MRFF Rapid Applied Research Translation

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) provides a long-term sustainable source of funding for endeavours that aim to improve health outcomes, quality of life and health system sustainability across Australia. 

The MRFF first funded Sydney Health Partners in late 2017, providing money which was disbursed in an initial round of grants under the Rapid Applied Research Translation (RART) scheme (Round 1), which have since been completed. In July 2018 the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, announced a further MRFF commitment to Sydney Health Partners of $6.1 million, for research over the period 2019-2021.

SHP awarded grants through two further competitive rounds of the RART scheme. RART Round 2 was announced in January 2019 and awarded $1.65 million to 11 projects, while another 11 projects received $1.2 million under RART Round 3, announced in September 2019.

Effectiveness of a pressure injury risk and prevention plan tool: A cluster randomized control trial
Dr Michelle Barakat-Johnson
Sydney Local Health District
K White, I Komusanac, F Coyer, J Stephenson and M Connelly

Implementing insulin pumps for adolescents and young adults with Type 2 diabetes
Professor Maria Craig
Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (Westmead)
S Lain, A Maguire, W Cheung, K Heels, B Peek, M Wilson and S Cox-Mulvenney

Testing an app-based treatment support tool for patients with insomnia in general practices
Associate Professor Christopher Gordon
Sydney Local Health District
D Bartlett, R Grunstein, K Wong, N Glozier, N Zwar, N Stocks and C Stanton

Improving ear health among Indigenous children
Associate Professor Hasantha Gunasekera
Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (Westmead)

Empowering health professionals to optimise evidence-based, high-value musculoskeletal care
Professor David Hunter and Professor Manuela Ferreira
Northern Sydney Local Health District
C Wang, C Sherrington, P Ferreira, J Bowden and S Kamper

Better detection of infection and antibiotic resistance among vulnerable populations
Professor Jon Iredell
Western Sydney Local Health District
V Sintchenko, T Gottlieb, G McKew, B Hudson, R Chan, N B Zakour, S Partridge and J McAnulty

Testing a falls prevention tool for older people with mental illness
Dr Meryl Lovarini
Northern Sydney Local Health District
L Mackenzie, M Meehan, N Hancock and J Scanlan

Improving clinic attendance by adolescents with Type 1 diabetes
Dr Timothy Middleton
Sydney Local Health District
C Chow and J Wong

Evaluating an online risk assessment tool for influenza in aged care facilities
Dr Emma Quinn
Sydney Local Health District
L Gupta, K Hsiao, Z Najjar, T Johnstone, A Ingleton, D Donnelly, R Booy and N Lum

Using diverse data sources to address medication alerts, infections and polypharmacy
Dr Angus Ritchie
Sydney Local Health District
S Poon, J Penm, R Burke, S Boughton and L Trevena

Preventing Type 2 diabetes among women with glucose intolerance during pregnancy
Professor N Wah Cheung
Western Sydney Local Health District
C Chow, B J Smith, D Simmons, B Peek, S Eastwood

Weight loss for sleep disordered breathing: translating sleep, lifestyle, energy, eating, exercise program into practice
Dr Elizabeth Cayanan
Sydney Local Health District
B Yee, K Wong, C Phillips, R Grunstein, N Marshall

Making sense of splice variants in rare disease for precision and preventative medicine
Associate Professor Sandra Cooper
Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (at Westmead)
KJones, R Jamieson, B Bennetts, M Tchan, C Sue, C Semsarian, L Ewans, R Trent, D Mowat, J Primer, M Kennerson, G Nicholson, M Davis, S Lunke

Molecular profiling of bowel polyps as a tool to define colonoscopic surveillance intervals
Associate Professor Alexander Engel
Northern Sydney Local Health District  
M Molloy, M Solomon, A Gill, I Norton, J Yang

REACH OUT: Maximising cures for HCV in marginalised communities: Microelimination
Professor Jacob George
Western Sydney Local Health District
G McCaughan

Oximetry screening to detect sleep-disordered breathing in severe mental illness
Professor Ron Grunstein
Sydney Local Health District
T Lambert, B Yee, A D’Rozario, N Marshall, G Gauthier, D McEvoy

