Future Funding Opportunities

$10 million will be allocated to a targeted grant round for research into rare cancer and rare diseases with low survival rates. The round will open in early 2018.

MRFF disbursements for 2017/18

$121 million is available for allocation from the MRFF in 2017/18

  • $70 million over 5 years from 2017/18 for the Next Generation Clinical Researchers Program. $10 million of this will be available from the 2017/18 disbursements for Fellowships. commencing in 2019, rising to $20 million in subsequent years. This funding is in addition to the $8 million in funding for Fellowships announced in 2016/17, and which commenced in 2018. On January 18 2018 the Minister announced 21 Next Generation Clinical Research Fellowships, worth a total of $10 million.
  • $50 million from the MRFF, to be matched dollar for dollar by philanthropy will be available over multiple years from 2017/18 for the Australian Brain Cancer Mission. Prioritised first investments include the establishment of an Australian arm of the GBM AGILE, an international adaptive trial platform for adults with glioblastoma, new funding for Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) clinical trial centres, and support for the consolidation of the national ZERO Children’s Cancer initiative.
  • A further $30 million in funding will be allocated to the Biotech Horizons Program over the next four financial years. This builds on the initial $5 million allocated in 2016/17 which is being administered by MTPConnect and is currently open for Expressions of Interest. Investments from the program will be focused on supporting cutting-edge ideas in precision medicine and 3D anatomical printing towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation.
  • On 24 January 2018 the Minister announced that $26 million in funding has been awarded to 19 projects as part of the Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Needs Clinical Trials Program (formerly the Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Program). Initially announced in 2016/17 as $13 million over four years, this announcement has doubled the initial allocation. The clinical trails are across the areas of rare cancer, rare disease and unmet need.

MRFF disbursements for 2016/17

$65.9 million is available for the allocation from 2016/17

  • $8 million is to be allocated across the four pre-existing NHMRC Advanced Health Research Translation Centres (something Research Australia has advocated for over a year). Of this amount, Monash Partners AHRTC is receiving $2 million for research and initiatives to improve care in blood and lung cancer, cardiovascular disease diabetes dementia, and improve influenza vaccination rates. Sydney Health Partners AHRTC has been allocated $2.2 million for three programs, to address lower back pain, improve recruitment for clinical trials, and address gaps in the health system.  Detail of the other AHRTCs’ research programs has yet to be announced.
  • $2 million to support new and existing Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres (AHRTCs) and the two soon-to-be-announced Centres for Innovation in Regional Health (CIRHs) to work together on national system-level initiatives. Of this amount, $225,000 has been allocated to the recently announced Dimantina Partners AHRTC, and $225,000 to the newly announced The SPHERE (Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise) AHRTC. A further $225,000 has been allocated to NSW Regional Health Partners, a freshly minted CIRH.
  • $10 million in funding will be provided to The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (TAPCC) to generate effective low-cost solutions to address chronic disease and childhood obesity. On 1 February 2018, the Helath Minster announced funding of more than $500,000 for the first of the projects under the Boosting Prevention Program- a research program by Professor Fiona Blyth AM into better management of chronic pain in primary care.
  • $5 million for new targeted clinical trial activity for adolescents and young adults with cancer, to be administered by CanTeen.
  • $13 million over four years to increase clinical trials and registries’ capacity (the Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Capacity Program). This includes funding for networks of investigators and service providers that work together, to identify and evaluate new approaches that will optimise healthcare effectiveness. A targeted call for funding applications is being administered by NHMRC, with funding to commence in January 2018. Funding of $1.2 million to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and $500,000 to Univeristy of Melbourne was was announced on 18 January 2018 for two clinical trials for treatment for ataxia. On 24 January 2018 the Minister announced that the total allocation has been increased from $13 million to $26 million in response to the quality of the applications received. 19 projects have been funded, including the two ataxia projects announced a week earlier. These are across the areas of rare cancer, rare disease and unmet need.
  • $5 million over four years to the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) as the national alliance partner to build the capacity of clinical trials networks.
  • $8 million to boost the scale of three existing NHMRC Fellowship schemes- Career Development Fellowships, (early to mid-career researchers in clinical, population health, biomedical and bioinformatics fields); Translating Research into Practice Fellowships (health professionals translating evidence into healthcare and public health improvements) and Practitioner Fellowships (implementing evidence-based practice among clinical, public health and health service professionals). Fellowship awards will be announced from early 2017-18. 
  • $2 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a new international initiative to address critical research and development gaps for pandemic preparedness and global health security.
  • $5.9 million for antimicrobial resistance to address knowledge gaps in relation to the development and spread of resistance; and the development of new products, including diagnostic technologies and therapies, policies and approaches to prevent, detect and respond to resistance. (Targeted call for funding applications being administered by NHMRC, with funding to commence in January 2018.)
  • $5 million to establish the Biotech Horizons program, to provide early stage pre-clinical support for biotechnologies.
  • $2 million to Cure4MND for clinical trials for adults with MND. This amount was provided as matching funding to public donations to Cure4MND’s ‘Big Freeze 3’ fundraising campaign.