2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches During Outbreaks

What is the 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches?

The Coronavirus Research Response – 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches is a grant opportunity for Australian researchers to drive innovation and contribute to global efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak.



The Coronavirus Research Response – 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches during Outbreaks grant opportunity was announced as part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and is part of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Health Plan to support our health system to manage the outbreak of novel coronavirus in Australia. This package provides support across primary care, aged care, hospitals and research, and includes funding from the MRFF for a Coronavirus Research Response comprising vaccine, anti-viral and respiratory medicine research.



The objectives of this grant opportunity are to:

  • research the information needs of individuals and the community during outbreaks (including population sub-groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people, and those with disabilities)
  • investigate how individuals (including population sub-groups) access information about outbreaks (e.g. through peers, online, on radio or television)
  • consider the impact of the attitudinal and behavioural patterns on how information is sourced, interpreted and actioned
  • identify key information and messages about the outbreak and also the response that individuals and the community would benefit from understanding
  • propose options for communication strategies and approaches that address these needs and also support response strategies such as social isolation.

The intended outcome of this grant opportunity is to improve the community’s engagement with and responsiveness to Government communication efforts during outbreaks such as COVID-19, by:

  • improving understanding of the information needs of the community during outbreaks
  • improving understanding of attitudinal and behavioural drivers during outbreaks
  • proposing options for communication strategies and approaches that address the community’s needs and support adherence to response strategies such as social distancing and isolation.

Project methodologies must ensure rapid access to the research outcomes, clear and actionable results that are adaptable to the rapidly changing environment during a pandemic, and that findings are relevant to a range of population groups (particularly those most vulnerable).



The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs (grant percentage).

  • There is no minimum grant amount.
  • The maximum grant amount is $600,000.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • be aimed at the objectives in Section 1.3 of the guidelines
  • include one or more of the following eligible activities:
    • development/installation of research equipment
    • employment of personnel and/or
    • other direct research costs

The program may also approve other activities.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and in accordance with s20 and s24 of the MRFF Act 2015, be one of the following entities:

  • a medical research institute
  • a university
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a corporation (including businesses and not for profits)
  • a state or territory government
  • a state or territory government entity

Joint applications are encouraged, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.



Applications open 01 July 2020 and close 14 July 2020.


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