New
Welcome to Health’s new website. Learn more about it. This is still a work in progress, so please let us know what you think.
Welcome to Health’s new website. Learn more about it.

MRFF funding process

Learn where the money for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) comes from, how we manage the money, and how we distribute it for health and medical research.

To apply for funding, go to GrantConnect
The Australian Government advertises all Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) competitive grant opportunities on GrantConnect.

    How does the MRFF funding process work?

    The Australian Government funds the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The Government will contribute savings from the health budget to the fund until it reaches the goal of $20 billion in 2021. 

    The Future Fund invests this money so it provides a steady stream of income (interest). The Finance Minister instructed the Future Fund to aim for a return of 1.5 to 2 per cent above the cash rate, over rolling 10-year periods. 

    Each year the Future Fund Board of Guardians decides how much money to use for health and medical research. This amount is then available for the Government to spend on medical research projects. 

    Expected money movements in and out of the MRFF

    Image showing MRFF money movements

    The diagram shows that in the 2019–20 financial year, $7.8 billion will flow into the MRFF from government deposits and $386 million will flow out to fund research. 

    In 2020–21, $2.5 billion will flow in and $573 million will flow out. At this point, the MRFF reaches its target balance of $20 billion and the government does not make any further deposits. 

    In 2021–22 $646 million is budgeted to fund research, and in 2022–23 the budget is $650 million. 

    The Government has announced a 10-year plan for the MRFF. In considering MRFF funding priorities, the Australian Government considers the MRFF strategy and priorities. Investments through the MRFF are made according to the MRFF funding principles. An independent advisory board (AMRAB) sets the strategy and priorities after consulting the public and medical research sector. Expert Advisory Panels advise on funding priorities for Missions.

    The Department then designs and advertises funding opportunities on GrantConnect and research institutions apply.

    Successful research institutions receive funds and carry out their work. They must regularly report how they are using the grant money. 

    The Minister for Health reports to Parliament every 2 years on how the Government is using the MRFF. 

    See MRFF governance for more information on who looks after the fund. 

    Existing and projected funding

    Our list of all MRFF initiatives shows how the money is being used.

    The MRFF is currently supporting many projects. Some of these existing projects have a 4–10 year timeline, forming a foundation for the MRFF into the future. Their funding will continue, and the Australian Government will choose any new MRFF initiatives based on the current priorities.

    Last updated: 
    11 December 2019

    Help us improve health.gov.au

    If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.