Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)

As a “translation fund”, the MRFF will supercharge the growth of Australian health and medical research to better translate research into health outcomes, improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability.

View MRFF application instructions

The MRFF is an ongoing research fund set up by the Australian Government in 2015. In July 2020, it grew to $20 billion. The net interest from the fund pays for health and medical research initiatives. 

The Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 requires the Minister for Health must take into account the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities that are in force when approving MRFF grants.

These are the second set of priorities for the MRFF selected by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, and influence the format and direction of both competitive funding rounds and non-competitive investments.

The Department of Health has a useful overview of how the MRFF strategy and each set of priorities have informed the funding programs established so far. There will be opportunity to engage in the national consultations as future MRFF strategies and priorities are set, which will be an important way to represent the fields of research undertaken at the University of Adelaide.

Funding schemes Min Data Internal review Close

2022 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity

$12.6M to support projects that:

  • Promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials research through the establishment and co-ordination of clinical trial site/s in Australia.
  • 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.

Applicants must propose a clinical trial in Australia in collaboration with international counterparts. Applications where international collaboration provides for the successful conduct of clinical trials that may otherwise not be feasible in Australia are particularly encouraged. Note that all clinical trial sites located overseas must be supported by the study’s international research partners or other sources of funding.

Up to $3M per project.

20 Jul 2022
Round 1

8 Feb 2023
Round 2

27 Jul 2022
Round 1

15 Feb 2023
Round 2

3 Aug 2022
Round 1

22 Feb 2023
Round 2

2022 Pancreatic Cancer Research Grant Opportunity

$12M to fund pancreatic cancer research across two streams. Note there is a different deadline for each stream.

  • Stream 1: Up to $2M to develop, implement and/or validate therapeutic approaches (drug and/or non-drug) for improving the management of pain and symptoms in individuals with pancreatic cancer
  • Stream 2: Up to $2M to promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials testing the effectiveness of treatments (drug and/or non-drug) for pancreatic cancer through the establishment and coordination of clinical trials site/s in Australia.


24 Aug 2022
Stream 1

23 Nov 2022
Stream 2

31 Aug 2022
Stream 1

30 Nov 2022
Stream 2

7 Sep 2022
Stream 1

7 Dec 2022
Stream 2

2022 Multiple Sclerosis Research Grant Opportunity

$18M to fund multiple sclerosis research across four streams. Note the deadline depends on the stream you are applying to.

  • Stream 1: Grants up to $2M to promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials testing the effectiveness of vaccines for prevention of latent Epstein-Barr virus infection through the establishment and coordination of clinical trial site/s in Australia.
  • Stream 2: Grants up to $2M for clinical trials to accelerate the development or repurposing of therapeutic candidates (including antivirals) to treat Epstein-Barr virus for the purpose of preventing or treating conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Stream 3: Grants up to $2M to characterise how immune responses to viral infections trigger autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis in some individuals to generate knowledge that supports risk stratification so identified individuals can employ strategies to reduce their chance of developing autoimmune disease.
  • Stream 4: Grants up to $1M to develop, implement and/or validate approaches for early intervention in individuals recovering from viral infections that aim to reduce the risk and/or severity of the long-term autoimmune consequences, including multiple sclerosis
  • Further information

18 Jan 2023
Streams 1 and 2

16 Nov 2022
Streams 3 and 4

25 Jan 2023
Streams 1 and 2

23 Nov 2022
Streams 3 and 4

1 Feb 2023
Streams 1 and 2

30 Nov 2022
Streams 3 and 4

Ministerial announcements will frequently precede eventual funding rounds by weeks or months. Wherever possible, such advance alerts will be outlined below.

Forecast MRFF opportunities

022 MRFF Joint Translational Call Grant Opportunity (with the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD))
To be eligible for the MRFF component, a pre-proposal must have been submitted to the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases call (due 16 February 2022).

The MRFF will fund up to $1M for the Australian component of consortia projects that develop new analytic tools and pathways to accelerate diagnosis and diagnostic monitoring (including undiagnosed cases) of rare diseases.

Research proposals should focus on least one of the following:

  • Phenotype-driven diagnosis: integration across different ontologies, integration of shared pathways, digital phenotyping, development of artificial intelligence approaches/applications to extract health related data in aid of diagnosis
  • Prognostic markers/biomarkers investigations for early diagnosis and monitoring
  • Methodologies for solving cases that are currently difficult to analyse due to different underlying mechanisms (e.g. mosaicism, genomic (non-coding) alterations, gene regulation, complex inheritance), including new genomics/functional genomics technologies, multi-omics, mathematics, biostatistics, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence approaches
  • Functional strategies to globally stratify variants of unknown significance (VUS) for clinical use, setting up of (in vitro) systems to distinguish between VUS and pathogenic variants (e.g. confirming disruption of splicing for deep intronic variants, loss of protein function, and gain of toxic protein function)
  • Development of pathway models to enable diagnosis, especially for newly discovered diseases that may share underlying molecular mechanisms with already known diseases.




While MRFF processes are distinct to NHMRC or ARC, and peer review does not obligatorily guide Ministerial funding decisions, some MRFF rounds do utilise peer review processes, managed online by either the NHMRC (Sapphire) or the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science (Business Portal).

Get involved

For schemes that do undertake peer review of grant applications, University of Adelaide involvement is critical.

The NHMRC invite you to self-nominate to assist in MRFF grant review and assessment processes as a member of a Grant Assessment Committee for a number of 2020-21 MRFF grant opportunities. It is necessary to register for these MRFF panels as they are coordinated independent of NHMRC peer review activities. Register here.

Anyone who has volunteered and participated in MRFF Peer Review is urged to contact MRFF Strategic Research Team, for University acknowledgement and support.

It is the intention of the Taskforce to:

  • Capture critical knowledge and information
  • Share the information with groups/individuals who need to know
  • Understand the needs of researchers, to help our University better support MRFF applications and activity

Talk to your representative, or contact the MRFF Strategic Research Team for more information.



A/Prof Mathias Baumert

Theme Leader – Medical, Health and Bioprocessing Technologies, ECMS

A/Prof Michael Beard

School of Biological Sciences Research Committee chair, and
representative for the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases

Prof Alex Brown

Theme Leader, Aboriginal Health Equity, SAHMRI and Adelaide Medical School

A/Prof Gustavo Carneiro

Professor of Computer Science

Prof Józef Gecz

Adelaide Medical School Research Committee chair

Prof Bronwyn Gillanders

DDR Faculty of Sciences – also represent human health-related Animal and
Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture Food and Wine and Physical Sciences

Prof Tim Hughes

Precision Medicine Theme Leader at SAHMRI; Cancer Council Chair in
Cancer Research and Consultant Haematologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Prof Mark Hutchinson

Director of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics

Prof Mark Jenkinson

Professor of Neuroimaging at the University of Adelaide, SAHMRI,
Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML), and the University of Oxford

Prof John Lynch

Interim DDR Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences
School of Public Health

A/Prof Anna Ma-Wyatt

School of Psychology Research Committee chair

A/Prof Peter Psaltis

Cardiologist with Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN);
Deputy Leader of the Heart Health Theme and Co-director of the
Vascular Research Centre at SAHMRI.

Prof. Sarah Robertson

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Nick Smith

Paediatric Neurologist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Mr Steve Whetton

Deputy Director - South Australian Centre for Economic Studies,
representing Health Economics

Dr Peter Zilm

Adelaide Dental School Research Committee chair

Need help?

For further information please contact our MRFF Strategic Research Team.