How does the MRFF funding process work?
The Australian Government funds the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The Government contributed savings from the health budget to the fund until it reached the goal of $20 billion in July 2020.
The Future Fund invests this money so it provides a steady stream of income (interest). The Finance Minister instructed the Future Fund to aim for a return of 1.5 to 2 per cent above the cash rate, over rolling 10-year periods.
Each year the Future Fund Board of Guardians decides how much money to use for health and medical research. This amount is then available for the Government to spend on medical research projects.
The Government has announced the MRFF 2nd 10-year Investment Plan. In considering MRFF funding priorities, the Australian Government considers the MRFF Strategy and Priorities. Investments through the MRFF are made according to the MRFF funding principles. An independent advisory board (AMRAB) sets the Strategy and Priorities after consulting the public and medical research sector. Expert Advisory Panels advise on funding priorities for Missions.
The Department then designs and advertises funding opportunities on GrantConnect and research institutions apply.
Successful research institutions receive funds and carry out their work. They must regularly report how they are using the grant money.
The Minister for Health and Aged Care reports to Parliament every 2 years on how the Government is using the MRFF.
See MRFF governance for more information on who looks after the fund.
Existing and projected funding
Our list of all MRFF initiatives shows how the money is being used.
The MRFF is currently supporting many projects. Some of these existing projects have a 4–10 year timeline, forming a foundation for the MRFF into the future. Their funding will continue, and the Australian Government will choose any new MRFF initiatives based on the current MRFF Priorities.