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$311 million for dementia, cancer and additional medical research

Eleven grant opportunities from the Morrison Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), with a total value of almost $311 million, will launch today.

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

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Twelve grant opportunities from the Morrison Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), with a total value of almost $311 million, will launch today.

The funding aims to generate improved health care and outcomes by supporting health and medical research and innovation projects in key areas such as dementia, aged care, and applied research led by clinicians.

A total of $17.5 million is on offer for research into dementia and aged care. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, and the number one cause of death for women.

Almost half a million people are currently living with dementia in Australia, with this number expected to reach around 1.1 million in less than 30 years.

The 2020 MRFF grant opportunity from the Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission targets large scale, interdisciplinary research into dementia and aged care in four streams.

  • $1 million to develop measures to assess dementia care at a local organisational level and improve its quality
  • $6 million to develop interventions for holistic and multidisciplinary care, including new digital technologies to support care, managing transitions between care types, and managing the progression of dementia
  • $8 million for research to develop better diagnostic and prognostic tools for dementia, including biological markers of disease onset and progression
  • $2.5 million for research into effective infection control practices in aged care settings and during transitions.

Through the Clinician Researchers Initiative, the Government will make $25 million available to support clinician’s research health issues of significance to their patients.

Historically, clinician researchers have faced multiple challenges to effectively combine their patient care and research roles. 

Grants of up to $3 million are available for research teams comprising a mix of senior and early- to mid-career clinician researchers, and supported by academic researchers.

The research will have potential to improve outcomes for patients, address an area of high need, improve the safety, quality and effectiveness of health services, and/or improve the efficiency of health services.

Funding will be allocated across three streams—teams led by general practitioners (GPs), medical specialists, or allied health professionals.

The chosen research projects will be embedded within a health service, such as hospitals or general practices, or health networks (Primary Health Networks or Local Health Networks).

The $190.8 million MRFF Clinician Researchers initiative will build research capacity in our health system, to ensure research is matched to clinical practice and leads to improved safety and quality in health services.

The MRFF is a capital preserved fund which matured at $20 billion in July 2020. It is long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability.

In total, our Government directly invested a record $1.28 billion in health and medical research in 2019-20, which represented 13.6 per cent of Australian Government investment in Australian research.

The Morrison Government will invest a record $6.6 billion in health and medical research between 2020-21 and 2023-24.

Details of the 2020 MRFF grant opportunities are below.

Grant opportunity MRFF stream Funding

2020 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission

2020 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission

$17.5 million

2020 Clinician Researchers: Applied Research in Health

Clinician Researchers

$25 million

2020 Paediatric Cancer

Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research (EPCDR)

$9.6 million

2020 Improving Diagnosis in Cancers with Low Survival


$25 million

2020 Rapid Applied Research Translation

Rapid Applied Research Translation

$55 million

2020 Early Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support

Medical Research Commercialisation

$79 million

2020 Genomics Health Futures Mission

Genomics Health Futures Mission

$45 million

2020 Stem Cell Therapies Mission

Stem Cell Therapies Mission

$19 million

2020 Cardiovascular Health Mission

Cardiovascular Health Mission

$20.3 million

2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Mission

2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Mission

$4.3 million

2020 Indigenous Health Research Fund

Indigenous Health Research Fund

$11.1 million



$310.8 million

Further to the launch to the 11 MRFF grant opportunities, public consultation opened today on the Roadmaps and Implementation Plans for six MRFF Missions: Cardiovascular Health Mission; Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission; Genomics Health Futures Mission; Indigenous Health Research Fund; Stem Cell Therapies Mission; and Traumatic Brain Injury Mission.

The Roadmaps and Implementation Plans set the strategic direction for the Missions, including identifying the research questions and priorities MRFF funding will focus on. Written submissions can be made at any time via, and webinars will be held in February and/or March 2021.

Further information on the MRFF is available at and on the grant opportunities is at

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