What is the Frontier Health and Medical Research Program?

The Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative is a 2-stage program that will provide a total of $570 million over 9 years. It will support researchers to explore bold ideas that could have a global impact.

 

Background

The Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative enables researcher collaborations to explore bold and innovative ideas and/or make discoveries of great potential and global impact, through research relevant to any area of health and medical service delivery.

Grants will enable or facilitate ground-breaking research with the potential to transform health, across any area of activities within the health system.

Australia has the potential to lead health service delivery and create new markets for health related products by applying cutting-edge science and technologies to innovation that has the potential to improve human health.

The Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative will encourage Australia’s best and brightest researchers to create talented and ambitious multi-disciplinary teams. These teams will work together to achieve practical translation through research of big bold ideas that will significantly improve health care.

 

Objectives

The objectives of the Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative are to:

  • identify and support ground-breaking and innovative research projects that have the potential to extend existing knowledge and transform health care in Australia and globally
  • stimulate the creation of novel research programs and industries
  • deliver new health care methods that will impact on an area, or areas, of the health care continuum (prevention to clinical management)
  • accelerate new technological advances in health care
  • promote multi-disciplinary partnerships and approaches that enable transformative research and innovation.

 

Funding

The MRFF Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage Two – provides multi-disciplinary teams with up to $100 million to implement their novel and transformative research projects.

Stage Two projects will enable selected research plans developed under Stage One to receive investment to develop their ideas. These ideas will revolutionise healthcare with new technological advances or approaches. Stage Two grants will vary depending on applicant requirements, but they would typically be in the range of $10 to $20 million per annum for 5 years.

 

Eligible Projects

To be eligible for the Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative your project must:

  • be aimed at the objectives
  • have at least $250,000 in eligible expenditure
  • include one or more of the following eligible activities:
    • development/installation of research equipment
    • employment of personnel and/or
    • other direct research costs.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and in accordance with s20 and s24 of the MRFF Act 20152, 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.

 

Timing

Applications open 1 July 2020 and close 14 July 2020.

 

How to get the stage 2 funding?

In order to get the Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative the process Bulletpoint would take is to take a top down approach and align the project to the government objectives and is the most competitive against the 9 other bids.

 

Who are the competitors?

  1. harnessing next-generation brain imaging technology to diagnose and treat epilepsy ($1 million)
  2. developing a new interface between the brain and a machine, to help people regain eyesight, movement or other nerve functions ($0.9 million)
  3. developing a national database of antibiotic resistance, to allow resistant strains to be traced, isolated and treated ($1 million)
  4. investigating large-scale use of an Australian method for controlling the spread of Zika virus, dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases ($1 million)
  5. developing new technologies to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health ($0.9 million)
  6. using 4D diagnostic technology to accurately assess lung function in people of all ages, including the very young and old ($1 million)
  7. using the latest genome editing technology to rapidly detect and identify infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance ($1 million)
  8. using therapeutic ultrasound to treat brain disorders, including dementia ($1 million)
  9. testing a new technology that stimulates the spinal cord to treat cerebral palsy ($0.7 million)
  10. developing new technologies to care for people who have had a stroke before they reach hospital ($1 million)

 

How to win stage 2 funding?

The application is won and lost in the one page summary, ie which project will the Health Minister talk about and promote as advancing Australia and medical research.
It needs to have a big problem to solve and resonate with Australians.
One thing we have noticed in our time writing grants is that the government is very low risk. They want to back the sure thing.

 

How the Government score your stage 2 application?

Our approach is to carefully review each of the assessment criteria (should be very similar to stage 1) and align the application:
  • Assessment criterion 1: Project Impact (34% weighting).
  • Assessment criterion 2: Project methodology (33% weighting).
  • Assessment criterion 3: Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (33% weighting).
  • Assessment criterion 4: Overall Value and Risk of the Project (non-weighted).

 

Everyone is good at research….

Bulletpoint believe that almost all applications will be strong in the research areas including:
  • cutting edge ideas and research technology
  • capacity and capability for translational research
  • team’s track record undertaking translationally focussed research
  • a sound project plan including your governance structure
  • etc

 

Where should you be spending your time?

Where we think the biggest chance of success/differentiation is to be made is in the commercialisation area including:
  • Who are the commercialisation partners? – that the project will be entering the commercialisation stage and will not be dependent on further Commonwealth funding by the end of Stage Two
  • What is the annual cost of the problem? – a defined health and medical research problem
  • How does it get to market? – credible pathway to impact after five years of funding
ie – De-risking the project as much as possible.

 

We dont care about the research!

Research isn’t any good if there is no funding for it. It is just an hypothesis.
We go after the money.
Do you want a researcher writing your grant application or do you want a professional grant consultant writing your grant application?
Can you afford to compete against us?
Want to chat about how we can help? –  email [email protected]

 

More Information

 

Round 1 Recipients

The program awarded the following stage 1 grants under the Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative, as at 30 September 2019.

Funded InstitutionProject NameChief InvestigatorTotal Funding
Australian Lung Health Initiative Pty Ltd4D Functional diagnosis: a new frontier in lung health for childrenProf Andreas Fouras$960,000
Burnet InstituteEVE-M (Enhancing the Vaginal Environment and Microbiome) InitiativeProf Gilda Tachedjian$895,346
Florey Institute of Neuro-science and Mental HealthPrecision Medicine in EpilepsyProf Graeme Jackson$999,956
Monash UniversityAn Innovative Public Health Program Against Mosquito-Borne DiseasesProf Scott O’Neill$964,700
Monash UniversityCortical Frontiers: Commercialising Brain Machine InterfacesProf Arthur Lowery$924,100
Saluda Medical Pty LimitedCerebral palsy treatment by closed loop electrical stimulationProf John Parker$747,596
The University of QueenslandTherapeutic Ultrasound for the Treatment of Brain DisordersProf Juergen Goetz$1,000,000
University of MelbourneUsing disruptive technologies to transform prehospital care for strokeProf Geoffrey Donnan$1,000,000
University of Technology SydneyDisruptive technologies to trace, track & tackle antibiotic resistanceProf Steven Djordjevic$998,731
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Researchc-FIND: CRISPR Frontier Infection Diagnostics to Detect InfectionProf Marc Pellegrini$1,000,000
Total $9,490,429