What is the Medical Research Future Fund?
The Medical Research Future Fund is a grant to support research projects that boost illness prevention and promote early intervention.
The Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund is a $20 billion investment in the health of Australians, our economy and the sustainability of our health system.
The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is supporting researchers to discover the next penicillin, pacemaker, cervical cancer vaccine, or cochlear ear.
As part of the 2014-15 Budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to provide a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research over the medium to longer term.
The Medical Research Future Fund offers the opportunity to strategically fund research and address national priorities in a cohesive and coordinated way. It complements existing medical research and innovation funding to improve health outcomes by distributing new funding in more diverse ways to support stronger partnerships between researchers, healthcare professionals, governments and the community. Funding will complement the work of the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Commonwealth Science Council and the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, including the Biomedical Translation Fund.
Strategy and Priorities
As required by the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015, the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board developed the inaugural Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021 and the accompanying Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018. These documents were registered with the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 9 November 2016 and announced by the Government on the same day.
The Strategy and Priorities have been considered by Government in deciding the first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund.
The key streams
- Patients – The MRFF will deliver more advanced healthcare and medical technology that will improve the health of Australians.
- Researchers – The MRFF is supporting our best health and medical researchers to make breakthrough discoveries, develop their skills and progress their careers in Australia.
- Research Missions – Missions are programs of work with ambitious objectives that are only possible through major funding, leadership and collaboration.
- Research Translation – The MRFF funds research translation – turning research discoveries into new treatments and cures.
Contributions to the Medical Research Future Fund endowment have been sourced from savings within the Health portfolio that will accumulate until the capital target of $20 billion is reached. Disbursements over the first five years of the Medical Research Future Fund are projected to be $1.4 billion, and when the fund matures it is anticipated that annual disbursements of up to $1 billion per annum.
The first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund focus on translating research into real health benefits, breakthrough investments in new technologies and health challenges, and enhancing Australia’s reputation for research excellence and leadership.
From 2016-17, the first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund will inject over $65 million into a range of programs that cut across the research pipeline – fuelling new discoveries and the translation and commercialisation of great Australian ideas.
How to apply
To apply for MRFF funding, you need to be registered with GrantConnect. By registering, you will be notified about new grants in your area of interest.
You will need to review the eligibility requirements for any MRFF program funding you are interested in applying for as each of the grants will likely have differing requirements to apply.
Medical Research Future Fund – Latest News
29 June 2020 – $19 million for Artificial Intelligence health research projects
The Morrison Government is investing $19 million in transformative medical research projects using game-changing applied artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, to improve the ways we prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions.
The Government is providing more than $8 million for two projects that will use AI to improve mental health treatments for Australians.
12 December 2019 – $14.7M for innovative medical projects
The Morrison Government is backing 17 ground-breaking medical projects to help turn innovative medical ideas into reality, helping generations of future Australians.
The Government is investing more than $14.7 million in these projects through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), comprising $8.9 million through the BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program and more than $5.8 million through the Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program.
28 November 2019 – $20M for research grants into ovarian cancer
The $20 million in funding will be provided through the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative.
The grant opportunity is now open for innovative high quality research which will contribute to a greater understanding of the causes and underlying factors contributing to the development and progression of ovarian cancer.
30 October 2019 – $7M investment to improve mental health care
The Morrison Government will invest $7 million for ground-breaking research into the use of pharmacogenomics to improve mental health treatment outcomes and help reduce suicide. This investment, through the Medical Research Futures Fund, will support research that aims to improve or develop new pharmacogenomic tests that will change how medications are prescribed for patients with mental health challenges.
The round will encourage research that combines new and existing technologies with large scale data, machine learning, clinical information or patient biomarkers, to result in better medication selection for individuals.
22 October 2019 – $3M investment for research on chronic fatigue syndrome
The Morrison Government is calling for proposals for $3 million in research to better understand the causes and improve diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
The opening of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) competitive Targeted Call for Research (TCR) is designed to help stimulate quality collaborative research in this area. This TCR enables Australian researchers to identify approaches that may assist patients presenting with ME/CFS symptoms to be accurately diagnosed and treated.
This TCR is in addition to the Government’s announcement on 20 September 2019 of funding for a health economics study of the impacts and costs associated with ME/CFS, funded through the Medical Research Future Fund’s Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Program.
3 October 2019 – $8 million for ground-breaking clinical trials
The Morrison Government is investing $8 million in world-class clinical trials focusing on conditions affecting the heart, preterm baby lungs, the brain, infection control and dementia. Five Australian-led trials will receive funding from the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund International Clinical Trial Collaborations program.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia will receive $1.8 million to investigate the best approach for treating severe narrowing of the aortic heart valve (aortic stenosis), which is a very common condition.
20 September 2019 – 4 Projects received funding to find answers to important health questions
The Morrison Government is investing more than $6.6 million in four research projects that seek to answer important public health questions around melanoma detection in high-risk patients, the effectiveness of breast MRIs, the cost of chronic fatigue and mobile x-rays at residential aged care facilities.
These projects are funded under the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) $39.8 million Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Initiative.
18 July 2019 – $21 million for dementia research
The Morrison Government will provide $21 million for 13 research projects that will focus on risk reduction, prevention and tracking of dementia, Australia’s second leading cause of death.
This brings the total investment under the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Boosting Dementia Research Grant scheme to $200 million.
26 March 2019 – $65 million to unlock the potential of personalised medicine through genomics
The Liberal Government will provide over $65 million in competitive research grants to Australia’s best and brightest researchers to unlock the power of personalised medicine through genomics and potentially find cures for cancer, children’s illnesses and diseases with low survival rates.
This new type of medical treatment works by looking deep into each patient’s cells, analysing their DNA to work out how to target and destroy the cancer or disease. The result is a tailored treatment based on the individual and it means we can find out what medicine might work for a particular disease and then get it to the patient.
These grants are the first competitive call for applications under our Government’s $500 million Genomics Health Futures Mission, which was announced at last year’s Budget.
26 February 2019 – $220 million for research to tackle heart disease and stroke
The Liberal National Government is launching a comprehensive research effort to tackle the nation’s two biggest killers – heart disease and stroke – with an unprecedented $220 million for a 10-year Mission for Cardiovascular Health.
The funding, awarded under the Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), will support Australian researchers to make game-changing discoveries, develop a global biotech industry and enable the implementation of changes in healthcare.
08 November 2018 – Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2018-2020
Antimicrobial resistance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, and Aged Care are among the second set of Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) priorities for 2018-2020. These priorities will help guide the Morrison Government’s project investments.
The 12 new priorities include:
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Global health and health security
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
- Ageing and Aged Care
- Digital Health Intelligence
- Comparative effectiveness research
- Primary Care research
- Clinical researcher capacity
- Consumer-driven research
- Drug repurposing
- Public Health interventions
- Translational research infrastructure
08 October 2018 – $1 million to support the rehabilitation of stroke survivors
The Morrison Government will invest $1 million to improve recovery and rehabilitation and help stroke survivors back to work. The National Stroke Foundation will receive $1 million over three years through the Medical Research Future Fund for the Return to Life, Return to Work research package.
The project will enable more Australians of working age who have had a stroke to access new innovative and cutting edge treatment options to aid their recovery. The package will include a clinical trial of Perispinal Etanercept in Australian stroke patients.