What do we know about the Medical Research Future Fund?

What do we know about the Medical Research Future Fund?

This page provides an overview of what we know about the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Find out what has already been funded by the MRFF here.


The MRFF will double the health and medical research budget in Australia.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a major new source of Federal Government funding for medical research. The MRFF is a sovereign fund that was set up in 2015 and will fund medical research and its translation from the dividends. The MRFF is now at $6.8 billion (as 3 July, 2017), with a target of $20 billion by 2020-21.

Once it reaches the full $20 billion, the MRFF will be providing approximately $1 billion per year in medical research funding.


Combined with the existing annual investment in health and medical research through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the MRFF will effectively double the Australian Government’s investment in health and medical research.




The MRFF Strategy is to fund research and its translation that will lead to direct health and economic outcomes.

Both the five year strategy (2016-2021) and two year priorities (2016-2018) for MRFF funding were devised by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) and released in November, 2016. In these two documents AMRAB put forward recommendations about where the MRFF could invest to deliver the best healthcare benefits through translation of health and medical research.




The first funding schemes from the MRFF were announced in May-June, 2017.

Some of the priority areas set out by AMRAB received funding from the MRFF in it’s first round of disbursements in 2017. $65.9 million in MRFF funding was directed to a variety of schemes to fund priority research areas, research translation and other ways to support medical research activities.


Some of the MRFF schemes in 2017 will distribute funding to research projects via competitive grant processes that will be administered by the Department of Health, NHMRC or other independent bodies (e.g. CanTeen). The remaining schemes have funded new and existing infrastructure to boost research capabilities in key areas such as clinical trials. AAMRI has produced an up-to-date summary of MRFF funding, including timelines and information on competitive schemes.



MRFF funding for medical research will increase over the next five years.

As the MRFF continues to grow over the next few years with investment from the federal Government, the health and medical research funding will rapidly increase.


Financial YearMRFF funding for
health and medical
MRFF balance
2016-2017$65.9 million$4.6 billion
2017-2018$121 million$6.8 billion
2018-2019$215 million$9.1 billion
2019-2020$386 million$16.9 billion
2020-2021$643 million$20 billion

Actual figures are in bold. All other figures are projected (Source: Department of Finance (2017) Portfolio Budget Statements).