What is the Indigenous Health Research Fund?

The Indigenous Health Research Fund (IHRF) is investing in Indigenous-led research to tackle health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It will provide $160 million from 2018–19 to 2028–29.

Why is the Indigenous Health Research Fund important?

In 2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up about 3.3% of the total Australian population (around 798,400 people). Improving health and social equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is one of Australia’s most significant challenges. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people currently have a 10-year-lower life expectancy and 2.3 times the burden of disease compared to non-Indigenous Australians. This fund focuses research funding on issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

What are the goals of the Indigenous Health Research Fund?

The goals are to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through:

  • Indigenous-led research practice and governance
  • knowledge translation
  • evidence-based structural change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice

How will we meet these goals?

The early funding priority area is research into a vaccine to prevent rheumatic heart disease, which started in 2018–19.

The IHRF includes a commitment of $35 million over 3 years from 2018–19 to 2020–21 to support the development of a vaccine to eliminate rheumatic heart disease in Australia. This funding has been provided to the University of Western Australia. The remaining $125 million of the IHRF will be distributed through competitive processes.

See the initiative snapshot for details of how we plan to meet these goals.

MRFF snapshot – Indigenous Health Research Fund

This snapshot shows this initiative at a glance. It includes budgets, early funding priorities and grant timelines, as at November 2019. Researchers and other stakeholders can use it to plan for upcoming opportunities and see how the initiative will be established, expanded and embedded over time.

Who works with us on the Indigenous Health Research Fund?

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funds the initiative.

Our Health and Medical Research Office oversees this and other MRFF initiatives.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) will administer this initiative. 

We are establishing an expert advisory panel. They will consult the public and create a plan (roadmap) for the initiative.

Apply for funding

We will list grants on GrantConnect when they open. If you want GrantConnect to notify you about future MRFF grants:

  • register with them
  • enter ‘MRFF’ in the keyword section of your GrantConnect profile

Status

Upcoming grants

There are currently no upcoming grant opportunities. 

Open grant rounds

The Indigenous Health Research grant opportunity opened on 13 December 2019 and will close on 12 February 2020.

Grants being assessed

There are no grants currently being assessed.

Grants awarded

We have funded the following projects under this initiative, as at 30 September 2019.

Funded Institution

Project Name

Chief Investigator

Total Funding

Telethon Kids Institute
University of Western Australia

Vaccine to combat Rheumatic Heart Disease

Not applicable

$35,000,000

Total

 

$35,000,000

Related information

See a list of all MRFF grant recipients.

Contact

For more information contact us. 

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) contact

Contact for more information about the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), or to provide feedback on the MRFF website.

General enquiries:
MRFF [at] health.gov.au
MRFF website feedback:
HMRO [at] health.gov.au

View contact

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funds high quality health and medical research to build research capability, support researchers, encourage the translation of research into better health outcomes and promote the highest ethical standards for health and medical research.

help [at] nhmrc.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
24 December 2019