What is the Medical Research Future Fund?
The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a $20 billion long-term investment supporting Australian health and medical research. The MRFF aims to transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability. The MRFF complements NHMRC schemes and other funding to significantly expand support for health and medical research in Australia.
Since its inception in 2015, the MRFF has announced, committed or paid $1.8billion in grant funding (as at 30 June 2021). The scheme has a projected budget of over $600million per year from 2021. The MRFF offers a wonderful resource to support researchers to undertake work addressing priority health issues, but does require a change in approach to application.
A key requirement of the MRFF is strategic and priority driven research (not investigator driven) for direct health and economic outcomes coupled with a focus on partnerships and collaboration.
SA MRFF Working Group
To achieve MRFF funding success, many research teams need to work more closely with health services and the community and form partnerships across organisations, industries, sectors and disciplines.
To help catalyse collaboration and partnership development, the SA MRFF Working Group was established in July 2019 by HTSA.
The Working Group initially consisted of representatives from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, UniSA, SAHMRI and Health Translation SA (HTSA). By June 2020, the group had grown to include members from the SA Government (Department for Innovation and Science and Department for Health and Wellbeing), and in August 2021 representatives from CSIRO and Torrens University were welcomed.
The MRFF Working Group meets every six weeks and is co-ordinated by Dr Rebecca Perry (Senior Project Officer, HTSA) and chaired by Wendy Keech (CEO, HTSA). It functions largely as an operational group to support SA researchers to respond to health system needs and to increase health and medical research funding for South Australia, ultimately increasing SA’s MRFF success rate.
In mid-2020, a strategic planning session was held to clarify the scope of the SA MRFF Working Group and consider which activities to focus on over the next 12 months. The following five strategic themes were identified, and suggested activities mapped against these:
- Building on SA’s success
- Building the ideas pipeline
- Generating and sharing intelligence
- Research development and support
- Connecting with the MRFF
The document below lists outputs that the Group has been either responsible for, or contributed to, since its inception in July 2019.
General information about the MRFF (including strategy, governance and funding initiatives):
- MRFF news – Subscribe here to receive the monthly newsletter from the Health and Medical Research Office (Australian Government Department of Health)
- MRFF website – Visit the MRFF website here to find out about why the MRFF is important, the funding process and the 10-year investment plan for the fund.
- MRFF webinars
- View webinar delivered on 21 July 2021 explaining MRFF priorities, grant opportunities and recent outcomes. Includes responses to viewer questions.
- View webinar delivered on 16 November 2021. The panel discussed the MRFF’s strategy and priorities, initiatives and research missions.
- View webinar delivered on 12 April 2022. The webinar was hosted by Dr Masha Somi, Chief Executive Officer, Health and Medical Research Office with guest speaker Ms Sue MacLeman, Chair of the MTPConnect Board.
- View webinar delivered on 4 August 2022, providing research administration officers with an overview of the MRFF grant process.
Information about current MRFF grant opportunities:
- GrantConnect website – View a list of current grants open for application and also to register to receive updates when new funding opportunities are announced.
Information about recipients of MRFF funding:
- MRFF website – Access information about MRFF grant recipients (awarded or announced) that is updated regularly.
Other useful resources
- HTSA Video – What is South Australia doing to support success in the MRFF scheme? View here.
- HTSA Impact Story – Supporting researchers to embrace MRFF funding opportunities. Read here.
- SA MRFF Working Group Presentation – MRFF information session. View here.
- ANAO Report – Department of Health’s Management of Financial Assistance under the Medical Research Future Fund. Read here.
Contact Health Translation SA for general enquiries
Dr Rebecca Perry
MRFF Working Group Coordinator
Contact your local MRFF Support Lead
- Josh Witham
Dr Rebecca Perry
MRFF Working Group Coordinator