Westmead Precinct sepsis pathway digital research platform
Associate Professor Naren Gunja
Western Sydney Local Health District
C McCullagh, A Shetty, A Ritchie, A Saavedra, J Iredell, B Tang, P Kennedy, M Green

Self-management of musculoskeletal conditions: an RCT comparing clinic-based physiotherapy with home-based exercise programs
Professor Lisa Harvey
Northern Sydney Local Health District
J Glinsky, A Hayes, B Lucas, D Taylor, I Starkley, M Ferreira, M Jennings  

Better participation in exercise for people aged 50+ and people with physical disabilities through health professional education
Professor Cathie Sherrington
Sydney Local Health District
B Richards, L Baur, A Bauman, L Harvey, P Phongsavan, J Allison, A Tiedemann, B Smith, L Hassett, K West, C Rissel, J Cole, J Walkley, G Dwyer

Scaling up a school-based fluoride varnish program for Aboriginal children in New South Wales
Professor Woosung Sohn
Sydney Local Health District
H Spallek, B Rambaldini, N Prabhu, R Widmer, J Skinner, K Gwynne

Development of a web-based platform for accurate prediction of melanoma prognosis using Australian data
Dr Alexander Varey
Western Sydney Local Health District
S Lo, R Scolyer, G Mann, J Thompson, G Long, J Stretch, A Cust

SUCCESS: Supporting culturally-diverse adults with Chronic Kidney Disease to engage in shared decision making (Phase IIb)
Associate Professor Angela Webster
Western Sydney Local Health District
D Muscat, K Sud, H Shepherd, K McCaffery, E O'Lone, J Saunders, A Robbins

Implementation Science Grants 

In 2020, Sydney Health Partners offered four grants to teams of researchers and clinicians undertaking work in the growing field of implementation science.  The grants aim to encourage teams of clinicians and researchers to develop collaborative projects that seek to implement robust evidence into practice.

The grants will enable teams to undertake pilot testing of the implementation of an evidence-based intervention, program or innovation, with at least one partner Local Health District or Network.  These pilot grants are intended to help teams build translational research foundations that will lead to longer-term impacts on health services and policy.  The pilot project outcomes may help teams to apply for larger grants via funding schemes such as MRFF and TRGS.

The funded projects will commenced in August 2020, and can be expended over 24 months. SHP has designed the grants with the aim to build capacity and expertise across SHP, thereby better enabling health professionals and researchers within the healthcare system to:

  • address complex problems in health systems
  • translate robust evidence into practice
  • tackle clinical problems that need practical solutions
  • test implementation of interventions in real time.

Originally intended to fund two grants, the scheme expanded up to four projects totalling $100,000 in response to the unexpectedly high demand. Each project has two Principal Investigators (PIs) – one clinical and one academic. 

An electronic integrative tool to facilitate adverse drug reaction reporting at Blacktown Hospital
Academic PI: Professor Kate Curtis
Clinical PI: Dr Ronald Castelino
Other Collaborators: Dr Corrie Van, Mr Raymond Li, Professor Bandana Saini, Ms Liz Ellankil, Associate Professor Lukas Kairaitis, 

BOOST: Boosting inpatient exercise after hip fracture using an alternative workforce: an implementation evaluation.
Academic PI: Associate Professor Alison Harmer
Clinical PI: Ms Marie K March
Other Collaborators: Associate Professor Sarah Dennis, Professor Jim Elliot, Ms Katie Lee, Dr Stephanie Polley, Dr Bijoy Thomas

Enhancing transition from hospital to community-based exercise for patients with musculoskeletal disorders: pilot implementation study
Academic PI: Dr Marina B Pinheiro
Clinical PI: Mr Andrew Wood
Other Collaborators: Professor Catherine Sherrington, Dr Leanne Hassett, Mr Joshua Wakefield, Dr Mona Marabani, Dr Chris Needs, Dr Bethan Richards, Professor Adrian Bauman, Mr Fred Menz

Improving screening for chemotherapy induced peripheral neurotoxicity: a feasibility study
Academic PI: Associate Professor Susanna Park
Clinical PI: Associate Professor Peter Grimison
Other Collaborators: Professor Lisa Horvath, Professor Fran Boyle, Ms Tracy King, Professor David Goldstein, Dr David Mizrahi