MRFF governance

The Australian Government funds the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). Learn how we work with other organisations to govern the MRFF.

Organisations that help manage the MRFF

Several organisations contribute to the management of the MRFF:


The Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 establishes the MRFF, and provides the legal framework for the distribution of MRFF funds. The MRFF Act sets up the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) and requires it to consult the public before determining the MRFF strategy and priorities.


As with other grants, the funding process for MRFF grants is consistent with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

All disbursements must occur in accordance with the MRFF Act.

The Minister (or delegate) must take into account the MRFF Priorities when making grants.

The Medical Research Future Fund Declaration of Interest Policy Statement help members of MRFF advisory panels and committees to identify, disclose and manage relevant interests.

Committees and groups

Several committees and groups work with the MRFF.

Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB)

The independent Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) consults the public in determining the MRFF Strategy and Priorities.

Consumer Reference Panel (CRP)

The Consumer Reference Panel (CRP) provides advice to strengthen consumer involvement in the implementation of the MRFF.

Expert advisory panels

Expert advisory panels guide our investments in priority areas:

Expert advisory panels also guide our research missions:

The governance of the research missions, including the roles and responsibilities of these expert advisory panels, is outlined in the MRFF Mission Governance document.

Future Fund Board of Guardians

The Future Fund Board of Guardians invests the MRFF money. In 2015 the Minister of Finance instructed the Guardians to:

  • preserve the Fund's capital
  • provide a stable income stream 
  • achieve a target return of 1.5 to 2% above the cash rate, over rolling 10-year terms
  • diversify the MRFF's investments.

Every year, the Future Fund Board of Guardians decides what the maximum annual spending will be. This maximum limit preserves the capital in the fund into the future.

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Chairs Committee

The HTA Chairs Committee advises on HTA investments under the MRFF's Preventive and Public Health Research initiative.

Joint MRFF and NHMRC advisory committees

In 2023, the Australian Government undertook a national consultation on improving the alignment and coordination of the MRFF and NHMRC’s Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA). 

The consultation summary report will inform the government on next steps. 

We are progressing work with NHMRC to improve alignment and coordination between the two funds. 

We are establishing shared advisory committees which will advise on research strategies and funding policies for both the MRFF and MREA. These include:

  • NHMRC-MRFF Consumer Advisory Group
  • NHMRC-MRFF Industry, Philanthropy and Commercialisation Committee 
  • NHMRC-MRFF Public Health and Health Systems Committee 
  • NHMRC-MRFF Indigenous Advisory Group.

A call for nominations for these committees is now open. Nominations close on 31 July 2024.

Visit the NHMRC website for more information on how to nominate and to read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact if you have any questions.

Parliamentary oversight

The Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 requires the Minister for Health to report to Parliament about the financial assistance provided from the MRFF as soon as possible after each set of MRFF Priorities expires. The report for 2020–2022 is now available. 

MRFF spending is also detailed in our budget papers.

The Minister for Health and Aged Care must consider the current MRFF Priorities when choosing which projects to recommend for funding.

The Government has set out a detailed proposal for spending from the MRFF in the MRFF 3rd 10-year Investment Plan.

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