MRFF governance

The Australian Government funds the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). Learn how we work with other organisations to govern the fund.

Organisations that help manage the MRFF

Several organisations contribute to the management of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).


The Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 sets out rules for the fund. The Act established the accounts the fund uses and details how the fund distributes money. The Act set up the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) and compels it to consult the public. The Act states that the Health website publishes the MRFF strategy and priorities.  


The MRFF funding principles guide the allocation of MRFF research funding.

As with other grants, the funding process is consistent with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

All disbursements must occur in accordance with the MRFF Act 2015.

The Minister (or delegate) must take into account the MRFF priorities when making grants.

The Medical Research Future Fund Declaration of Interest Policy Statement and Guidelines help members of MRFF advisory panels and committees to identify, disclose and manage relevant interests.

Committees and groups

Several committees and groups work with the MRFF.

Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB)

The independent Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) consults the public about the MRFF strategy and priorities. It then advises the Australian Government about how best to spend the money.

Expert advisory panels

Expert advisory panels guide our research missions:

Future Fund Board of Guardians

The Future Fund Board of Guardians invests the MRFF money. In 2015 the Minister of Finance instructed the Guardians to:

  • preserve the Fund's capital
  • provide a stable income stream 
  • achieve a target return of 1.5 to 2 per cent above the cash rate, over rolling 10-year terms
  • diversify the MRFF's investments

Every year, the Future Fund Board of Guardians decides what the maximum annual spending will be. This maximum limit preserves the capital in the fund into the future.

Parliamentary oversight

The Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 requires the Minister for Health to report to Parliament about the MRFF every 2 years, as soon as possible after each set of MRFF priorities expires. The first report is now available. 

We also report MRFF spending in Health’s Budget Papers.

The Minister for Health must consider the current MRFF priorities when choosing which projects to recommend for funding.

The Government then decides on funding processes, including the selection mechanism to identify which research projects to fund, taking into account the current MRFF:

Last updated: 
6 January 2021

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