Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)

Research Office Contact:
research-applications@newcastle.edu.au

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 funds research around 4 key themes: patients, researchers, research missions and research translation. The MRFF funding process allocates funding to these themes according to national research priorities.

All currently open MRFF opportunities are listed on GrantConnect.

Further information about the MRFF can be found on the Department of Health MRFF webpage.

Please note: The Research Office communicates information about all MRFF schemes (regardless of who they are administered by) via the Research Office NHMRC mailing list. It is strongly recommended that all applicants subscribe to the Research Office NHMRC mailing list for up to date information on these schemes.

Some MRFF opportunities allow for a limited number of applications for the funding round. In this case, an internal EOI process will be required and will be advertised via the Research Office NHMRC mailing list.

Open MRFF Opportunities

Managed bySchemeOpen E&C Check Period* Min Data UON Deadline for Final ApplicationSubmission
NHMRC MRFF - Clinical Trials Activity Initiative - 2021 Innovative Therapies for Mental Illness - Grant Opportunity Wed 17 March 2021 Thu 1 - Wed 7 July 2021 Wed 7 July 2021 9:00am Wed 14 July 2021 Wed 21 July 2021
NHMRC MRFF Clinical Trials Activity Initiative - 2021 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant Opportunity - Round 1 Wed 17 March 2021 Thu 19 - Wed 25 August 2021 Wed 25 August 2021 9:00am Wed 1 September 2021 Wed 8 September 2021

* Eligibility and Compliance (E&C) Checks can be booked through the '2020/21 MRFF Opportunities' tile on the UON Booking System website. Bookings for a scheme open the day after the scheme opens. Given the tight turnaround on some MRFF opportunities, E&C checks may not be available for all schemes. Please contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au if you intend on applying for an MRFF opportunity.

Past MRFF Opportunities

Managed BySchemeOpenedSubmission
Dept. of Health2020 Clinician Researchers Applied Research in Health Grant Opportunity24 Feb 202110 May 2021
Dept. of Health2020 Rapid Applied Research Translation Grant Opportunity4 March 20216 May 2021
NHMRCEmerging Priorities and consumer driven research initiative - neurofibromatosis research grant10 February 20217 April 2021
NHMRCEmerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative – 2020 Paediatric Cancer Grant Opportunity16 December 202010 March 2021
NHMRCDementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission – 2020 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity16 December 202010 March 2021
NHMRCEmerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative - 2020 Improving Diagnosis in Cancers with Low Survival Rates14 December 202010 March 2021
NHMRCIndigenous Health Research Fund - Indigenous Health Research16 December 202010 March 2021
NHMRC Clinical Trials Activity Initiative -
2020 International Clinical Trial
Collaborations Round 2
2 September 2020 3 March 2021
NHMRCStem Cell Therapies Mission – 2020 Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 3 March 2021
NHMRC2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Mission Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 3 March 2021
NHMRCGenomics Health Futures Mission - 2020 Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 3 March 2021
NHMRCCardiovascular Health Mission – 2020 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 3 March 2021
Dept. of Health 2020 Primary Health Care Research Data Infrastructure 10 November 2020 23 February 2021
Dept. of Health 2020 Quality, Safety and Effectiveness of Medicine Use and Medicine Intervention by Pharmacists Grant Opportunity 10 November 2020 23 February 2021
NHMRC 2020 Maternal Health and First 2000 Days, Early Childhood, and Exercise and Nutrition Grant Opportunity 12 October 2020 3 February 2021
NHMRC 2020 Efficient Use of Existing Medicines Grant Opportunity 12 October 2020 3 February 2021
NHMRC 2020 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Opportunity

