Medical Research Future Fund - National Critical Infrastructure Initiative: 2019 Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure grant opportunity

The 2019 Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure grant opportunity provides between $5 million and $100 million for new and innovative approaches to enhance and improve clinical trial infrastructure, to extend existing clinical trials into rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.
This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

Grants from $5 million to $100 million.

Who is this for?

Eligible organisations seeking to deliver clinical trial infrastructure projects in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.


The 2019 Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure grant opportunity was announced as part of the Medical Research Future Fund and is an initiative under the National Critical Infrastructure Initiative.

New and innovative approaches to enhancing and improving clinical trial infrastructure (including facilities, research equipment, systems and services) - by extending existing or providing new clinical trials into rural, regional and remote areas - holds the potential to address many of the existing barriers, such as distance, geographical isolation and workforce capacity.

The intent of this grant opportunity is to provide initial stimulus funding for innovative approaches with potential for national application. It is not to be a source of funding for routine and on-going activities eligible for funding though existing funding mechanisms.

The objectives of the grant opportunity are:

  • improved facilities, equipment, services and systems in rural, regional and remote Australia
  • improved quality of care and health outcomes for patients through quicker and easier access to medical treatments, drugs, therapies and devices, through participation in clinical trials
  • reduced burden, costs and risks for patients and their families related to clinical trial participation
  • increased research capacity, including linkages, leveraging and enhancements of existing local and national structures, organisations, facilities and/or workforce, with flow-on effects to broader health services

The intended outcome of the grant opportunity is improved access to clinical trials by Australians living in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.


To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and, in accordance with sections 20 and 24 of the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015, be one of the following entities:

  • a medical 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. For further information on joint applications, refer to section 6.2 of the grant opportunity guidelines.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • an unincorporated association
  • any organisation not included in section 3.1 of the grant opportunity guidelines
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity

To be eligible your project must:

  • be aimed at the objectives and outcomes in section 1.3 of the grant opportunity guidelines
  • have at least $5 million in eligible expenditure
  • include one or more of the following eligible activities
    • minor capital works
    • development/installation of research equipment
    • employment of personnel

We may also approve other activities.

We will consider activities based outside of rural, regional and remote areas, provided the proposal can demonstrate the benefit to patients in rural, regional and remote areas. However, preference will be given to trial activities provided in rural, regional and remote areas.

Unless otherwise formally agreed with the department, the definition of Rural, Regional and Remote areas for this grant opportunity are locations in the MMM (Modifed Monash Model) Classification 3-7 (use the MMM Locator on the Health Workforce Locator tool to determine Classification).


How do you apply?

The Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure grant opportunity is currently closed to applications.

We assess your application against the eligibility criteria and then against the assessment criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the assessment stage.

We refer your application to an independent committee of experts (the Committee). The Committee will consider your application on its merits. The Committee will recommend which projects to fund. For more on the grant selection process, refer to section 7 of the grant opportunity guidelines.

The Program Delegate (who is an Australian Government official who has been authorised to make decisions) will make the final decision.

To be competitive you must score satisfactorily against all of the assessment 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: a rating scale for assessment criterion 4 is at Appendix D of the grant opportunity guidelines)

If your application is successful, you will receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we will 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.

We will make payments according to an agreed schedule set out in the grant agreement. Payments are subject to satisfactory progress on the project.

Payments will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

Need help?

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

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

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.92 MB docx · 1.90 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.97 MB docx · 1.61 MB

Sample draft grant agreement

pdf · 0.67 MB docx · 0.11 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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