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

2021 Brain Cancer Research Grant Opportunity
Up to $7.5M for novel, ambitious, and innovative research approaches that address pre-clinical challenges in brain cancer by:

  • demonstrating novel and innovative approaches to addressing a challenge in brain cancer that have high translational potential, and
  • supporting strengthened collaborations across national and international brain cancer research networks and building critical mass in the Australian brain cancer research workforce.

The Kids’ Cancer Project is contributing additional funding to this grant opportunity, which can be used to supplement MRFF funding for applications that specifically focus on research targeting children, adolescents and/or young adults with brain cancer.

20 Apr 2022 27 Apr 2022 4 May 2022

2021 Clinical Trials Activity Grant Opportunity
$71.6M for research that give patients across Australia access to clinical trials that show which treatments and medicines work best. The Initiative promotes new approaches that support efficient and effective research and provides researchers with more opportunities to work with international colleagues to bring international trials to Australian patients.

Grants up to $3M will be awarded across 6 streams:

Rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet need

  • Stream 1: conduct a clinical trial of new drug and/or non-drug treatments and therapies for rare cancers, rare diseases and/or unmet needs.
  • Stream 2: conduct a clinical trial assessing the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of neuro-stimulation for improving outcomes in patients with spinal cord injury
  • Stream 3: conduct a clinical trial assessing the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological interventions for improving outcomes in individuals with chronic pain

Effective health interventions

  • Stream 4: conduct a clinical trial of new drug and/or non-drug treatments and therapies in individuals who have been identified through molecular testing
  • Stream 5: conduct an implementation science trial to determine the best ways to implement a proven preventive health intervention, screening or diagnostic test, therapeutic agent, technology or model of care that is not in routine use in Australia
  • Stream 6: conduct a clinical trial assessing the comparative effectiveness and acceptability of health interventions in improving outcomes in individuals with complex chronic conditions, including co-morbidities
  • Further information   
22 Jun 2022 29 Jun 2022 6 Jul 2022

2021 Early to Mid-Career Researchers Grant Opportunity
$42.8 million for projects led and undertaken by Early- (within 5 years post PhD conferral) and Mid-Career (between 5 and 10 years post PhD conferral) Researchers. This Grant Opportunity is informed by the feedback received directly from EMCRs through the May 2021 Roundtable.

  • Stream 1 (Incubator): conduct early stage, small scale research, led by early-career researchers, that seeks to assess the potential and feasibility of novel strategies to address a critical or intractable health issue. The team must be exclusively EMCRs, where the CIA is an ECR and at least 80% of all CIs are ECRs. $200k - $1M.
  • Stream 2 (Accelerator): establish a large-scale interdisciplinary research program, led by mid-career researchers, that drives implementation of substantial improvements to health care and/or health system effectiveness. The team must be exclusively EMCRs, where the CIA is an MCR and at least 80% of all CIs are MCRs. $3M - $5M
  • Stream 3 (Targeted Call for Research): utilise co-funding between the MRFF, a sponsoring academic organisation and partner organisation(s) to accelerate translation of research led by early to mid-career researchers. $2M from the MRFF matched by cash from sponsoring academic organisations and at least 1 partner organisation.
  • Further information
29 Jun 2022 6 Jul 2022 13 Jul 2022

2021 Chronic Respiratory Conditions Grant Opportunity
Grants $200k - $2M for medical research and medical innovation projects that:

  • Stream 1: develop treatable trait-based precision medicine approaches for chronic respiratory disease
  • Stream 2: clinically validate feasible technology enabled approaches to medication and therapeutic adherence and self-management of chronic respiratory diseases
  • Further information
29 Jun 2022 6 Jul 2022 13 Jul 2022

2021 Primary Health Care Digital Innovations Grant Opportunity
$5M for research and medical innovation projects that develop novel digital health tools and technologies to improve access to primary health care services in disadvantaged and/or vulnerable populations (for example, migrant communities, people living with disabilities, lower socioeconomic communities, and rural and regional Australia).

Applicants must demonstrate how their proposed research responds to, and is driven by, extensive engagement with end users (including patients, clinicians and health service providers) across the entire research life cycle.

29 Jun 2022 6 Jul 2022 13 Jul 2022

2021 Maternal Health and Healthy Lifestyles Grant Opportunity
$15M for novel and/or innovative research that will generate outcomes for translation into health benefits for Australians. Grants $250k - $2M will be awarded across 3 streams:

  • Stream 1: develop new scalable approaches to improve maternal and or early childhood nutrition and exercise
  • Stream 2: develop new scalable approaches to reduce alcohol and other drug use by adolescents and young adults
  • Stream 3: develop new co-designed and scalable lifestyle interventions to reduce the risk and incidence of cancer in priority populations
  • Further information
29 Jun 2022 6 Jul 2022 13 Jul 2022
2021 Consumer-Led Research Grant Opportunity

$10M for projects that develop and/or test tools, resources, and/or strategies that could be implemented to improve the opportunities for consumers to exert control over their own health and/or be involved in health and medical research to ultimately improve both the health care experience of consumers and the health care provided to consumers.

  • Stream 1 ($200k - 600k per grant): projects that develop and/or test the implementation of interventions for improving:
    • health self-efficacy for consumers with long term diseases and conditions, and/or
    • health self-efficacy for priority populations (including culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and low socioeconomic status).
  • Stream 2 ($300k - $1M per grant): projects that use citizen science methodologies where citizens and scientists use web-based platforms and digital tools to co-create health knowledge that has practical implications for improving health outcomes and/or improving consumer experiences of health care, whilst increasing consumer understanding of, and consumer involvement in, research.
  • Further information
29 Jun 2022 6 Jul 2022 13 Jul 2022

2022 Effective Treatment and Therapies Grant Opportunity

$13M across 3 streams to support the development and implementation of effective exercise programs that reduce the risk of disease in Australian adults aged over 45 years, increase physical activity amongst priority populations, and ameliorate symptoms of progressive neurological deterioration and mental impairment in children and adolescents.

  • Stream 1: develop, implement and/or validate scalable approaches for personalised exercise programs to maximise disease risk factor reduction and adherence in adults aged over 45 years who are not currently meeting physical activity guidelines. $250k - $1.5M per project.
  • Stream 2: develop, implement and/or validate approaches for effective community-led physical activity programs co-designed with a priority population. $100k - $600k per project.
  • Stream 3: develop, implement and/or validate approaches that use physical treatments and therapies to improve the quality of life of children and adolescents with childhood dementia, an umbrella term used to describe progressive neurological deterioration and mental impairment in children. $100k - $600k per project.
  • Further information
13 Jul 2022 20 Jul 2022 27 Jul 2022

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 Clinician Researchers: Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Grant Opportunity

$20.3M across three streams to support nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to improve the quality of health care, practice and systems by undertaking applied research in health care.

Streams 1 and 2: Grants up to $1.5M for projects led by nurses, midwives and allied health professionals that validate and implement new approaches for improving the quality of patient care. Projects must:

  • Address a clearly defined health care priority from local health care and/or practice
  • Have the potential to improve clinical practice or health system effectiveness and therefore patient outcomes
  • Be embedded within health services (e.g. community-based care, hospitals, general practices); however can also be coordinated across networks (e.g. Primary Health Networks, Local Health Networks) and thus able to provide immediate benefits to patients
    • Where possible build capacity by:
      • including support for nurses, midwives and allied health clinicians to undertake PhDs or research masters degrees that contribute to the proposed research
      • including early career nurse, midwife and/or allied health researchers as part of CI team

Stream 1: Nurse or midwife-led teams

Stream 2: Allied health-led teams

Teams must meet eligibility criteria by containing a minimum number of clinician researchers. Refer to guidelines for details.

Stream 3: One grant up to $300k to support a project that prospectively evaluates projects funded through Streams 1 and 2 to generate knowledge that improves understanding of the factors that promote the adoption, impact and sustainability of evidence-based practice in health care.

Teams must meet eligibility criteria by containing a minimum number of clinician researchers. Refer to guidelines for details.

27 Jul 2022 3 Aug 2022 10 Aug 2022

2022 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity

$24M to generate knowledge to improve the detection, prevention and treatments for cardiovascular disease and stroke, across 3 streams:

Stream 1 (Targeted Call for Research): Grants up to $1.5M for large-scale interdisciplinary research to improve the understanding of cardiovascular disease risk, including biological mechanisms. Research proposals in this stream must focus on one of the following topics:

  • Topic A: identifying and evaluating novel diagnostic markers and methods to better predict risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Topic B: developing and evaluating clinical pathways for implementing optimised evidence-based diagnosis and treatment
  • Topic C: supporting integration of individual and population approaches to optimise cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention
  • Topic D: better understanding the mechanistic basis of how chronic diseases contribute to cardiovascular disease and stroke, and develop models to include this in risk prediction and prevention strategies.

Stream 2 (Targeted Call for Research): Grants up to $1.5M for large-scale interdisciplinary research to conduct preclinical development and validation of novel molecular targets and novel device approaches for cardiovascular disease and/or stroke.

Stream 3 (Accelerator): Grants up to $5M to conduct a large-scale project focused on discovery and testing of new, broadly applicable (multiple disease groups) interventions for cardiovascular disease and/or stroke (e.g. anti-inflammatory targets).

24 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 7 Sep 2022

2022 Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity

$10M across two streams to generate novel approaches to stem cell-based therapies that have the potential to transform clinical care and generate new treatments using human tissues made from stem cells for preclinical development.

Stream 1: Grants of $500k - $1M to support short-term, early stage, small-scale development projects to establish the feasibility of novel cellular therapies. Applications should involve novel applications of human tissue or pluripotent stem cells.

Stream 2: Grants of $500k - $1M to support short-term, early-stage, small-scale projects that:

  • Develop and validate human stem-cell based models of disease, including genetic disease, infectious diseases and cancer
  • Develop high-content or high-throughput screening approaches, or
  • Generate patient-derived stem cell lines for screening treatment
24 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 7 Sep 2022

2022 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity

$24M across three streams to support research that improves the wellbeing of Australians living with dementia and their carers, and enables earlier and more effective diagnosis of dementia.

Stream 1: Grants up to $2M to develop interventions that deliver holistic and multidisciplinary care after diagnosis to improve quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers. Must focus on interventions targeting transitions between care types and settings.

Stream 2: Grants up to $1.5M to conduct implementation research focused on addressing inequalities in uptake of prevention activities to support health ageing and quality of life for:

  • Topic A – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Topic B – rural, regional and remote populations
  • Topic C – culturally and linguistically diverse populations

Stream 3: Grants up to $2M to enhance utility of neuropsychological tests for dementia.

24 Aug 2022 31  Aug 2022 7 Sept 2022

2022 Australian Brain Cancer Research Infrastructure Grant Opportunity

Up to $6M to fund a national consortium that:

  • Develops, enhances and integrates brain cancer research infrastructure platform
  • Enables and promotes new and improved research approaches and methodologies
  • Enables and promotes accessibility and the ongoing use of the brain cancer research infrastructure by researchers and clinicians.

‘Brain cancer research infrastructure’ includes clinical quality registries, biobanks, data collections, linkage platforms, use of artificial intelligence and informatics.

Applications must include a minimum of three brain cancer research infrastructure platforms, with two of these being clinical quality registry and biobank platforms.

24 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 7 Sep 2022

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 Mitochondrial Donation Pilot Program Grant Opportunity

$15M to fund one project which conducts a pilot program, including a clinical trial, to build the evidence base to determine the safety, efficacy and feasibility of implementing mitochondrial donation reproductive technology in clinical practice settings. The design and conduct of the project must be consistent with the requirements of the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Act 2022

The applicant or at least one of the participating institutions and/or partner organisations involved must be a constitutional corporation able to apply for and hold a mitochondrial donation clinical trial research and training licence or clinical trial licence. The proposed pilot program must also partner with an accredited assisted reproductive technology (ART) centre.

31 Aug 2022 7 Sep 2022 14 Sep 2022

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.