7 October 2020

3 February 2021
Dept. of Health2021 Frontier Health and Medical Research Grant Opportunity

7 October 2020

11 December 2020
NHMRC Million Minds Mission – 2020 Mental Health Research Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 9 December 2020
NHMRCPHCR Initiative - 2020 Primary Health Care Research Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 11 November 2020
NHMRCEmerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research - 2020 Silicosis Research Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 11 November 2020
NHMRCEmerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research - 2020 Medicinal Cannabis Clinical Trials Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 11 November 2020
NHMRCClinical Trials Activity Initiative – 2020 Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need General Grant Opportunity 2 September 2020 11 November 2020
NHMRCClinical Trials Activity Initiative -
2020 International Clinical Trial
Collaborations Round 1
2 September 2020 11 November 2020
Dept. of Health Australian Brain Cancer Mission - 2020 Brain Cancer Survivorship Grant Opportunity 1 July 2020 20 October 2020
NHMRC 2020 Rare Cancers Rare Diseases Unmet Need COVID-19 Grant Opportunity 20 August 2020 23 September 2020
NHMRC 2020 COVID-19 Immunological Studies Grant 12 June 2020 23 July 2020
NHMRC 2020 COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Research Grant Opportunity - Round One EOI 15 June 15 July 2020
Dept. Industry, Science, Energy & Resources Coronavirus Research Response - 2020 Rapid Response Digital Health Infrastructure 1 July 2020 14 July 2020
Dept. Industry, Science, Energy & Resources Coronavirus Research Response - 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches During Outbreaks 1 July 2020 14 July 2020
NHMRC 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Research Grant Opportunity 1 June 2020 13 July 2020
Dept. of Health MRFF - 2020 Targeted Translation Research Accelerator Grant Opportunity 7 April 2020 22 April 2020
NHMRC 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 24 March 2020 14 April 2020
NHMRC MRFF 2020 Antiviral Development for COVID-19 25 March 2020 14 April 2020
Dept. of Health Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One - Research Plan 30 January 2020 26 March 2020
NHMRC EPCD Initiative – 2020 Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Development Grant Opportunity 25 February 2020 11 March 2020
NHMRC Traumatic Brain Injury Mission - 2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Grant Opportunity 15 January 2020 4 March 2020
NHMRC Stem Cell Therapies Mission - 2020 Stem Cell Therapies Grant Opportunity 15 January 2020 4 March 2020
Dept. of Industry, Innovation & Science National Critical Infrastructure Initiative: 2019 Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure grant opportunity 11 December 2019 4 March 2020
Dept. of Industry, Innovation & Science Applied Artificial Intelligence Research in Health 11 February 2020 3 March 2020
Dept. of Industry, Innovation & Science Brain Cancer Survivorship 11 February 2020 3 March 2020
NHMRC IHRF 2019 Indigenous Health Research Grant Opportunity 13 December 2019 12 February 2020
NHMRC Cardiovascular Health Mission - 2019 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity 13 December 2019 12 February 2020
NHMRC Global Health Initiative - 2019 Tackling AMR and DR-TB Grant Opportunity 13 December 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC EPCDR Initiative – 2019 Mental Health Pharmacogenomics Grant Opportunity 11 December 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC PHCR Initiative - 2019 Primary Health Care Research Grant Opportunity 11 December 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC PPHR Initiative - 2019 Preventive and Public Health Research Grant Opportunity 11 December 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC PPHR Initiative - 2019 Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Grant Opportunity 11 December 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC Million Minds Mission – 2019 Suicide Prevention Grant Opportunity 28 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC EPCDR Initiative - 2019 Ovarian Cancer Research Grant Opportunity 28 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC Clinical Trails Activity: RCRDUN Initiative – 2019 Reproductive Cancers Grant Opportunity 15 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC Clinical Trials Activity: RCRDUN Initiative – 2019 Childhood Brain Cancer Grant Opportunity 15 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC Clinical Trials Activity: RCRDUN Initiative – 2019 Neurological Disorders Grant Opportunity 15 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC Clinical Trials Activity: RCRDUN Initiative – 2019 Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Grant Opportunity 15 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC EPCDR Initiative - 2019 Endometriosis Research Grant Opportunity 15 November 2019 5 February 2020
NHMRC EPCDR Initiative – 2020 Bushfire Impact Research Grant Opportunity 17 January 2020 31 January 2020

Further Information for MRFF's administered by the NHMRC

The NHMRC is required to publish Grant Guidelines and all associated scheme documents on GrantConnect, the Australian Government whole-of-government, web-based, grant information system. You will need to sign in or create a User Registration account in GrantConnect to access all relevant documentation for NHMRC applications.

Once you have signed in to GrantConnect, the essential documents can be found by searching for the relevant scheme under ‘grant opportunities’ (open schemes) or ‘forecast opportunities’ (upcoming schemes). As the NHMRC often updates documents after the scheme opens, it is highly recommended that you sign up for alerts by editing your profile.

If you encounter any problems accessing or downloading these documents please contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au or 4921 7733.

UON Documents

The Research-NHMRC mailing list is managed by the Research Office and is used to communicate essential information regarding grant opportunities offered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Information regarding opportunities offered through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), regardless of who administers the grant (i.e NHMRC, Department of Health, Depart of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources), are also communicated via this list.

