MRFF strategy and priorities

The Medical Research Future Fund's strategy and priorities guide the Australian Government's decisions on which research projects to fund.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) strategy and priorities inform where the Australian Government directs its research funding. The Health Minister takes into account the MRFF strategy and priorities when deciding how to use the fund's money.

An independent group of experts called the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) sets the MRFF strategy and priorities. They do this in accordance with MRFF legislation.

AMRAB carries out comprehensive national consultations before setting the MRFF strategies and priorities. This makes sure that they focus on the best areas for future research.  

The Government takes the MRFF strategy and priorities into account when deciding which projects to fund. AMRAB does not decide which projects will receive MRFF funds.

See our 10-year plan to see how we are applying the MRFF strategy and priorities to initiatives that make a difference to Australians' health.

MRFF strategy

AMRAB sets the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy every 5 years. It takes into account Australia's health needs and areas that need greater investment.

The strategic objectives for 2021-26 for the MRFF to deliver are:

  • equitable health outcomes through research-informed preventive health and health care across the spectrum from primary to tertiary care
  • health and economic benefits from transformative and innovative research through translation of outcomes into policy and practice, and commercialisation of new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventive health interventions
  • a skilled and sustainable health and medical research workforce with expertise in research translation, innovation, and commercialisation
  • a health and medical research sector and health system positioned to respond to emerging and future challenges.

Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-2026

The Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-2026 sets out the vision, aim and strategic objectives of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

MRFF priorities

Following a national consultation, AMRAB sets the Australian Medical Research and Innovation priorities every 2 years. 

In line with the MRFF funding principles, the Government considers which initiatives will reduce burden of disease, provide practical benefits, or deliver the best value for money. The Australian Government takes the priorities into account when making funding decisions.

The priorities for 2020–2022 focus on:

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • global health challenges such as pandemics
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • ageing and aged care
  • digital health tools
  • comparing the value of different health interventions
  • primary care research
  • support for health professionals to conduct their own research
  • identifying gaps where research does not address the lived experiences of patients, and fixing these
  • using existing drugs for new purposes
  • testing public health interventions to reduce chronic disease
  • supporting Australian biomedical and medical device development.

Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2020–2022

The Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2020–2022 are the third and current set of priorities for the MRFF. 

Draft Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 

AMRAB has reviewed the MRFF’s priorities to align with the 2021–2026 strategy. The newly developed priorities will remain as a draft until the 2020-2022 priorities cease to have effect. Read the draft priorities.

The Australian Government is currently considering the Investment Funds Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill) which proposes changes to the MRFF Act 2015.

If the Bill is passed, the revised priorities will be registered and in force until 8 November 2024.

If the Bill is not passed, the 2020–2022 priorities will remain in force until 5 November 2022. These revised priorities will then be registered and in force for 2 years.

The new priorities will not impact existing MRFF funding commitments.

The strategy and priorities determine how the government chooses to use MRFF funding

Last updated: 
30 November 2021

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