In a recent submission, the Academy recommends that the new MRFF Strategy should set the expectation for the fund to support a strategic approach to embedding research in the health system, including better sustainability for the medical research workforce. 

The Australian Government Department of Health and the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) invited submissions from the broader health and medical research sector to inform the next Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy and related Priorities. The Strategy and Priorities, developed by AMRAB, guide investments for medical research and its translation through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) [1].

The Academy’s submission identifies critical areas that should be included in the next Strategy and Priorities, to be introduced in November 2021.

The Academy recommends that the new MRFF Strategy should prioritise:

  • Building and sustaining the health and medical research workforce, particularly for clinician-scientists.
  • Supporting research and infrastructure to improve the health system, informed by consumers and end-users, supporting digitalisation of healthcare data and incentivising industry connections for better translation.
  • Coordinating MRFF funding for health and medical research with other government schemes. This strategy should aspire to be an overarching national health and medical research strategy for Australia.
  • Ensuring First Nations voices inform all aspects of the Strategy. A strategic, cross-cutting approach to supporting research that addresses the health needs of First Nations people.

For the MRFF Priorities, the Academy recommends that these should be sufficient enough in scope for investment in new and emerging health issues not yet identified as well as for addressing the known burden of disease. Specifically, the new Priorities should focus on:

  • Establishing funding initiatives that drive partnerships at the service delivery level between clinical providers and researchers, integrated with and supported by research methods expertise (eg biostatistics, health informatics, health economics).
  • Building a sustainable workforce focusing on excellence and defining a career structure for clinician-researchers (across medicine, nursing/midwifery, allied health).
  • Establishing a proactive approach to determine critical health issues and identify appropriate resources needed to address them (eg. uniform integrated health records).

Download and read the full submission below.

[1] as required by the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015.