MRFF Rare Cancer, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN)



Notice of Intent (NOI) registration OPEN

10am, 13 Jan 2020 (Monday)

Draft Grant Proposal due to RIC for strategic review. Early submission encouraged.

5pm, 22 Jan 2020 (Wednesday)

Draft application due to RIC for compliance and eligibility check (including any supporting relevant documents)

5pm, 22 Jan 2020 (Wednesday)

Minimum Data due on RGMS

10am, 3 Feb 2020 (Monday)

Authority to Submit due to RIC

5pm, 3 Feb 2020 (Monday)

Final application submitted to RIC

5pm, 5 Feb 2020 (Wednesday)

Final application submitted to NHMRC


The Clinical Trials Activity (Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN)) Initiative (the Initiative) aims to enable or support:
- New opportunities for clinical trial participation and associated benefits from accessing the latest research by members of the Australian community living with a medical condition for which there are limited effective treatment options.
− Attention given to under-researched health priorities and conditions, such as rare cancers and rare diseases.
− Deployment of innovative trial designs and recruitment strategies to provide high-quality evidence of the efficacy of new health treatments, drugs and devices.
− Purposeful health service engagement to improve the translation of research into practice and improve outcomes for patients.
− Implementation of new health treatments, drugs and devices to improve health and wellbeing.
− Reinforcement of Australia’s position as a preferred destination for clinical trials.

Grant OpportunityScope of Grant Opportunity

Reproductive Cancer

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, reproductive cancers in women are cancers located in the cervix, uterus, vulva, fallopian tubes, endometrium or ovaries, and in men cancers of testicles and penis are within scope.

Childhood Brain Cancer

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, a child is a person aged 0-14 years.

This grant will provide $5 million from the MRFF for childhood brain cancer clinical trials with a view to doubling the 10-year survival rate of childhood brain cancer and improving the quality of life of children living with brain cancer, and in the long-term to finding a cure to defeat childhood brain cancer.

Neurological Disorders

Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a clinical trial that addresses a gap in current research and/or knowledge in neurological disorders, including (but not limited to) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), spinal cord injuries (SCI) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Neurological disorders are diseases/conditions affecting the central and peripheral nervous system  with causes ranging from genetic disorders and congenital abnormalities through to infection and lifestyle factors.

Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Grant Opportunity

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, rare cancers and diseases are life threatening or chronically debilitating health conditions that affect fewer than 1 in 2,000 people in the population.

Unmet medical need concerns Australians living with a serious (debilitating or life-threatening) health condition where there are no satisfactory options for prevention, diagnosis, early detection or treatment of the condition that would support improved health outcomes and/or  there has been little or no progress in the development of tools or therapies to address the condition


The Australian Government has announced a total of $614 million for the Clinical Trials Activity - Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Initiative. There is no maximum grant amount but grants cannot exceed the amount of available funds.

Reproductive Cancers - up to $15 million of funding is available

Childhood Brain Cancers - up to $5 million of funding is available

Neurological Disorders - up to $20 million of funding is available

Rare Cancers, rare Diseases and Unmet Need - up to $15 million of funding is available.


- A person must not be named as a Chief Investigator (CI) on more than one application submitted to this grant opportunity. Up to 10 CIs may be included as members of the research team.

- You are not eligible if your research proposal was submitted to the MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaboration (ICTC) Program and it is currently being assessed, or is included in the ICTC Merit List. Chief Investigators on an application submitted to the ICTC Program that is currently being assessed or is included in the ICTC Merit List are eligible to submit a different research proposal to this grant opportunity.

- The proposed research should not duplicate research previously or currently being undertaken. The NHMRC may compare the research proposed in grant applications with grants previously or currently funded by the MRFF, NHMRC or other agencies (e.g. Australian Research Council) and published research (see also section 7.2 – Other ineligible expenditure)

How to apply

  1. Notice of Intent: Please register your Notice of Intent if you are considering applying for the MRFF RCRDUN.  RIC-MRFF team will then contact each applicant with further information.
  2. Update RGMS Profile: Each CI must obtain access to RGMS and update profile information (see RGMS information)
  3. Review documentation: Review the RCRDUN grant guidelines and Assessment Criteria Scoring Matrix below.
  4. Complete the application:  Log in to RGMS and complete the application.
  5. Submit “Review Ready” application to RIC: Submit application to RIC within the RIC internal submission period for review.
  6. Complete application: After taking feedback from the RIC team into consideration, complete the application in RGMS. It is suggested advice is sought from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.
  7. Submit the UoM Authority to Submit Form:
  8. This form must be submitted to RIC electronically by the final internal closing date. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of all CIs and AIs
    • Signature of the Head of Department for CIA

    Electronic signatures and email consent are permitted.

    This is an NHMRC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to NHMRC until received.

  9. Final Submission:
    • On the final internal closing date, the applicant must:
    • Submit finalised application by clicking ‘Submit to RAO’ in RGMS
    • Email RIC as well as a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form.
    • Should you require further information please contact Alvin Wong on 83449352 or via email
  10. RIC will submit the application: Once the application has been submitted to NHMRC, you will receive an email from RIC confirming submission.

Supporting documents

NHMRC Documents

Reproductive Cancers

- Grant Guidelines

- Assessment Criteria Scoring Matrix

Childhood Brain Cancers

- Grant Guidelines

- Assessment Criteria Scoring Matrix

Neurological Disorders

- Grant Guidelines

- Assessment Criteria Scoring Matrix

Rare Cancers, rare Diseases and Unmet Need

- Grant Guidelines

- Assessment Criteria Scoring Matrix

Generic Documents

- Rating Scale for Overall Value and Risk

- Grant Proposal template

- Minimum Data requirement

RIC Documents

- Summary and Tips

- Authority to Submit Form

- Wording for written consent


MRFF RCRDUN questions and primary email

Key Contacts

Alvin Wong and Catherine Nobes
T: +61 3 8344 9352 (Alvin) T: +61 3 8344 1471 (Catherine)