Internal EOI processes for limited round MRFF opportunities are also be advertised via this list.

Information about applying, minimum data deadlines, eligibility information, changes to guidelines and conditions of award, progress report requirements etc. are communicated via this list.

If you currently hold an NHMRC/MRFF grant or fellowship, or intend applying for one, the Research Office strongly recommends subscribing to this list.

Subscribe to the Research-NHMRC Mailing list (UON staff and students only)

NHMRC uses Sapphire for all grant rounds.

Resources are available to assist in navigating Sapphire, such as how-to videos.The NHMRC will update Sapphire’s web page with latest news and other relevant information. Applicants are encouraged to check back regularly to keep informed of any updates.

Researchers should confirm all Profile data is complete and up-to-date prior to submitting an application.

A summary of the key changes for Sapphire Profile and NHMRC’s recommendations for checking your profile data is available on the NHMRC Sapphire - Profile Update webpage. If you have any questions or concerns about your migrated profile data, please contact the NHMRC.

CI Eligibility Limits and Sapphire

Unlike RGMS, Sapphire does not contain the functionality to perform validations checks to alert the applicant or the Research Office to potential eligibility issues. Instead it relies on each CI to ensure they are not exceeding the eligibility requirements for the scheme.

The Research Office strongly recommends that CIAs ensure that their entire CI team carefully check to ensure they meet the eligibility requirement for the specific scheme – noting that for some schemes eligibility is limited to one application as CI. Please contact the Research Office if you are unsure of your eligibility so we can assist.

The NHMRC will rule all applications ineligible in instances where any CI (CIA-CIJ) is in excess of the maximum number of grants they are eligible to apply for or hold.

Eligibility for schemes is outlined in the scheme specific Guidelines.  CIs are advised to carefully review this information to ensure that all members of the research team to be named on an application, meet the scheme specific eligibility requirements.

CIs may submit a total of two applications across the Ideas, Investigator, and Synergy Grant schemes in any given funding round dependent on the number of grants already held.

It is important to note:

  • That the Investigator Grant 2021 (internal deadline 24 March) and Ideas Grant 2021 (internal deadline 28 April) are considered the same funding round;
  • An Investigator Grant 2021 application will count as one of the maximum two applications across the three schemes;
  • If the Investigator Grant 2021 is successful, any Ideas Grant the Investigator Grant applicant is listed on as a CI, irrespective of whether it is CIA-CIJ, will be removed and excluded from consideration.

If any CI (CIA-CIJ) submits an Ideas, Investigator or Synergy Grant application(s) in excess of the maximum for which they are eligible to apply or hold, all Ideas, Investigator, or Synergy Grant applications on which that CI is named may be ineligible and excluded from consideration, irrespective of the scheme to which they have applied, and that CI’s position or role on the application.

The Research Office recommends that applicants carefully review the NHMRC eligibility tool and the specific scheme Guidelines, to determine eligibility prior to commencing an application or agreeing to be a CI on an application.  Please contact our office at research-applications@newcastle.edu.au if you are unsure of your eligibility so we can assist.

For further information please see:

If you have further questions about your eligibility, please contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au.

Minimum data must be entered in Sapphire by the scheme-specific deadline to allow the NHMRC to find suitable peer reviewers for the application. Applicants must complete the required fields with correct information. Using placeholder text such as “text”, “synopsis” or “xx” etc. is not acceptable as minimum data. Minimum data requirements for each scheme are specified in the scheme Grant Guidelines.

Failure to meet the Minimum Data deadline will result in the application not proceeding.

The Research Office uses an online booking process to manage optional Eligibility and Compliance Checks on applications for NHMRC Schemes. Scientific content is not reviewed. It is recommended that you see Peer Review of your application also either via your faculty or through the UON Academy of Reviewers where available.

A booking must be made within the allocated E&C Check period for each scheme. Applicants are strongly encouraged to commence their application in Sapphire ASAP after the scheme opens so they can book their preferred day for an E&C Check. Bookings without a Sapphire application ID will be cancelled.

Appointed by the DVCRI and nominated by UON College Pro-Vice Chancellors, the UON Academy of Reviewers is a select and esteemed group of highly experienced researchers who will act as a reference group for the Research and Innovation Division providing comment on strategic matters as they arise.

A key strategic role for members of the Academy will be the review of draft UON grant applications in the major grant rounds, to provide tactical feedback and advice to applicants. An internal Expression of Interest (EOI) process will be used by the Research Office to facilitate this valuable scientific content review.

