What is the Preventive and Public Health Research initiative?

This initiative invests in research that tests innovative approaches to preventive and public health issues in Australia. It will provide $260.4 million over 10 years for research projects that address risk factors that contribute to chronic and complex diseases in Australia. 

It incorporates both previous and new MRFF initiatives:

Why is the Preventive and Public Health Research initiative important?

This initiative is important because it aims to:

  • help research findings and evidence-based practice become part of routine practice
  • improve health outcomes of people with complex and chronic conditions, particularly in disadvantaged regional and rural communities
  • integrate research outcomes into community-based health services and support education programs

What are the goals of the Preventive and Public Health Research initiative?

The initiative’s goal is to support targeted research on new ways to address risk factors for chronic and complex diseases in Australia.

How will we meet these goals?

Early funding priorities are:

  • Reducing preventable hospitalisations
  • Maternal Health and the First 2000 Days
  • Early Childhood
  • Exercise and Nutrition
  • Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research
  • Targeted Translation Research Accelerator

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

MRFF snapshot – Preventive and Public Health Research

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 Preventive and Public Health Research initiative?

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) and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources administer this 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


Upcoming grants

There are currently no upcoming grant opportunities.

Open grant rounds

There are currently no open grant rounds.

Grants being assessed

We are currently assessing applications received under:

  • the 2020 Efficient Use of Existing Medicines opportunity
  • the 2020 Maternal, First 2000 Days, and Childhood Health opportunity, and
  • the 2020 Quality, Safety and Effectiveness of Medicine Use and Medicine Intervention by Pharmacists opportunity.

Grants awarded

We have awarded or announced the following grants under this initiative, as at 25 March 2021.

Funded Institution Project Name Chief Investigator/s Total Funding

University of Canberra

Environmental and social determinants of health in the Australian Capital Territory: program interventions aimed at reducing the burden of disease and avoidable hospital admissions

Professor Rachel Davey


University of Tasmania

Preventative Health Research in Rural and Regional Communities (Tasmania)

Professor James Vickers


Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Reduction of Heart Failure Readmission in Resource-Constrained Environments: Supporting Nurse-led Disease Management by Risk-Guidance and eHealth

Professor Thomas Marwick


La Trobe University

Reducing inappropriate knee joint replacement surgery and hospital burden

Doctor Christian Barton


Monash University

Transforming pulmonary rehabilitation to reduce hospital admissions in COPD

Professor Anne Holland


Macquarie University

Harnessing implementation science, complexity science and evidence-based care to Keep Australians Out of Hospital: leveraging seven natural experiments in New South Wales

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite


Queensland University of Technology

An early detection program to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions of aged care residents

Professor Gillian Harvey


Queensland University of Technology

LOCal Assessment and Triage Evaluation of NAFLD (LOCATE-NAFLD)

 Professor Adrian Barnett


University of Melbourne

The Enhance care study: multi-site implementation of early palliative care in routine practice to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital admissions for people with advanced cancer

Professor Jennifer Philip


University of Melbourne

The REsilience to Seasonal ILlness and Increased Emergency admissioNs CarE (RESILIENCE) Study

Professor Louise Burrell


University of Melbourne

There's no place like home: national scale up of the paediatric low risk febrile neutropenia program

Doctor Gabrielle Haeusler


University of Technology Sydney

Translation of best practice osteoporosis refracture prevention: stopping fragility fractures to keep Australians out of hospital

 Professor Lin Perry


The University of Adelaide

Mobile X-ray services provided within residential aged care facilities

Professor Guy Maddern


University of Tasmania

ANCHOR Project: heAlth ecoNomics and epidemiology of myalgiC encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome

Doctor Barbara de Graaff


Monash University

Assessing diagnostic accuracy for melanoma with compared to without access to Melanoma Surveillance Photography in high-risk individuals

Associate Professor Victoria Mar


University of Western Australia

Evaluation of clinical pathways and patient outcomes for breast MRI in preoperative assessment and staging of breast cancer: Establishing when MRI improves patient outcomes and when it does not

Professor Christobel Saunders


The Sax Institute

Accelerating Pathways to Prevention through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

