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.


More Information



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.