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Queensland health and medical research funding analysis

Queensland health and medical research funding analysis

Health and medical researchers rely on Commonwealth Government funding to support their research and spend large proportions of their time preparing funding applications. It is a reasonable expectation that the government allocates funding comparable to a state or territory’s population size and contribution to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Health Translation Queensland has analysed Queensland’s performance in securing federal health and medical research funding. The purpose of which is to harness the collective advantage of the Health Translation Queensland partners, including the Queensland State Government, to achieve better outcomes for Queenslanders through a shared vision, advocacy and engagement.

This report commences important strategic work for us to strengthen and position Queensland’s Translational Research, and to enhance Queensland’s funding appeal. We are now working to develop a Health and Medical Research Roadmap as a framework for action to improve population health outcomes through collaborative partnerships that translate scientific discovery and knowledge into practice.

Download the full Funding Analysis report here.

Key points:

  • 20 per cent of the Australian population lives in Queensland

  • Queensland contributes 19 per cent to Australia’s GDP

  • Queensland receives less than 14 per cent of NHMRC funding

  • Queensland receives less than 12.9 per cent of MRFF funding

The NHMRC and MRFF shortfall combined equates to an estimated loss of $65 million per annum to Queensland or roughly 600-700 skilled workers.

In comparison, Queensland performs well in the non-medical arena, securing 20 per cent of Australian Research Council grants, indicating the issue is specific to health and medical research.

Research funding underperformance has a compounding effect, including, for example, that universities secure secondary funding based on their research income, making it harder to attract researchers to Queensland. Ultimately, the investment in health and medical research directly impacts the quality of a state’s healthcare and its access to technology, infrastructure and clinical trials. 

The Health Translation Queensland team conducted further analysis to assess why Queensland lags behind other states, particularly Victoria, and made several discoveries.

Their analysis showed the success rate per application for Queensland is the same as for Victoria, but that Queensland does not submit as many applications, indicating Queensland’s performance is not the result of poor-quality applications.

How can Queensland do better?  

Health Translation Queensland is driving a new task force dedicated to developing and delivering a framework for improving health research and translation across Queensland.

  • Growing Queensland’s pipeline of basic and clinician researchers

  • Maximising collaboration at Queensland’s health precincts

  • Increasing investment in securing philanthropic funds

  • Improving Queensland’s representation on decision-making bodies

  • Emphasising collective effort over competition in Queensland. 


Download the full report here.

Infographics (Click the image to download)

Funding Analysis Report SummaryConsultation feedbackNext steps
Infographic summarising the Funding Analysis ReportInfographic summarising the Consultation FeedbackInfographic summarising consultation participants shared comments for next steps and a health and medical research roadmap

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