Date published: 
11 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Australian researchers are invited to apply for grants totalling $49.6 million to pursue research into a range of priority health and health system issues.

Applications opened today for four grant opportunities funded by the Morrison Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF):

  • $26.1 million for Targeted Health System and Community Organisation research (THSCOR).
  • $11.5 million for research related to Exercise and Nutrition, Early Childhood, Maternal Health and the First 2000 Days.
  • $7 million for Mental Health Pharmacogenomics research.
  • $5 million for Primary Health Care research.

Together, these four grant opportunities will support research that can improve health for Australians from the day they are born, throughout their lives. Both physical and mental health issues will be researched through these grant opportunities.

Research is the key to better health care and treatments.

The Morrison Government is making record investments in Australian health and medical research of all kinds, from blue sky frontier discoveries to studies into the best way to encourage healthier lifestyles.

The 2019 THSCOR grant opportunity will invest up to $26.1 million over two years, to address questions in five critical knowledge and evidence gaps identified by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, the Medical Services Advisory Committee and the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.

These evidence gaps relate to cancer treatment populations, evaluation of health changes in children, efficient use of pharmaceuticals, digital breast tomosynthesis (an advanced mammography technology), and a review of circumcision revision.

The second grant opportunity will provide up to $7.5 million for research into maternal health and the first 2000 days of life, up to $2 million for early childhood research, and up to $2 million for research linking exercise and nutrition with disease prevention and keeping people out of hospital.

The 2019 Mental Health Pharmacogenomics Grant Opportunity will invest up to $7 million to improve the effectiveness of treatment, and patients’ experiences, by using pharmacogenomics tests to match patients to drugs and drug doses.

An increasing number of studies suggest the treatment responses of patients using psychotropic medications (including antidepressants) is substantially influenced by genetic factors.

Research in this area has the potential to improve mental health outcomes for Australians and reduce Australia’s suicide rate.

Grants under the primary health care research initiative will provide up to $5 million for research to improve health service delivery and patient outcomes, and translate new knowledge into action.

Funding will be provided for research on health services in residential aged care, mental health services by GPs, genomics in primary health care, and workforce issues.

Information about the grant opportunities, including grant guidelines, are published on GrantConnect.

Ministers: