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 a major new source of Federal Government funding for medical research; a sovereign fund that was set up in 2015 and on target for full capitalisation of $20B by 2020-21.

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

2020 Brain cancer survivorship grant opportunity

Supports development of better approaches to addressing the medical, functional and psychosocial impacts of brain cancer to improve quality of life and the survivorship experience, with a focus on children, adolescents and young adults, or adults with malignant brain cancer, their families or carers.

  13 Oct 2020 20 Oct 2020

EPCDR initiative - medicinal cannabis clinical trials grant

Supports clinical trails that examine the effects of medical cannabis for the management of pain, symptoms and side-effects of cancer and cancer treatment in cancer patients.

28 Oct 2020 4 Nov 2020 11 Nov 2020

EPCDR initiative - silicosis research grant

Aims to investigate evidence-based prevention and treatment options for individuals at risk of, or suffering from, accelerated silicosis caused by engineered stone.

28 Oct 2020 4 Nov 2020 11 Nov 2020

Primary health care research grant

Supports an increase in Australia’s evidence base in primary health care through research. The budget is AUD $4.8M

28 Oct 2020 4 Nov 2020 11 Nov 2020

Rare cancers, rare diseases & unmet need: general grant

Supports targeted clinical trials addressing gaps in current research or knowledge on rare cancers, rare diseases and areas of unmet need. The total budget is AUD $25M for grants lasting up to five years.

28 Oct 2020 4 Nov 2020 11 Nov 2020

Frontier health & medical research programme

Supports medical researchers in developing research plans that aim to improve health outcomes, quality of life and health system sustainability.

  30 Nov 2020 11 Dec 2020

Million minds mission - mental health research grant

Supports research on mental health. Grants are awarded over 6 years.

25 Nov 2020 2 Dec 2020 9 Dec 2020

International clinical trial collaborations grants

Support Australian research teams in conducting clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts. The budget is for this call is AUD $6.3M.

28 Oct 2020    

COVID-19 vaccine candidate research grant

Supports the development of promising COVID-19 prophylactic vaccine candidates for which research and development is already underway.

EOI 11 Nov 2020 20 Jan 2021 27 Jan 2021

EPCDR initiative - 2020 childhood cancer research grant

Supports medical research and medical innovation projects that improve understanding of the aetiology, biology and progression of cancer in children and adolescents.

20 Jan 2021 20 Jan 2021 3 Feb 2021

PPHR initiative - 2020 maternal health and first 2000 days, early childhood, and exercise and nutrition

Grants up to $1.5M are available for projects across 3 priority areas: Maternal health and the first 2,000 days; research to develop interventions addressing social determinants of health that impact on a child’s early days of life; and research for exercise and nutrition to prevent disease and keep people out of hospital.

20 Jan 2021 20 Jan 2021 3 Feb 2021

PPHR initiative - Efficient use of existing medicines grant

Supports clinical trials that address one of the following topics: safer and more efficient ways to use high-cost medicines for one or more specific indications without compromising effectiveness (priority areas include biological agents and other high-cost medicines); other therapeutic indications for existing medicines that are not currently approved by the TGA (priority areas include off-patent and other low-cost medicines).

20 Jan 2021 20 Jan 2021 3 Feb 2021

2020 Quality, safety and effectiveness of medicine use and medicine intervention by pharmacists grant

Supports projects that improve medicine use and medicine intervention by pharmacists in primary health and transitions of care.

  16 Feb 2021 23 Feb 2021

2020 Primary health care research data infrastructure

Grants $1M - $2M for data infrastructure research in primary care settings to improve access, quality, safety and efficiency and fund the creation or extension of national research data infrastructure. You must select one or more of the primary health care settings:

  • Stream 1: Residential aged care
  • Stream 2: Urban general practitioner-led practices
  • Stream 3: Rural general practitioner-led practices
  • Stream 4: Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs)
  • Stream 5: Other settings including, but not limited to, nurses, allied health professionals, midwives, pharmacists, dentists, and Aboriginal health workers

Further information

  16 Feb 2021 23 Feb 2021

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

Targeted Translation Research Accelerator
MTPConnect will administer competitive opportunities to establish two research centres focussed on Complications of Diabetes and Complications of Cardiovascular Disease. Project funding will also be available for research investigating common pathways, interactions and complexities for patients suffering from both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Rounds expected to open in December. Please contact Cadence Haynes, MRFF Opportunities Manager at or visit the MTPConnect website for more information.


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 (RGMS) 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 Dr Cadence Haynes, 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 Opportunities Manager 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 Gillian Harvey

Adelaide Nursing School Research Committee

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

Director, Robinson Research Institute

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 grant manager.