Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity

What is the Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity?

The MRFF Stem Cell Therapies Mission – 2020 Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity is an initiative that will teams working on ‘proof of concept’ stem cell research targeted towards a health care outcome. Funding for such priming programs will target two priority areas aimed at driving innovation and accelerating implementation into clinical practice:

  • Stem cell therapies
  • New treatments using human tissues made from stem cells.

This grant opportunity is being administered by NHMRC on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health.



The Stem Cell Therapies Mission (the Mission) provides $150 million over 10 years from 2019-20 to support stem cell research to deliver innovative, safe and effective treatments, including:

  • developing innovative, safe and effective treatments
  • supporting disease modelling to screen for new treatments or enhance preclinical studies
  • a focus on research quality and impact on patient outcomes
  • promoting adherence to best practice by health professionals and researchers
  • facilitating implementation with a focus on clinical delivery and commercial development
  • advancing multidisciplinary collaboration and industry engagement
  • embedding meaningful engagement with patients, their carers and consumer groups.

The Mission has a specific focus to:

  • accelerate the development of safe, effective and affordable stem cell-based therapies
  • generate new treatments using human tissues made from stem cells
  • build the health system and commercial sector to deliver these transformative treatments for the community.



The Australian Government has announced a total of $150 million for the Stem Cell Therapies Mission. For this grant opportunity, up to $6 million of funding is available in 2019-20.

Minimum and maximum amounts of funding that can be requested for each grant are $250,000 and $1 million total, respectively.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible, activities in your Grant Proposal must clearly demonstrate their criticality in meeting objectives of the 2020 Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity under Section 1.3 of the guidelines. 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. Your budget, including your justification of the proposed expenditure, will be part of the value and risk assessment. Refer sections 5.4 and 6.4 of the guidelines.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • be an NHMRC approved Administering Institution
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and in accordance with s20 and s24 of the Medical Research Future Fund Act 20151, 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, or
  • 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 04 March 2020.


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