First Medical Research Future Fund grants open

In great news for the sector, the first two competitive grant opportunities for the Medical Research Future Fund opened today. These grant opportunities will be run by the National Health and Medical Research Council, and will draw on their high-quality application and assessment processes.

Two MRFF grant opportunities open on 24 August 2017 and close at 5pm AEDT on Wednesday 4 October 2017:

  1. The Antimicrobial Resistance Targeted Call for Research competitive grant opportunity aims to stimulate research on novel and innovative methodologies, such as genomics, to determine antimicrobial resistance profiles and transmission within and to/from residential aged care facilities. This knowledge will assist in the promotion and development of optimal and appropriate antimicrobial use in residential aged care facilities.
  2. The Lifting Clinical Trials and Registries Capacity Grant Opportunity will stimulate clinical trial and registry activity with priority to be given to under-researched health priorities, such as rare cancers and rare diseases. Novel and innovative trial designs and recruitment strategies and the application of precision medicine will also be encouraged under this grant opportunity.

This is welcome news, particularly given MTPConnect's recent report on the economic profile and competitive advantage of clinical trials in Australia.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) has been positively received by the health and medical research sector, with the 2017 Budget setting out investments up to $1.4 billion in its first five years. The first disbursements of the MRFF were announced in May, with $20 million to boost preventative health research and research translation, $10 million for the Australian Preventative Partnership Centre, $33 million to build research excellence and leadership, $12.9 million for breakthrough research investments, and $5 million for new targeted clinical trial activity for adolescents and young adults with cancer.

More information about the application process is available from the NHMRC website.

Further information about the MRFF is available at health.gov.au/MRFF.