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$276 million to back Australia’s brightest health scientists

To continue our support for Australian medical research, the Australian Government is making $276.4 million available through twelve research grant opportunities to improve health outcomes for all Australians and tackle the global challenges in health today.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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To continue our support for Australian medical research, the Morrison Government is making $276.4 million available through twelve research grant opportunities to improve health outcomes for all Australians and tackle the global challenges in health today.

Australian health and medical research continues to drive innovation to develop new therapies and treatments for a range of illnesses, increasing our understanding of human health, and developing new ways of improving the health of all Australians.

To support this, these funding rounds will include opportunities in chronic respiratory conditions, Indigenous health, and studies into chronic neurological conditions.

Early and mid-career researchers help drive Australian research, bringing fresh ideas, innovation, and creativity to institutions around the country, creating a vibrant research sector.

To back our brightest up and coming scientists, the Morrison Government is providing $42.8 million for a new Early to Mid-Career Researchers Grant Opportunity, which will be available to Australia’s emerging researchers, encouraging them to find solutions to some of Australia’s greatest health challenges.

Researchers who work alongside or have strong consumer engagement may also be eligible for grants worth a total of $10 million through the 2021 Consumer Led Research Program Grant Opportunity.

This funding supports projects which benefit health care consumers by answering research questions that are more relevant and responsive to community needs, while also seeking consumer perspectives to improve the quality of research.

Many of Australia’s breakthrough projects in health can access additional support through the $50 million 2021 BioMedTech Incubator Grant Opportunity.

The incubator approach allows commercially focused projects to access up to $5 million in funding incrementally, as they progress through development milestones.

Health researchers across all fields are also invited to apply for funding through the expanded $71.6 million 2021 Clinical Trials Activity Grant Opportunity, which has been expanded to encompass research into rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet needs.

The funding for clinical trials ensures that Australian researchers can access resources to allow for clinical trials and analysis, moving their discoveries from the laboratory into clinical applications where they can change lives for the better.

Other new research funding opportunities supported through the MRFF include:

  • $15 million for the 2021 Maternal Health and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles, addressing maternal health issues including smoking and physical exercise, along with an opportunity aimed at reducing adolescent drug and alcohol use
  • $20 million for the 2021 Chronic Respiratory Health Conditions Grant Opportunity, focusing on improving outcomes for people with chronic respiratory health conditions, further funding opportunities in respiratory health will be added in coming years
  • $5 million for the Primary Health Care Digital Innovations Grant Opportunity, supporting research that develops new digital tools and technologies to improve access to services for disadvantaged and/or vulnerable populations
  • $24.4 million through the 2021 Indigenous Health Research Grant Opportunity drawing on a fund led and designed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to focus research on issues that are a priority for First Nations people
  • $14 million for the 2021 Optimising the Clinical Use of Immunoglobulins Grant Opportunity, examining the use of antibodies from human blood to address a number of clinical conditions
  • $15 million for the 2021 Chronic Neurological Conditions Grant Opportunity, which supports research into developmental delay in children, multiple sclerosis, and chronic degenerative neurological disorders
  • $7.6 million, including $1.5 million from mission partners, for the 2021 Australian Brain Cancer Research Grant Opportunity, for vital research into brain cancer and
  • $1 million for the 2021 European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases, which encourages international collaboration across 35 countries to help improve the lives of Australians with rare diseases.

These grant opportunities will be managed by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Business Grants Hub, with funding made available through the Morrison Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The $20 billion MRFF is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research, helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system, which ensures a guaranteed funding stream to support Australia’s best and brightest health researchers.

More information and criteria for each of the grant opportunities will be available at

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