Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and Babies

This grant provides support for Indigenous-led Australian medical research projects through culturally safe care for pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period, including on-country birthing.
This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

Between $2 million to $5 million for research projects.

Who is this for?

Universities, medical research organisations, corporations and corporate Commonwealth entities.


This grant opportunity is part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) under the Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative. This initiative aims to enable and support the translation of new discoveries into clinical practise.

The objective is to provide grants of financial assistance to support Indigenous-led Australian medical research projects. These projects translate existing knowledge through culturally safe care for pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period, for example on-country birthing and continuity of family and midwifery care.

Available grants

All applicants apply for an Accelerator grant. We will only award the most meritorious applications with an Accelerator Grant.

Other applications that are assessed as suitable by the Grant Assessment Committee may be considered for an Innovation Grant.

Innovation grants fund smaller scope research projects to allow grantees to build evidence of the feasibility of the projects to bridge the translation gap and be competitive in future funding opportunities.

Applications will be considered for an Innovation grant if they:

  • do not receive an Accelerator grant
  • propose research that is either led by an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researcher (Chief Investigator A) or conducted by a research team (Chief Investigators) that comprises at least 50% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers
  • are recommended for an Innovation Grant by the Grant Assessment Committee.

Innovation grants have fixed funding. Each Innovation grant recipient will receive $200,000.

If successful for an innovation grant, you will be required to submit a revised project scope and you must complete your project within 12 months from the date of execution.


What are the eligibility criteria?

Eligible entities

To be eligible you must:

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

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

  • a medical research institute
  • a university
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a corporation (including businesses and not for profits).

Eligible expenditure

When applying, the grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project costs:

  • The minimum grant amount is $2 million.
  • The maximum grant amount is $5 million.

Eligible projects

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

All members of the research team must be listed on the application form as Chief Investigators (CIs). Applicants must nominate a Chief Investigator A (CIA) who will take the lead role in conducting the project and report on the outcomes of the project as specified in the grant agreement.

We can only accept applications where you can provide:

  • 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 funding
  • letters of support from each project partner, where applicable.

You must complete your project within a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 5 years from the date of execution.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an individual
  • partnership
  • unincorporated association
  • any organisation not included in section 3.1 of the guidelines
  • trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity
  • an organisation, or your project partner is an organisation, included on the National Redress Scheme’s list of ‘Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme’
  • an organisation that has been named by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an organisation that has not complied with Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.


How do you apply?

Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mothers and Babies is closed to applications.

We review your application against the eligibility criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the assessment stage. Eligible applications are then assessed against the assessment criteria by an independent committee of experts.

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should suit the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. You should define, quantify and provide evidence to support your answers. The sample application form has character limits.

The program delegate will consider recommendations from the independent committee of experts and make the final decision.

We will assess your application based on the weighting given to each criteria.

  • Assessment criterion 1 Project impact (40%)
  • Assessment criterion 2 Project methodology (30%)
  • Assessment criterion 3 Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (30%)
  • Assessment criterion 4 Overall Value and Risk of the Project (non-weighted)
  • Scoring information for all assessment criteria can be found at Appendix C and Appendix D of the grant opportunity guidelines.

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we’ll notify you in writing and give you the chance to discuss the outcome with us.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements, payment schedule and milestones necessary to receive payments.

Payments are subject to satisfactory progress on the project and will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

Need help?

Let us answer your question via phone, email or live chat. And if we can't help, we'll put you in touch with someone who can.

  • Phone:
  • Open Hours:
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia
  • Website:

Key documents

Section 1.3 and 3.1 of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines were updated on 10 September 2021 with more information around Stream 2 project location eligibility.

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.98 MB docx · 1.90 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.76 MB docx · 0.20 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 1.00 MB docx · 0.14 MB

Chief Investigator template

xlsx · 0.06 MB

Board / CEO approval letter

pdf · 0.07 MB docx · 0.02 MB

Independent audit report template

pdf · 0.35 MB docx · 0.05 MB

MRFF grant management resources

Reporting templates are available from the MRFF grants management webpage. The page also provides other resources for MRFF grant administration, including current policies and relevant forms and templates.

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