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.
- 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:
- Strategic and international horizons
- Data and infrastructure
- Health services and systems
- Capacity and collaborations
- Trials and translation
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.
- 2018 Federal Budget Update
In the 2018 Federal Budget, the Government announced $1.3 billion towards the National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan, including investments from the MRFF:
- $240 million committed to a Frontier Health and Medical Research program
- $248 million for rare cancers and rare diseases clinical trials
- $32 million for industry research collaborations
- $125 million to establish a Targeted Translation Research Accelerator for chronic disease
- $62.3 million for biomedical and medical technology programs.
- $125 million for a Million Minds Mental Health Mission
- $150 million for translation of research into better patient outcomes
For summaries of each investment, please refer to the Department of Health webpage.
These investments are expected to lead to funding opportunities in the near future however the mechanism for which is currently unknown.
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 OpportunitiesThere are no current funding opportunities.
- Closed Funding Opportunities
NHMRC Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Program: Low Survival Cancers and Diseases (LSCD) Grant Opportunity
This competitive 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 are expected in August 2018.
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.
- Programs funded to date
The MRFF provides medical research funding via partner agencies that run peer review funding programs. It is not possible to apply directly to the MRFF for funding. For example, the MRFF has already partnered with the NHMRC, CanTeen and The Cure for MND Foundation. 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 Research Professional
- Strategy and Priorities
- More information and contacts
For general enquiries and requests for coordinating information sessions, please contact:
Manager (Health & Medical Grants), Major Initiatives, Contracts and Grants
T: +61 3 8344 8208 M: +61 424 004 794
Or email the MRFF enquiries mailbox