Medical Research Future Fund – National Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative – 2023 Innovative Trials

This program provides funding to promote development and implementation of 'adaptive platform' and 'registry based' clinical trial methodologies, that will be used to conduct world-class health and medical research in areas of unmet medical need.

Closes in 22 days

Closing date: Wednesday 10 July 2024 5:00pm AEST Wed 10 Jul 2024 5:00pm AEST

What do you get?

Grants of up to $5 million. Maximum grant amount varies by funding stream and/or topic.

Who is this for?

Eligible organisations that can support innovative clinical trial projects to improve health benefits for Australians.


The 2023 Innovative Trials grant opportunity is part of the Medical Research Future Fund’s National Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative. NCRI provides funding through multiple streams to establish and extend infrastructure (facilities, equipment, systems and services) of critical importance that will be used to conduct world-class health and medical research.

Within the NCRI innovation enablers stream, this grant opportunity focuses on promoting development and implementation of ‘adaptive platform’ and ‘registry based’ clinical trials which are thought to offer more efficient evaluation of potential medical therapies over conventional trial designs.

This grant opportunity will provide grants of financial assistance across three streams, to support Australian medical research and medical innovation projects that:

  • Stream 1 (Incubator and Targeted Call for Research): address an area of unmet medical need by promoting the development and implementation of adaptive platform trials. Research proposals in this stream must focus on one of the following Topics:
    • Topic A (Incubator): conducting inception projects that build evidence and capability to demonstrate the feasibility of establishing a national adaptive platform trial that would allow for rapid assessment of pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological interventions in an area of unmet need (up to $300,000)
    • Topic B (Targeted Call for Research): establishing a new national adaptive platform trial that addresses an area of unmet need, including set up of central infrastructure and conduct of initial launch domains (up to $5,000,000)
    • Topic C (Targeted Call for Research): expanding an existing adaptive platform trial by adding new domains that address an area of unmet need (up to $3,000,000).
  • Stream 2 (Targeted Call for Research): conduct a registry-based randomised controlled trial in an area of unmet medical need by embedding a registry-based randomised controlled trial into a pre-existing clinical registry (up to $1,500,000)
  • Stream 3 (Targeted Call for Research): generate evidence of the efficiency and cost effectiveness of innovative trial designs over conventional trial designs for:
    • Topic A (Targeted Call for Research): adaptive platform trials (up to $1,000,000)
    • Topic B (Targeted Call for Research): registry-based randomised controlled trials (up to $1,000,000).

To be considered for funding under this opportunity, 20% or more of all Chief Investigators must be early to mid-career researchers.

An application may be submitted to one of the above three streams only. Applicants can apply for more than one stream with different applications.

Check if you can apply

You can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who we can consider for this grant. You can apply if you:

  • are an eligible entity
  • have an eligible project
  • have eligible expenditure.

The rules are in the grant opportunity guidelines.

You can apply if you:

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

You must be one of the following entities:

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

You can’t apply if you are:

  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • an unincorporated association
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity
  • any organisation not listed in the eligible entity list
  • 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 employer of 100 or more employees that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012)

Partner with other organisations

Joint applications are encouraged.

You can partner with one or more other organisations, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.

The lead organisation must fill out the application form.

If we give your group the grant, the lead organisation:

  • signs the grant agreement​
  • receives grant payments
  • is responsible for making sure your group follows all the requirements in the grant agreement, including all reporting requirements.

We can only accept applications that provide:

  • evidence from your board (or equivalent) that the project is supported and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • a list of up to 15 (maximum) Chief Investigators using the template. (At least 20% of CIs must be early to mid-career researchers, and none can be listed in more than one application submitted to a stream in this grant opportunity.)
  • a detailed project plan (max 12 pages)
  • a detailed and itemised project budget
  • a one-page statement of how your project will contribute to the Measures of Success for the MRFF
  • a detailed risk management plan (max 2 pages)
  • details of IP arrangements (if applicable)
  • letters of support from each project partner (if applicable)
  • a trust deed (if applicable).

How to apply

Check if you’re ready to apply for a grant

Finding a suitable grant opportunity is just the start of the process to get funding. The application process can take time and effort. Understanding the entire process will help you be grant ready and may improve your chances of getting funding.

Use our checklist to find out what it takes to apply for a grant.

When you're ready to apply

Apply using our online portal:

  1. Create or log into your portal account.
  2. Follow the instructions to complete your application.
  3. Submit your application before the close date.

Make sure you include enough detail and supporting evidence in your application to help us decide whether to award you the grant.

Don’t submit the application until it’s complete. You can’t correct a mistake.

First we check that you meet the eligibility criteria. Eligible applications are then assessed against the assessment criteria by an independent committee of experts.

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

The program delegate will make the final decision taking into consideration the recommendations from the independent committee of experts.

We will only award funding to applications that score satisfactorily against all criteria.

  • Assessment criterion 1: Project Impact (40% weighting)
  • Assessment criterion 2: Project Methodology (30% weighting)
  • Assessment criterion 3: Capacity, Capability and Resources to Deliver the Project (30% weighting)
  • 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.

Apply now

Apply for 2023 Innovative Trials grant now.

Before you apply, make sure you:

  • read and understand the grant opportunity guidelines
  • read the sample grant agreement.
Apply now

Sample applications

The best way to understand what information you need to provide is to start an application. We have also provided a version to download at the bottom of this page.

Technical help

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.41 MB docx · 1.80 MB

Sample application form – Stream 1A

pdf · 0.37 MB docx · 0.11 MB

Sample application form – Stream 1B and 1C, Stream2 and Stream 3

pdf · 0.39 MB docx · 0.12 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.31 MB docx · 1.19 MB

Chief investigator template

xlsx · 0.21 MB

Board or CEO letter template

pdf · 0.01 MB docx · 0.03 MB

Independent audit report

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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