What do we know about the Medical Research Future Fund?

What do we know about the Medical Research Future Fund?

Last updated: 25 July, 2019

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

 

 

How to apply for MRFF funding

See our summary page for current MRFF grant opportunities and their closing dates. To hear about current and upcoming MRFF funding opportunities, register with GrantConnect to receive email alerts with information on the purpose of each funding scheme, eligibility and how to apply.

A full list of all MRFF grants and their recipients (current 5 April, 2019) is available on the Medical Research Future Fund website in several file formats (PDF, Excel).

 

 

The MRFF will nearly 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. It is a sovereign fund that was set up in 2015. The MRFF reached $17.5 billion on 23 July, 2019, on target for full capitalisation of $20 billion by 2020-21. The MRFF will fund medical research and its translation from the dividends.

 

After the MRFF reaches the full $20 billion, it will be providing approximately $650 million 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 nearly double the Australian Government’s investment in health and medical research.

 

 

The MRFF reached $17.5 billion on 23 July, 2019.

Funding for health and medical research will continue to increase over the next few years as the MRFF grows with investment from the Australian Government.

On 28th June 2019, the Government announced that $7.8 billion will be invested into the MRFF on 23 July 2019, honouring their election promise.

 

 

Actual figures are indicated in red boxes.  All other figures are projected (Source: Department of Finance (2019) Portfolio Budget Statements).

 

 

The $5 billion 10 year investment plan for the MRFF will fund large-scale health missions and a range of intiatives to address national health challenges.

The 10 year investment plan for the MRFF was announced in the 2019-2020 Federal Budget (2 April, 2019) and will fund initiatives in four key streams – patients, researchers, missions and translation. See AAMRI’s summary of the 2019-2020 Budget to find out more about investments in medical research.

 

For more information about each of these streams, please see the MRFF website.

 

 

MRFF funding has been announced for a variety of initiatives in the MRFF 10 year investment plan. These initiatives will support key areas such as clinical trials, clinician researchers and large scale missions to tackle ambitious health challenges.

 

Source: Department of Health

 

Eight large scale missions have been announced since October 2017:

  1. $100M Australian Brain Cancer Mission (announced 29/10/17)
  2. $500M Genomics Health Futures Mission (announced in 2018 Federal Budget)
  3. $125M Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission (announced in 2018 Federal Budget)
  4. $185M Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Research Mission (announced 18/12/18)
  5. $220M Mission for Cardiovascular Health (announced 25/2/19)
  6. $50M Traumatic Brain Injury Mission (announced 10/3/19)
  7. $160M Indigenous Health Research Fund (Indigenous Health Futures), a mission-scale initiative for indigenous health (announced 27/2/19).
  8. $150M Stem Cell Therapies Mission (announced 13/3/19)

Details of how the missions will be awarding funding to researchers may vary depending on the mission. Expert advisory panels have already been appointed for several missions:

 

A full list of all MRFF grants and their recipients (current 5 April, 2019) is available on the Medical Research Future Fund website in several file formats (PDF, Excel).

In line with the MRFF Funding Principles, a large proportion of MRFF funding will be open and contestable. Over 90% of the MRFF funding announced for medical research in 2017 was accessible to our best and brightest medical researchers through open and contestable processes (Source: Department of Health MRFF Post-budget briefing, 8 May, 2018. For MRFF funding announced in 2017 through to May 2018).

 

 

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 the first set of two year priorities (2016-2018) for MRFF funding were released in November 2016 by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB). 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 second set of two year priorities (2018-2020) were released on 8 November 2018.

The MRFF initiatives announced to date address the current Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy (2016-2021) and two sets of Priorities (2016-2018 and 2018-2020).

 

For information about what the MRFF has funded so far, download the full list on the MRFF website.

For more information about how to apply for MRFF funding through GrantConnect, see the MRFF website.

 

 

MRFF funding decisions are guided by sixteen principles.

The aim of the MRFF is transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability. On 6th December, 2017, the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) released sixteen principles that will underpin MRFF funding decisions going forward. Read the AAMRI/Group of Eight joint statement supporting the funding principles here.

The full list of sixteen principles fact sheet is available here: Medical Research Future Fund – Funding Principles Fact Sheet, Department of Health.