations
    5. Trials and translation
    6. Commercialisation

    The Strategy determines the biennial Priorities (2016 - 2018).

    Some funding disbursements are expected to be made through competitive grants processes and targeted calls administered by the Department of Health, NHMRC, or other independent bodies.

    MRFF Factsheet

  • 2019 Federal Budget Update

    In the 2019 Federal Budget, the Government renewed its commitment to get the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) fully capitalised over the next two years and announced its $5.0 billion Ten-Year Investment Plan.

    The ten-year funding total for each of the four initiatives is now as follows:

    Patients - The Government will commit a further $931.0 million for a total of $1.3 billion, bringing the totals to:

    • Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research - $633M
    • Clinical Trials for Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Needs -$614M
    • Global Health – tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Drug Resistant Tuberculosis - $28M

    Researchers - The Government will commit a further $444.6 million for a total of $792.8 million bringing the total to:

    • Frontier Health and Medical Research - $570M
    • Industry Researcher Exchange and Training - $32M
    • Clinical Researchers - $191M

    Missions - The Government will commit a further $1.2 billion for a total of $1.4 billion, bringing the totals to:

    • Australian Brain Cancer Mission - $49M
    • Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission - $125M
    • Genomics Health Futures Mission - $500M
    • Ageing, Aged Care and Dementia Mission - $168M
    • Indigenous Health Futures -$148M
    • Stem Cell Mission - $150M
    • Cardiovascular Mission - $200M
    • Traumatic Brain Injury Mission - $45M

    Translation - The Government will commit a further $1.2 billion for a total of $1.5 billion, bringing the totals to:

    • Preventative and Public Health Research - $261M
    • Primary Health Care Research - $45M
    • Rapid Applied Research Translation Centre - $218M
    • Medical Research Commercialisation - $311M
    • National Critical Infrastructure - $605M
    • Data Infrastructure, registries, biobanks, linkage platforms -$80M

    For more information, please refer to the Department of Health webpage.

    Any funding opportunities derived from these investments will be advertised on this page and Research Professional as soon as information becomes available.

    Other useful information is available in Research Australia's Budget Analysis Summary.

  • Current Funding Opportunities

    Past successful MRFF grant

    Grants application library

    Accepting and Managing your MRFF Grant

    NHMRC awarded grant

    Non-NHMRC awarded grant

    2020 Quality, Safety and Effectiveness of Medicine Use and Medicine Intervention by Pharmacists

    Opens 10 Nov 2020, closes 23 Feb 2021

    Up to $13 million is available to  support medical research and medical innovation projects that create or adapt technologies, mechanisms or approaches for improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of medicine use and medicine intervention by pharmacists in primary health and transitions of care.

    View Quality, Safety and Effectiveness of Medicine Use and Medicine Intervention by Pharmacists scheme

    2020 Primary Health Care Research Data Infrastructure

    Opens 10 Nov 2020, closes 23 feb 2021

    Up to $10 million is available to support Australian medical research and medical innovation projects that create and/or apply novel approaches in using research data infrastructure in primary health care settings to improve access, quality, safety and efficiency

    View PHCR Data Infrastructure scheme

    2020 Maternal Health and First 2000 Days, Early Childhood, and Exercise and Nutrition

    Opens now, closes 3 February 2021

    Up to $12 million is available to support Australian medical research and medical innovation projects that:

    • foster new discoveries that lead to practice changes in community and clinical settings
    • increase collaboration across academic disciplines, policy makers and health services to better understand the social, cognitive and emotional aspects of people’s health choices
    • develop guidance, tools and interventions to support Australians to adopt positive behaviour change and to live active and healthy lives, and
    • improve health outcomes for Australians living with chronic and complex disease through innovative public health approaches, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for, disadvantaged regional and rural and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

    View Maternal Health and First 2000 Days, Early Childhood, and Exercise and Nutrition scheme

    2020 Efficient Use of Existing Medicines

    Opens now, closes 3 February 2021

    Up to $7.5 million is available to support Australian medical research projects that conduct clinical trials to address one of the following topics:

    • safer and more efficient ways to use high-cost medicines for one or more specific indicationswithout compromising effectiveness
      • priority areas include biological agents and other high-cost medicines
    • other therapeutic indications for existing medicines that are not currently approved by the TGA
      • priority areas include off-patent and other low-cost medicines.

