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Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One 2020 - Deferral

In recognition of the COVID-19 emergency and the associated disruption to Government, businesses and researchers across a range of industries, a decision has been made to defer the Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One Grant opportunity.

The department intends to re-open the Grant Opportunity once circumstances regarding COVID-19 improve. Further information regarding the reopening of Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One will be provided in due course.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One – Research Plan

The MRFF Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One – Research Plan provides multi-disciplinary teams with up to $1 million to develop detailed research plans for novel and transformative research projects.


What do you get?

Between $250,000 and $1 million to develop an initial research plan.

Who is this for?

Researchers with projects in the health and medical sector.


The MRFF Frontier Health and Medical Research Program will provide grants to a total of $570 million over ten years to establish this landmark initiative. For the Stage One – Research Plan grant opportunity, up to $1 million in funding will be made available to 10 multi-disciplinary teams including research and industry partners to work on novel and transformative ideas that will produce practical benefits to Australians and also globally.

The teams will have 12 months to develop a detailed research plan to outline the activities, methods and partnerships required to transform the idea from concept to implementation in the health system.

Australia has the potential to lead markets and create new ones by applying cutting-edge science and technologies to new, first-in-world applications that improve human health. This program encourages Australia’s best and brightest researchers to create talented and ambitious multi-disciplinary teams.

The program will operate using a two-stage competitive process:

  • Stage One funds the development of detailed research plans for cutting-edge research projects.
  • Stage Two will fund the implementation of selected research projects.

Plans developed in Stage One are used to apply for implementation funding made available through Stage Two.

Stage One

The Stage One grant opportunity funds up to 10 projects for one year to develop a detailed research plan. Your research plan will need to cover up to five years of activity that takes your idea from concept to outcome. You must demonstrate how your idea is novel and transformative and show how you will bring together multi-disciplinary research and industry partners to transform your idea into practical benefit for Australia.

The intended outcome of this grant opportunity is a detailed research and implementation plan. Your research should transform healthcare in Australia with a range of new treatments for disease and medical services. Your plan will form the basis of a Stage Two application. A Fact sheet detailing what is required from the Research Plan is available in the Key documents section of this page.

Applications for Stage One will open 30 January 2020.

Stage Two

Stage Two projects will enable selected research plans developed under Stage One to receive investment to develop their ideas. These ideas will revolutionise healthcare with new technological advances or approaches.

Stage Two grants will vary depending on applicant requirements, but they would typically be in the range of $10 to $20 million each year for 5 years.

Peer Review Panel communique

The International Scientific Peer Review Panel provided a communique for future applicants to consider when applying.


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible you must:

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

You must also be one of the following eligible bodies:

  • 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


The MRFF Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One grant opportunity is currently closed to applications.

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Need help?

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

  • Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines - Stage One round 1

Grant opportunity guidelines - Stage One round 2

Fact sheet – What is required from the Research Plan

Fact sheet – Grant opportunity information

Sample application form

Board or CEO approval template

Peer review panel communique

Sample grant agreement