Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative

What is the Frontier Health and Medical Research Program?

The MRFF Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative is a grant opportunity which 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.



The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) 2021 Frontier Health and Medical Research Grant Opportunity opened as the MRFF 2019 Frontier Health and Medical Research (Stage One) Grant Opportunity. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity was deferred.

The MRFF 2021 Frontier Health and Medical Research Grant Opportunity now incorporates the entire Frontier process. It now includes both Stage One and Stage Two into a single grant opportunity.

If you submitted an application under the original MRFF 2019 Frontier Health and Medical Research (Stage One) Round, your application will be re-set back to draft in the portal. You must update your application dates and budget to the new requirements.


Frontier Health and Medical Research Grant Opportunity Phases

The MRFF 2021 Frontier Health and Medical Research Grant Opportunity comprises three phases:

  • Application
  • Research planning
  • Research implementation



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.



A total of $110 million is available for this Grant Opportunity.

  • Between $250,000 and $1 million to develop a research plan.
  • Up to $50 million over 5 years to implement your research plan.


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.



Applications close 11 December 2020.


How to get the Frontier Health and Medical Research 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 the Frontier Health and Medical Research 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 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


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


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