    View Efficient Use of Existing Medicines

    2020 Childhood Cancer

    Opens now, closes 3 February 2021

    Up to $9 million is available to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians by building the evidence base to accelerate development of new options for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children and adolescents.

    View Childhood Cancer scheme

    2020 RCRDUN - General

    Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Up to $25 million is available over three years from 2020-2021. Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a clinical trial that addresses a gap in current research and/or knowledge in rare cancers, rare diseases and areas of unmet medical need.

    View RCRDUN - General scheme

    2020 Mental Health

    Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Up to $24 million of funding is available from 2020-21 to 2023-24. The objective of this Grant Opportunity is to support research into the following mental health priority areas:

    • new mechanisms for early identification and prevention amongst children and adolescents;
    • treatments for those with treatment resistant or treatment refractory mental health conditions;
    • initiatives to address the physical health of individuals with mental illness;
    • and mechanisms to support access to treatment.

    View Mental Health scheme

    2020 Medicinal Cannabis Clinical Trial

    Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Up to $3 million of funding is available in 2020-21. The objective of this grant opportunity is to support clinical trials that examine the effects of medicinal cannabis for the management of pain, symptoms and side-effects of cancer and cancer treatment in cancer patients.

    View Medicinal Cannabis scheme

    2020 Silicosis Research

    Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Up to $4.5 million of funding is available over 2 years from 2020-21 to 2021-22. This includes up to $3.5 million from the MRFF EPCDR Initiative and up to $1 million from the NHMRC. The objective of this grant opportunity is to investigate evidence-based prevention and treatment options for individuals at risk of, or suffering from, accelerated silicosis caused by engineered stone.

    View Silicosis Research scheme

    2020 Primary Health care Research

    Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Up to $4.8 million of funding is available in 2020-21. The objective of this grant opportunity is to support primary health care implementation research that builds the primary health care evidence base and accelerates development and/or adoption of best practice clinical care and models.

    View PHCR scheme

    2020 International Clinical Trial Collaboration

    Round 1: Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Round 2: Opens now, closes 3 March 2021

    Up to $6.3 million of funding is available per round in 2020-21.

    The objectives of this grant opportunity are:

    • to utilise clinical trials to promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials research through the establishment and co-ordination of clinical trial site/s in Australia.
    • to provide high-quality evidence of the effectiveness of novel health treatments, drugs or devices in ‘usual care’ settings, which will support a decision on whether to deliver the intervention in an Australian setting.

    View ICTC scheme

    2020 Brain Cancer Survivorship

    Opens now, closes 20 October 2020

    Up to $3 million is available to support the development of new approaches and the use of technologies to improve communications between brain cancer survivors, their families, carers and health care professionals; and understand how information technologies and platforms can be used to support people with brain cancer, their families and carers, and their impact on the physical, psychosocial and economic sequelae of a brain cancer diagnosis.

    View Brain Cancer Survivorship scheme

    Coronavirus Response - 2020 Vaccine Candidate Research - Round 2

    Opens now, closes 11 November 2020

    Up to $13.65 million is available to to accelerate the development of promising COVID-19 prophylactic (disease-preventing) vaccine candidates for which research and development is already underway.

