Unlike the other research funding agencies, such the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), most of the MRFF funding is priority-driven. It seeks to fund research in particular areas or topics rather than using open calls when researchers propose their own ideas for funding.
As the Nine newspapers outlined this week, researchers have criticised the previous Coalition government’s allocation of MRFF funds. There is widespread consensus the former health minister had too much influence in the allocation of funds, and there was limited and sometimes no competition when funding was directly allocated to one research group.
The current Health Minister, Mark Butler, has instituted a review. So how should the big decisions about how to spend the MRFF be made in the future to maximise its value and achieve its aims?
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