Please visit the UON Academy of Reviewers webpage for a list of members of the Academy as well as a timeline for ARC/NHMRC scheme reviews.

Please see the NHMRC Submission Procedure on the NHMRC Grants webpage and the Online Booking System User Guide for instructions on how to make a booking for an Eligibility and Compliance Check.

Once complete, the CIA must certify and submit the application in Sapphire via the Certification page. To do this, select the ‘Certification’ page in Sapphire, select ‘Certify and submit to RAO'. This will result in the status changing to 'Submitted to RAO' - which equates to 'Research Administration Office' (NOT the NHMRC).

For NHMRC applications involving Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) patients, sites and/or HNELHD Chief or Associate Investigator(s) it is important to ensure that the appropriate HNELHD manager(s) approval has been obtained prior to the University of Newcastle internal deadline.

The HNELHD process for approval requires the completion of the HNELHD Brief Approval Template signed by the appropriate HNELHD manager(s). HNELHD recommend that applicants commence this process as soon as possible to ensure approvals are obtained prior to the University internal deadline.

Please contact the HNELHD Research office if you have any questions relating to their processes or research involving HNELHD patients or sites.

Please note that applicants who are proposing to access HNELHD patients or sites but who do not have a formal affiliation with HNELHD, will need to ensure the application team includes a HNELHD investigator in accordance with HNELHD requirements.

The NHMRC has released a Toolkit for Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research to ‘provide practical advice on engaging with consumers and the community to undertake high quality and relevant research’.

The Toolkit comprises of five individual resources available for download from the Consumer and community engagement page.

The Toolkit has been designed by the NHMRC and its Community and Consumer Advisory Group to complement the 2016 Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research

Impact Case Studies

The assessment criteria for some NHMRC schemes now include research impact wherein applicants are required to demonstrate the impact of a project or program of research.

Applicants will be assessed based on:

  • The significance and reach of their claimed research impact
  • The contribution of their research program to the research impact

NHMRC defines the impact of research as the verifiable outcomes that research makes to knowledge, health, the economy and/or society. Impact is the effect of the research after it has been adopted, adapted for use, or used to inform further research. Research impact is the verifiable outcomes from research and not the prospective or anticipated effects of the research. Research impact also includes research that leads to a decision not to use a particular diagnostic, treatment or health policy.

Engagement and Impact Toolkit

Research Services has developed an Engagement and Impact Toolkit which helps to provide:

  • a comprehensive overview of how research engagement and impact is increasingly influencing researcher practice, institutional strategies and practices as well as research funding;
  • strategies to support research impact at the institutional, faculty and individual level;
  • resources to support data capture and effectively communicate research impact.

A series of tiles on the EI Toolkit homepage link visitors to information and resources across major themes including An introduction to the EI Toolkit, Resources, ARC Engagement and Impact assessment, Promoting your research impact and Collecting EI data.

Citation metrics

One aspect of impact evidence is represented by the recognition of scholarly research outputs. Citation metrics are a significant part of this evidence. Please see the UON Library Guides for a more detailed breakdown of this aspect of research impact.

Research Services can provide researchers with access to view successful applications where the lead Chief Investigator has provided consent. Applications must be viewed in hard copy in the Research Services office or by arrangement at HMRI.

How to Arrange to View a Successful Application

Contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au to request access to view successful applications for a specific scheme. Please include preferred date(s), time(s) and location.

Confirmation of the date, time and venue will be provided to you by Research Services staff.

Presentations

Grant Accelerator Session Recording and Presentations - available via the Research Advantage Resources Hub

Please note a University login is required to access presentation resources

All research projects that are either partially or fully supported by NHMRC funding are required, by the NHMRC Funding Agreement, to appropriately acknowledge the NHMRC contribution to research and other activities in any correspondence, public announcement, advertising material, research report or other material produced for the research project.

The acknowledgement should mention the NHMRC as a funding body, include the Grant Identification Number for the Research Activity and specify that the contents of the published material are solely the responsibility of the research institutions involved or individual authors and do not reflect the views of NHMRC.

Whilst this acknowledgement most often occurs within research outputs, such as journal publications, efforts should also be made if participating in dissemination activities such as conferences or interviews with media outlets.


If you have any questions regarding the Medical Research Future Fund and the current opportunities, please contact the Research Office at research-applications@newcastle.edu.au or call +61 2 4921 7733

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.