What we’re funding

The Australian Government is investing $78 million in clinical researcher fellowships to ensure the next generation of talented Australians have the capacity to make and progress great medical discoveries. This funding is being administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) using existing well targeted schemes.

View a list of fellowships  awarded under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Next Generation Clinical Researchers program.

Desired outcomes

The purpose of this research funding is to:

  • increase the number of research-focused clinicians working to solve health problems
  • increase the translation of research into clinical practice and products of commercial potential
  • increase the number of professionals transitioning from early to mid and late stage health and medical research careers.

Key elements

The funding will support:

  • Career Development Fellowships (CDF) Scheme for early to mid-career researchers
  • Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowships Scheme
  • Practitioner Fellowships (PF) Scheme; and from 201920
  • Investigator Grants

Why it's important

  • Results from a 2016 national survey show that 83% of researchers considered leaving for another career, with the majority being mid-career researchers. This loss would significantly impact on Australia’s research knowledge and skills base.
  • Clinical professionals usually have to choose between life as a researcher or a clinician. This creates a divide between the kind of research happening in a lab and the research needed to improve clinical practice.
  • Fellowships enable researchers to focus on developing skills they need to succeed with their ideas and progress their careers.

How to apply

The NHMRC has released its Investigator Grants 2019 Guidelines. 

From 2019, the MRFF Next Generation Clinical Researchers program will choose funding recipients from the NHMRC Investigator Grants application process.

Investigator Grants funded by MRFF will be considered the same as NHMRC Investigator Grants. Relevant conditions and policies outlined in the Guidelines will apply.

NHMRC will complete the eligibility assessment for MRFF funded Investigator Grants. As the same selection criteria will apply to both grants, one assessment process will be used to produce a ranked list of applicants. MRFF funded Investigator Grants will be awarded in merit order to applicants whose research aligns with MRFF priorities.

Key dates for the Investigator Grants 2019 application process are as follows:

5 December 2018

Applications open in NHMRC’s granting system

17.00 AEDT
16 January 2019

Minimum data due in NHMRC’s granting system

17.00 AEDT
6 February 2019

Applications close in NHMRC’s granting system

May 2019

Anticipated peer review period


Last updated: 
22 November 2019