Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN) Grant Opportunity

Up to $33M is available from RCRDUN to support publicly funded clinical trials that address areas of health burden and unmet need, such as rare cancers and rare diseases.


Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN) Grant Opportunity

The Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN) Grant Opportunity will provide support for publicly funded clinical trials that address areas of health burden and unmet need, such as rare cancers and rare diseases.

Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a clinical trial that addresses an ‘unmet medical need’ by improving the health outcomes for members of the Australian community living with serious health conditions,  whose diagnosis or treatment is not adequately addressed by existing options.



The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), established under the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 (MRFF Act), provides grants of financial assistance to support health and medical research and innovation in improving the health and wellbeing of Australians. It operates as an endowment fund with the capital preserved in perpetuity. At maturity, the MRFF will reach $20 billion. The MRFF provides a long term sustainable source of funding for endeavours that aim to improve health outcomes, quality of life and health system sustainability.

The independent and expert Australian Medical Research Advisory Board’s Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016–2021 and related Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016–2018 were developed following extensive stakeholder consultation. The priorities identified by the Advisory Board were utilised to make decisions on the provision of financial assistance from the MRFF.

The MRFF Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Capacity Grant Program was announced in the 2017 Budget and was one of the first disbursements from the MRFF. This Program is now known as the MRFF Clinical Trials Activity: Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN) Grant Program.



The expected outcomes of this RCRDUN Grant Program are:

  • New opportunities for clinical trial participation and associated benefits from accessing the latest research
  • Attention given to under-researched health priorities and conditions, such as rare cancers and rare diseases.
  • Deployment of innovative trial designs and recruitment strategies
  • Purposeful health service engagement to improve the translation of research into practice and improve outcomes for patients
  • New health treatments, drugs and devices to improve health and wellbeing
  • Reinforcement of Australia’s position as a preferred destination for clinical trials.



The Australian Government has announced a total of up to $33 million from the MRFF for this grant opportunity. Grants of up to five years duration will be considered with funding anticipated to commence in January 2019.

It is anticipated that up to twenty grants will be funded across a range of health care conditions.

Additional funding of up to $3.5 million is available to support meritorious applications that address the aims of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission.


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. 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.

Indirect costs of research are Institution overhead costs that benefit and support research. They can include the operations and maintenance of buildings, provision of facilities and libraries, hazardous waste disposal, regulatory and research compliance and administration of research services. Although they are necessary for the conduct of research, and may be incurred in the course of research, they are costs that do not directly address the approved
research objectives of a grant.


Eligible Applicants

Applications will only be accepted from NHMRC approved Administering Institutions. A list of NHMRC approved Administering Institutions is available at: www.nhmrc.gov.au/grantsfunding-administering-grants.

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.



Applications close 15 August 2018.


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