How to Obtain Funding for Mental Health Research

Advancing the realm of mental health requires considerable amounts of research.

In order to be able to effectively move forward, individuals, groups and organisations require assisted funding.

Here’s your guide to mental health research funding in 2019. Discover which grants are best suited to your research needs and how to apply.

Mental Health Research Funding in 2019

Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission

Announced in the 2018-19 budget, the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission is an Australian Government initiative aiming to support one million people with mental health issues to access new approaches to prevention, diagnoses, treatment and recovery.

With $125 million provided in funding over a ten-year period (courtesy of the Medical Research Future Fund), Million Minds aims to assist those who may not be able to easily access funding, especially smaller organisations, individuals with lived experience, and early career researchers.

Projects and research funded by the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission include:

  • The causes of mental illness;
  • The best interventions to prevent and treat mental illness
  • Ways to ensure all Australians have access to the best possible mental health care

Initially, Million Minds will be focusing on supporting research that highlights:

  • Eating disorders
  • Child and youth mental health
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health

Find out more about the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission here.

Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation

Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation is Australia’s only dedicated mental health research foundation, formed to support those transforming the mental health space. Partnering with the South Australian Mental Health Commission, Breakthrough has developed a mental health research strategy for the state, reducing the impact for the Australian adults who will experience mental illness throughout the course of their life.

Breakthrough research grants support a wide range of mental health projects, based around four themes:

  • Precision Research
  • Early Interventions
  • New Technologies
  • Next Generation Therapies

Register your interest in applying for a Breakthrough grant here.

Rotary Districts of Australia | Mental Health Research Grant

In 37 years, Australian Rotary Health has funded Australian research projects with more than $41.5 million. This significant contribution has enabled many researchers to continue breakthrough work and has been the backbone for many projects to come to life.

Rotary research grants are valued at up to $70,000 per annum + GST for 1, 2, or 3 years, and are available to Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens.

To apply for a mental health research grant with the Rotary Districts of Australia, projects must focus on the mental health of young Australians (aged 0 – 25 years). These projects must also be conducted within Australia at a recognised university, hospital or research institute.

Find out more about the terms and conditions and apply here.


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council is Australia’s peak body for supporting health and medical research.

In the pursuit of greater health outcomes for all Australians, the National Health and Medical Research Council fund a number of research projects throughout the nation. With a transparent peer-review process to determine how funding is allocated, grant funding with NHMRC utilises the resources of all components of the health system, including but not limited to governments, medical practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals.

NHMRC’s grant funding program provides opportunities for individuals, groups and organisations to support and advance medical research by:

  • funding across the spectrum of health and medical research
  • investing in people with outstanding research achievements and promise
  • supporting the most innovative research to solve complex problems, and
  • meeting specific objectives

Discover funding availabilities with the NHMRC here.

One Door Mental Health

One Door Mental Health’s research trust fund is open to psychosocial research in schizophrenia. This is available for funding of up to $100,000 for a single project over a two-year period, or for the support of a doctoral student for up to $30,000 over two years.

Eligibility for One Door Mental Health research funding is open for researchers based in NSW.  The purpose of the available funding is to:  

  • To provide financial support for research projects examining psychosocial factors and how they relate to schizophrenia
  • To provide financial support to pilot novel psychosocial treatments in schizophrenia
  • To support programs that examine the role of clubhouses in the provision of recovery services in schizophrenia

Find out more about the One Door Mental Health research trust fund.