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.

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    Funding schemes

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    Clinical Trials Activity - RCRDUN Initiative 2019
    Applications must propose a clinical trial that addresses a gap in current research and/or knowledge in one of the following areas:

    Applications must also address the desired outcomes described in section 1.3 of the relevant guidelines. Min Data due 22 January 2020.

    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    Emerging Priorities & Consumer Driven Research (EPCDR) Initiative 2019

    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    Million Minds Mission

    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    PPHR - 2019 Preventative & Public Health Research
    (GrantConnect)

    • Maternal health & the first 2000 days
    • Early childhood
    • Exercise & nutrition
    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    PPHR - 2019 Targeted Health System & Community Organisation Research
    (GrantConnect)

    • Projected populations for cancer treatments
    • Tools to value health change in paediatric populations
    • Efficient use of high cost pharmaceuticals
    • Digital breast tomosynthesis
    • Circumcision revision
    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    PHCR - Primary Health Care Research
    (GrantConnect)

    • Primary health care services in residential aged care & to older Australians
    • Lessons from comprehensive primary health care service for Indigenous Australians
    • Mental health service provision by general practice
    • Precision medicine & genomics in primary health care
    • Rural & regional access to services
    • Workforce issues, including scope of practice
    • Voluntary patient enrolment & blended payments
    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    Global Health Initiative

    29
    Jan
    2020
    5
    Feb
    2020

    Indigenous Health Issues
    (GrantConnect)
    Research should be led by Indigenous people and conducted through close engagement with Indigenous communities focused on:

    • Ending avoidable blindness and deafness
    • Preventing chronic kidney disease
    • Improving adolescent mental health
    5
    Feb
    2020
    12
    Feb
    2020

    Cardiovascular Mission
    (GrantConnect)

    • Preventing heart disease and stroke
    • Improving survival rates after an acute heart or stroke event
    • Improving survival after a cardiovascular event or stroke and preventing a recurrence
    5
    Feb
    2020
    12
    Feb
    2020

    National Critical Infrastructure Initiative 
    Between $5 and 100M for new and innovative approaches to enhance and improve clinical trial infrastructure, and to extend existing clinical trials into rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.

    24
    Feb
    2020
    3
    Mar
    2020

    Stem Cell Therapies 
    (GrantConnect)
    Between $250,000 and $1M for grants up to 2 years. Applications must address either:

    • novel cellular therapies & tissue engineering approaches for the treatment of a specific disease
    • human disease modelling, including as models to identify underlying disease mechanisms, screen for new treatments or enhance preclinical studies
    26
    Feb
    2020
    4
    Mar
    2020
    Traumatic Brain Injury
    (GrantConnect)
    Between $1M - 2M for grants up to 3 years. Applications must propose innovative diagnostic & prognostic methods that facilitate advances in traumatic brain injury treatment & drive improvements in health & social outcomes for patients after TBI & people around them.
    26
    Feb
    2020
    4
    Mar
    2020
  • Forecast

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

    • Applied artificial intelligence research in health: $1M - 5M will be awarded under the National Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative. The grant opportunity intends to promote the application of novel AI technologies and methodologies to cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary health research that will transform health care and outcomes through improved preventive, diagnostic and treatment approaches. Applications open 11 February 2020.
    • Frontier health and medical research program - round 2: provides up to $1M to develop detailed research plans for significant research projects in the health and medical research sector that are innovative at a global level and have great potential to have a transformative impact on health care. Think Silicon Valley, not NHMRC.
    • $3 million for research into medicinal cannabis benefits: to examine the benefits of medicinal cannabis for pain, symptom and side effect management for cancer patients. “An open and contestable grant opportunity” will be available at an unspecified time.
    • Biomedical Translation Bridge program: administered by MTPConnect, providing up to $1M in matching funding to nurture the translation of new therapies, technologies and medical devices through to the proof of concept stage. Round 2 to open soon.

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.

Researchers may self-nominate for consideration to undertake peer review for those MRFF schemes which are administered by NHMRC. Self-nomination is only open at certain times and for certain schemes as advertised in the NHMRC Research Tracker.

Once the self-nomination process opens in RGMS there is a 3-4 week window in which researchers can take advantage of this process.  

To be considered for appointment to peer review panels for schemes which have already closed to self-nomination, email the NHMRC Research Help Centre an expression of interest which they can then forward to the relevant business area.

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.

Member

Role/Representing

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?

Complete our simple Google Form to flag your interest in MRFF support, or to nominate your colleagues with expertise across the MRFF Priority areas.

For further information please contact our MRFF grant manager.