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Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) - Coronavirus Research Response - 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches During Outbreaks

The Coronavirus Research Response - Communication Strategies and Approaches provides Australian researchers with funding to drive innovation and contribute to global efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

Close date: 14 Jul 2020 05:00 PM AEST.

What do you get?

Up to $600,000 for medical research to support health care and medical responses to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

Who is this for?

Eligible organisations seeking to research approaches to contribute to the effective communication of health care messaging and community adoption of safety measures.


The Coronavirus Research Response - 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches during Outbreaks grant opportunity was announced as part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and is part of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Health Plan to support our health system to manage the outbreak of novel coronavirus in Australia. This package provides support across primary care, aged care, hospitals and research, and includes funding from the MRFF for a Coronavirus Research Response comprising vaccine, anti-viral and respiratory medicine research.

For this grant opportunity funding for research into how diverse communities respond during outbreaks, how they react, access information and interpret it.

The objectives of this grant opportunity are to:

  • research the information needs of individuals and the community during outbreaks (including population sub-groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people, and those with disabilities)
  • investigate how individuals (including population sub-groups) access information about outbreaks (e.g. through peers, online, on radio or television)
  • consider the impact of the attitudinal and behavioural patterns on how information is sourced, interpreted and actioned
  • identify key information and messages about the outbreak and also the response that individuals and the community would benefit from understanding
  • propose options for communication strategies and approaches that address these needs and also support response strategies such as social isolation.

The intended outcome of this grant opportunity is to improve the community's engagement with and responsiveness to Government communication efforts during outbreaks such as COVID-19, by:

  • improving understanding of the information needs of the community during outbreaks
  • improving understanding of attitudinal and behavioural drivers during outbreaks
  • proposing options for communication strategies and approaches that address the community's needs and support adherence to response strategies such as social distancing and isolation.

Project methodologies must ensure rapid access to the research outcomes, clear and actionable results that are adaptable to the rapidly changing environment during a pandemic, and that findings are relevant to a range of population groups (particularly those most vulnerable).


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and in accordance with s20 and s24 of the MRFF Act 2015, be one of the following entities:

  • a medical research institute
  • a university
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a corporation (including businesses and not for profits)
  • a state or territory government
  • a state or territory government entity

Joint applications are encouraged, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.

We can only accept applications where you can provide:

  • confirmation that any Chief and/or Lead Investigators named on your application under this grant opportunity are not named as Chief and/or Lead Investigators on any other application under this grant opportunity
  • evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant
  • letters of support from each project partner, if applicable.


How do you apply?

You should read the grant opportunity guidelines and sample grant agreement before you apply. 

To apply, you must submit your application through the online portal. You'll need to set up an account when you first log into the portal. The portal allows you to apply for and manage a grant or service in a secure online environment.

Apply now for 2020 Communication Strategies and Approaches During Outbreaks grant opportunity

Before you apply, make sure you:

  • read the guidelines
  • read the sample grant agreement

Need help?

  • Contact us for help with your application or to find out more.

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

Sample application form

Sample grant agreement

Board or CEO approval template