    View Vaccine Candidate Research scheme

    Frontier Health and Medical Research program

    Opens now, closes 11 Dec 2020

    Frontier Health and Medical Research Program is a large-scale MRFF program offering researchers up to $100M over 5 years to tackle a significant unmet need with a clear, defined solution. This could be a specific and innovative new technology, device, service or therapeutic. This opportunity comprises of three phases:

    • Application phase - applicants submit application outlining proposed project.
    • Research Planning phase - grantee develop and submit a research plan
    • Researcg Implementation phase - successful researcg plan will be awarded a second grant to implement research plan

    We recently held a workshop to explain the process and the general feedback we got from the previous Stage 1 round. If you are a UoM academic, please find the slides and a recording of the session on our Staff Hub here.

    View Frontier Scheme

  • Programs funded to date

    The University of Melbourne regularly monitor programs announced by the MRFF to provide support for applicants as call for applications emerge. Details of available support and internal submission procedures will be posted on this site as well as on Research Professional.

    First disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund

    Past Opportunities

    2019 Congenital Heart Disease

    Up to $10M over five years to provide new diagnoses and treatment options for those suffering from congenital heart disease. The objectives of the program are to conduct research and development activities into one or more of the following: understanding the genetic basis of CHD, clinical and social observations, disease modelling and pre-clinical testing and clinical trials.

    2019 Genomics Health Futures Mission - Flagship - Pathogen Genomics

    The objective of the Genomics Health Futures Mission (GHFM) is to engage with communities to help save or transform the lives of more than 200,000 Australians through research into better testing, diagnosis and treatment, reduce health costs and to improve patient outcomes. Flagships will build on a significant pre-existing body of evidence for an intervention and are intended to test the value, scalability and/or system preparedness of implementing genomic interventions in the clinic and adoption in mainstream health care.

    2019 BioMedTech Horizons 2.0 EOI

    BMTH2.0 can provide up to $1 million of funding over a maximum two-year period to help eligible organisations progress medical technologies and devices through to Proof of Concept or beyond, the point where they are attractive to secure further venture capital or other funding. Note: Applications must come from an Australia based SME or startup company. A University or Research Organisation cannot be the lead applicant. However, we can be a partner on an application.

    2019 Genomics Health Futures Mission - Projects Grant Opportunity

    The Genomics Health Futures Mission (GHFM) aims to deliver better diagnostics and targeted treatments, avoid unnecessary health costs, and improve patient experience and outcomes. This will be achieved through partnership with state and territory governments, public and private entities in healthcare, and linkages with the National Health Genomics Policy Framework. A total of $156 million for the Projects Grant stream and $17.6 million  for the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Grant stream over nine years have been announced under the GHFM .

    2019 Million Minds Mission

    The Million Minds Mission grant opportunity aims to support multidisciplinary teams of researchers to undertake collaborative, patient-focussed research that is transformative, scalable and demonstrates the greatest impact on health outcomes and translation into policy and/or practice.

    2019 Frontier Health and Medical Research Program

    This program will provide over $240 million to researchers and their collaborators over five years to support innovative ’out-of-the-box’ ideas and discoveries. It aims to unlock groundbreaking research which provides new treatments and technologies to improve health and open new markets for industry growth.

    2019 Keeping Australians Out of Hospital

    This grant opportunity under the MRFF Keeping Australians Out of Hospital program will support research into evidence-based, implementable and scalable preventive health solutions that can result in outcomes to prevent the development of, or promote better management of complex and chronic health conditions, improve quality of life for people with these conditions and keep them out of hospital.

    2018 Prostate Cancer Research Alliance (PCRA) - Request for proposals

    The Prostate Cancer Research Alliance (PCRA) is a three-year program jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Movember Foundation. The initiative aims to fund research projects that will accelerate the translation of prostate cancer research in the identified priority areas.

    2019 Stem Cells Australia - Call for Disease Teams

    Stem Cells Australia (SCA) invites Australian researchers to submit proposals for targeted disease teams to translate stem cell research towards a specific clinical need.

    2019 Stroke Foundation - Return to life, Return to work clinical research grant

    Supported by the Australian Government's Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), the Stroke Foundation is facilitating a targeted clinical research investment in recovery for working age survivors of chronic stroke through two dedicated research grants funded from 2019-2021.

    2018 MRFF - Biomedical Translation Bridge

    The BTB grant opportunity will provide up to $22.3 million over four years to support eligible organisations to fund and nurture eligible early stage health and medical research ventures to reach proof of concept stage.

    Proposed projects are expected to put in place systems to enable service functions including:

    selecting, providing funding to, and managing a portfolio of ventures

    providing mentoring and networking capabilities to aid in the development of these ventures, including helping to establish development milestones that are commercially relevant

    soliciting and securing relevant and appropriate philanthropic donations and third-party sponsorship or co-investment and then provide this to the selected ventures to aid in their development

    selecting successful ventures, through an open and competitive selection process, with possible subsequent intake rounds or a continuous intake process

    establishing a suitably qualified selection panel, in consultation with the department and the Department of Health, that will be used to select ventures to be funded

    executing and managing contractual arrangements with the selected ventures (between $200,000 and $1 million with a maximum duration of three years) including terminating funding and support for ventures that fail to progress

    2018 Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need

    The Australian Government has announced a total of up to $33 million from the MRFF for the RCRDUN grant opportunity. It is anticipated that up to twenty grants of up to five years duration will be considered with funding anticipated to commence in January 2019. This competitive grant opportunity will provide support for publicly funded clinical trials that address areas of health burden and unmet need, such as rare cancers and rare diseases. Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a clinical trial that addresses an ‘unmet medical need’ by improving the health outcomes for members of the Australian community living with serious health conditions whose diagnosis or treatment is not adequately addressed by existing options. The grant opportunity incorporates a call for applications to the Australian Brain Cancer Mission.

    This scheme closed 15 August 2018. Outcomes are expected November-December 2018.

    2018 Low Survival Cancers and Diseases

    This competitive LSCD grant opportunity will provide support for publicly funded clinical trials that address low survival cancers and diseases.  Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a single clinical trial that aims to improve survival rates for Australians with a low survival cancer or other disease.

    The Australian Government has announced a total of up to $10 million from the MRFF for this grant opportunity. Grants of up to five years duration will be considered with funding anticipated to commence in July/August 2018. It it anticipated that up to seven grants will be funded.

    This scheme closed on 18th April 2018. Outcomes available.

    BioMedTech Horizons Expressions of Interest – MTPConnect

    Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are open for the Australian Government's $5 million BioMedTech Horizons program, an initiative to support innovative collaborative health technologies that address key health challenges. MTPConnect is delivering this grant program on behalf of the Australian Government as part of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

    MTPConnect welcomes ideas that are set to customise and revolutionise healthcare, stimulate inter-disciplinary collaboration between research, industry and technology sectors, and foster strong entrepreneurship potential.

    Investments from the program will be focused on supporting cutting-edge ideas in precision medicine and 3D anatomical printing towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation. Innovative technologies in these areas can play a key role in significantly transforming the national healthcare system and promote Australia's international ranking as a leader in biotechnology and medical technology.

    Approximately $3 million is reserved for supporting ideas in precision medicine and $2 million for ideas in the 3D anatomical printing area. Up to $1 million is offered in funding for individual projects over the next two years, to drive innovation and foster commercialisation. Cash and/or in-kind contributions from the applicant will be viewed favourably.

    Stage 2 of this scheme closed on 15th January 2018.

  • More information and contacts

    For all MRFF enquiries, please contact: enquiries-mrff@unimelb.edu.au.

    Mailing List: Join our mailing list to be alerted to new MRFF scheme announcements immediately. Email: enquiries-mrff@unimelb.edu.au asking to be added to our list.

    Further external information about MRFF can be found here:

    Research Australia MRFF
    Department of Health MRFF

  • Applicant support and templates

    Internal support and templates for UoM applicants (University of Melbourne login details required)