Not applicable


Deakin University

TeleFFIT - A personalized, telehealth exercise and lifestyle risk factor management program to reduce falls and fracture risk in older adults: A 12-month hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial

Professor Robin Daly


Edith Cowan University

Developing a novel approach to improve diet and lifestyle

Professor Jonathan Hodgson


La Trobe University

Exploring the impact of caseload midwifery on preterm birth among vulnerable and disadvantaged women: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial

Professor Helen McLachlan


Menzies School of Health Research

A life course approach to reduce intergenerational diabetes risk in remote Northern Australia through improved systems of care and consumer engagement

Professor Louise Maple-Brown


Monash University

Healthy lifestyle in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum HIPPP- Personalised Medicine meets Public Health

Professor Helena Teede


Queensland University of Technology

Effectiveness of an early childhood intervention to promote healthy child development and prevent chronic disease in families attending community playgroups: A multi-centre cluster randomised trial

Professor Stewart Trost


The University of Adelaide

The Begin Better Randomised Trial

Professor Jodie Dodd


The University of Adelaide

A pragmatic randomised controlled trial to test whether incentives and carbon monoxide monitoring help pregnant women quit smoking

Associate Professor Lisa Smithers


The University of Adelaide

Time-Restricted EATing to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (TREAT)

Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn


University of Melbourne

Prenatal environments, offspring neurodevelopment and epigenetic programming

Professor Anne-Louise Ponsonby


University of Melbourne

Telerehabilitation for early intervention to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants born preterm and their parents’ well-being: a randomised controlled trial

Associate Professor Alicia Spittle


University of Melbourne

A Precision Medicine approach to improving developmental outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Doctor Anita D'Aprano


The University of Newcastle

Building the capacity of community mental health services to provide preventive care to people with a mental health condition

Professor Jennifer Bowman


University of Sydney

Can a pre-conception weight loss program improve maternal and infant outcomes for women with overweight or obesity? A pragmatic randomised controlled trial (RCT)

Professor Adrienne Gordon


University of Sydney

Physical activity promotion by health professionals to increase physical activity: two hybrid type II implementation-effectiveness cluster randomised waitlist controlled trials in hospital outpatient settings

Doctor Leanne Hassett


University of Sydney

Developing and evaluating an interactive web-based Healthy Beginnings program for preventing obesity in the first years of life

Associate Professor Li Ming Wen


University of Canberra

A good start in life for young children: reducing vulnerability and health inequity

Professor Rachel Davey


University of South Australia

Healthy Choices: Co-designed community programs to enhance healthy lifestyle choices for people with chronic conditions

Professor Susan Hillier


University of Tasmania

Developing benchmarks and a smart online tool for assessing walkability in regional and rural communities: Supporting rural Australians to live healthy, active lives

Associate Professor Verity Cleland


University of Technology Sydney

The impact of neonatal care on long-term healthcare needs and outcomes

Doctor Serena Yu


University of Wollongong

Peer support for breastfeeding for Aboriginal women

Associate Professor Rowena Ivers


Victoria University

Optimising the dose of exercise to promote improvements of cerebrovascular function and health in middle-aged adults

Doctor James Broatch


Australian National University

Tools to value health change in paediatric populations

Professor Emily Lancsar


Cancer Council NSW

Modelling five-year patterns in cancer incidence, staging and related health services

Professor Karen Canfell


University of Melbourne

PRedicting the population health economic IMpact of current and new CAncer Treatments (PRIMCAT)

Professor Maarten Ijzerman


University of Melbourne

Measuring and valuing changes in child health to facilitate robust decision making

Professor Nancy Devlin


University of Sydney

Evidence on the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of digital breast tomosynthesis in identifying breast cancer compared to standard imaging in populations at risk of breast cancer

Professor Nehmat Houssami


Monash University

Epidemiological modelling to deliver better care for Australian patients with myeloma

Associate Professor Zoe McQuilten



MTPConnect Diabetes and Cardiovascular Accelerator initiative

Not applicable




Related information

See a list of all MRFF grant recipients


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 or newsletter 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

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Contact the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Medical Research Future Fund enquiries
MRFF [at] industry.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
31 March 2021