Setting Medical Research Future Fund priorities: assessing the value of research
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In its 2014–2015 budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).1 The MRFF aims to support health and medical research in Australia to drive innovation, improve delivery of health care, enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system, and contribute to economic growth.1 In April 2016, the government announced the creation of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board to determine the medical research strategy and priorities to guide the funding allocated through the MRFF. Although its mission is clear, the board faces the challenging task of identifying research priorities and allocating the available budget across topics and programs competing for funding. The criteria for identifying research priorities to guide the government decision making on program level funding, as set out in the MRFF legislation, focus on the ability of research programs to deliver the greatest value for as many Australians as possible.1 However, there is little mention of how the value of research programs would be objectively, transparently and practically assessed to inform research prioritisation and ensure efficient use of the MRFF budget.
Medical Journal of Australia