Funding Research for Future Health

The Australian Government has allocated an additional $905 million for Australian health and medical research as a major investment in our future health.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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9 May 2006

The Government is tonight announcing the allocation of an additional $905 million for Australian health and medical research as a major investment in our future health.

The Budget provides $500 million for research into new medical knowledge and technologies with the potential to prevent or treat disease and improve the lives of Australians.

It will be part of a total $692 million boost to research grants, fellowships and specific research agendas. This will be complemented by an investment of $213 million in infrastructure and capital works for our medical research organisations.

This funding injection will kindle a high performing, high impact, collaborative research programme with direct links to the medical sector and to economic growth.

The 2006-07 Budget finalises the Government’s response to the Grant Review, which assessed implementation of the Wills six-year funding expansion programme from 2000-01. Since the beginning of that programme, Government funding for medical research grants and fellowships has quadrupled.

$500 million boost to NHMRC

The Government has committed an additional $500 million over four years to increase funding for health and medical research grants provided through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

This funding is in addition to $200 million over seven years, announced in the 2004-05 Budget and provided primarily to assist independent medical research institutes to cover overhead infrastructure costs

$170 million for new research fellowships

The Government will create a new Australian Health and Medical Research Fellowship Scheme to support between 50 and 65 senior research positions at a cost of $170 million over nine years.

These fellowships will be awarded to outstanding and talented Australian researchers who would otherwise not obtain research funding including some who might have been working overseas. Each of the first five years of the scheme will see approximately 10 to 13 new fellows commence a five year-long research programme.

$22 million for stem cell research

The Government will provide $20 million over four years towards establishing a National Adult Stem Cell Research Centre at Griffith University, and an additional $2 million in 2005-06 towards the fit out costs of the centre. The extra funding will also help enhance its capacity to undertake cutting-edge research. (See separate media release)

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research - additional funding

The Government will provide an additional $50 million to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in 2005-06. This funding will contribute towards a seven-storey extension of the Institute that will double the floor space available for research, particularly in the areas of cancer and infectious disease.

Medical research facilities - grants for development and expansion

The Government will provide $163 million in grants to medical research facilities for a variety of development and expansion projects.

The funding comprises:
  • $10 million for the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health
  • $10 million for the Murdoch Children's Research Institute Australia
  • $10 million for the Children's Cancer Institute Australia
  • $10 million for the Centenary Institute
  • $5 million for the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
  • $10 million for Heart Research Institute
  • $15 million for the Westmead Millennium Institute
  • $14 million for the Garvan Institute and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
  • $10 million for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre
  • $5 million for the Gallipoli Research Foundation
  • $6 million for the Sydney Melanoma Unit
  • $2 million for the Brain and Mind Research Institute
  • $10 million for the Queensland Brain Institute
  • $37 million for the Howard Florey Institute
  • $4 million for the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases
  • $5 million for the Hunter Medical Research Institute.
The funding will enable these research facilities to expand and improve their capacity and their reputations for quality research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The 2006-07 Budget allocation builds on the Government’s strong record of support for medical research, including infrastructure. The 2004-05 Budget included $200 million over seven years to fund overhead infrastructure for independent medical research facilities in receipt of NHMRC research grant funding.

More information about funding for medical research and medical research infrastructure is available at

Media contact: Kate Miranda 0417 425 227

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