2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant

What is the 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant?

The 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant is a program to support research to understand how the mental health system can be enhanced to be most effective and responsive during and following the acute COVID-19 crisis. This may include consolidating data systems, helping to design and deliver new treatments, new services, and new policies both during and beyond the crisis.



In March 2020 the Australian Government has committed $2.4 billion to a Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Health Plan to support our health system to manage the outbreak of novel coronavirus in Australia. The package provides support across primary care, aged care, hospitals and research, and includes $30 million over two years from the MRFF for a Coronavirus Research Response comprising vaccine, antiviral and respiratory medicine research. These research priorities are in line with the priorities agreed at the February 2020 Coronavirus Research Roundtable.

The Australian Government has continued to monitor the evolving local outbreak and invest in additional research to improve health and health system outcomes, beyond its initial commitment. The funding for this grant opportunity extends the Coronavirus Research Response to provide supplementary support to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Coronavirus Research Response will enable Australian researchers to drive innovation and contribute to global efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak. This measure will use the considerable expertise of Australia’s world-class health and medical researchers, which is critical for ensuring preparedness and the safety of all Australians and the global community.



For this grant opportunity, up to $3 Million is available in 2020-21 through the MRFF. The maximum amount available for a single grant is $1 million.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible for the 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant, activities in your Grant Proposal must clearly demonstrate their criticality in meeting objectives of the 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant Opportunity under Section 1.3. You can only spend grant funds to pursue the research activities described in your Grant Proposal. You can use the grant to pay costs that arise directly from these activities. The following categories must be used in your proposed budget:

  • Equipment
  • Personnel (personnel support packages)
  • Other Direct Research Costs (DRCs).


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant, you must:

  • be an NHMRC approved Administering Institution
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and in accordance with s24 of the Medical Research Future Fund Act 20151, be one of the following entities:

  • a medical research institute
  • a university
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a corporation (including businesses and not for profits).

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



Applications close 13 July 2020.


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