Medical Research Institutes

Medical Research Institutes

In Australia, health and medical research is undertaken by researchers in:

  • medical research institutes (MRIs)
  • universities
  • clinical settings such as hospitals and medical centres and
  • biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Medical Research Institutes (MRIs) can either be ‘independent’ charities, university-based institutes, part of a hospital or health provider, or institutes arising from alliances between a hospital and university.

The majority of AAMRI’s 48 members are independent MRIs; that is they are mission-based charities that operate independently from a university or hospital.

Australia’s independent MRIs consistently demonstrate the highest level of research impact compared with other research sectors. Primarily based on hospital campuses, independent MRIs have a distinct and vital role in the health and medical research sector, providing a direct interface between laboratory-based research and clinical practice. Each MRI also has an affiliation with a university and trains higher degree research students. For more information on what health and medical research is underway at AAMRI’s member institutes, refer to the filtering tool on our Members page.

Australia’s MRIs have a combined annual turnover of over $1 billion. As non-profit organisations, MRIs receive a large proportion of their research funding through competitive grants for research projects—primarily through the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Other income for MRIs is from a variety of sources including state and federal government funding for research support and infrastructure, competitive grants from foundations and trusts, commercial income, and philanthropic donations.

MRIs can vary in size from ~10 to more than 900 staff and students, and together employ more than 15,000 staff and higher degree students.