MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaborations Program

Up to $42M is available from the MRFF ICTC Program to support research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts.


MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaborations Program

The International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Program will provide support for Australian research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts. Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a single clinical trial that will achieve the following outcomes:

  • promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials research through the establishment and co-ordination of clinical trial site/s in Australia; and
  • provide high-quality evidence of the effectiveness of novel health treatments, drugs or devices in ‘usual care’ settings, which will support a decision on whether to deliver the intervention in an Australian setting.



The International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Grant Program complements other Australian Government programs by providing a specific funding mechanism to increase Australian leadership of, and participation in, high quality international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials. Clinical trials supported under the program will improve the health outcomes of Australians by supporting decisions on whether to deliver interventions in an Australian healthcare setting.

International collaborative clinical trials provide potential advantages including increased feasibility of clinical trials requiring large scale recruitment or where the incidence in the general population is low. International collaborative clinical trials may also provide valuable evidence for the effectiveness of an intervention in varying health systems and societal contexts. Despite the potential advantages, the available evidence suggests that worldwide only 3% of non-industry trials were international compared to 30% of industry clinical trials.



The expected outcomes of the MRFF ICTC Program are:

  • increased Australian leadership of, or participation in, international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials
  • high quality evidence to inform the uptake of effective health treatments, drugs and devices to improve health practice and outcomes for patients
  • increased opportunities for patients to access novel treatments and therapies
  • growth in the capacity of Australia’s clinical trials workforce.



The Australian Government will provide up to $42 million for grants under the ICTC grant opportunity over four financial years.

It is anticipated that $4.2 million will be available in each Peer Review Cycle. One Peer Review cycle will be conducted in 2018, three Peer Review Cycles per calendar year in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and a final Peer Review Cycle in 2022.


Eligible Projects

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. Where applicants are proposing to contribute to clinical trials initiated by the international collaborators, support is available to coordinate Australian involvement and conduct clinical trial sites in Australia. Where applicants are proposing to lead an international collaborative clinical trial, support is available for the overarching coordination of clinical trial sites in Australia and overseas and to operate clinical trial sites in Australia. Clinical trial sites located overseas must be supported by the study’s international collaborators or other sources of funding.

The following categories must be used in your proposed budget:

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

Rules apply to each category of expenditure. Applicants are required to justify the budget requested for each year of the proposed research in order to demonstrate value for money. Poorly justified items may be reduced or removed from the budget.


Eligible Applicants

Applications will only be accepted from NHMRC approved Administering Institutions. A list of NHMRC approved Administering Institutions is available at:

In addition to being, or having an affiliation with, an Administering Institution, to be eligible for a grant under the MRFF Act an organisation must be one of the following bodies:

  • a medical research institute
  • a university
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a corporation
  • a state or territory government, or
  • a state or territory government entity.



The key dates for the MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaborations grant opportunity in 2019 are:

ProcessICTC 19.1ICTC 19.2ICTC 19.3
Applications Open9 January 201928 March 20191 August 2019
Minimum data due5pm ACT local time 27 March 20195pm ACT local time 31 July 20195pm ACT local time 20 November 2019
Application due date5pm ACT local time 10 April 20195pm ACT local time 15 August 20195pm ACT local time 4 December 2019
Peer Review AssessmentJuly 2019November 2019March 2020


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