This Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Coronavirus Research Response Initiative grant opportunity will accelerate research to develop treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in late-stage patients infected with COVID 19 in order to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.

Given the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, applicants must propose a clinical trial that accelerates the implementation of treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID-19 in order to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia. Applicants should note that the research funded by this grant opportunity is not intended to be used for development of vaccines or anti-viral therapies for COVID-19. These issues are the subject of separate MRFF grant opportunities.

The objective and intended outcome of the MRFF 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 Grant Opportunity is to use clinical trials to accelerate the implementation of treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID 19. This includes the identification of plausible pathways to clinical practice within 12 months of commencement. To be competitive for funding, applicants must propose a clinical trial that delivers against the above objective.

The grant opportunity will provide up to $5 million over one year. There is no maximum grant amount but grants cannot exceed the amount of available funds.

This grant opportunity is being administered by NHMRC on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health. This opportunity is supported by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Further information on the Medical Research Future Fund is available on the Department’s website at: https://www.health.gov.au/mrff.

Where to go for assistance and help

Resources are available to assist you in navigating Sapphire, such as Help (a list of frequently asked questions), how-to videos and access to the Sapphire Help Desk. The Research Help Centre will be available by email and telephone to assist you with any questions and issues. 

In recognition of the importance of this launch, NHMRC has put in place appropriate additional contingency plans to minimise any potential effect on applicants, and ensure that there is no impact on the quality of peer review for MRFF 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 applications. This includes preparing a round in RGMS, as a back-up that can be activated at any stage during the MRFF 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 Grant Opportunity Round.

NHMRC requires the following documents with your application:

  • a Profile Report containing information drawn from each Chief Investigator’s Profile in NHMRC’s Granting System (Sapphire)
  • an Application Report containing information that you entered directly into the Application Form in NHMRC’s Granting System (Sapphire)
  • a Grant Proposal. You will upload this PDF file into NHMRC’s Granting System (Sapphire). Refer to section 6.4.
  • a Declaration of Applicant Interests. You will upload this PDF file into NHMRC’s Granting System (Sapphire). Refer to section 12.1
  • letter/s from research facilities (where relevant). These PDF files will be uploaded into NHMRC’s Granting System (Sapphire). Refer to section 6.4.

Note: Each CI must complete the offline Track Record template available on GrantConnect and provide it to their CIA for input into Sapphire. 

NHMRC will update Sapphire’s NHMRC web page with latest news and other relevant information. We encourage you to check back regularly to keep yourself informed.

Outcomes of funding rounds