Our Funding Process
The Brain Foundation invites applications nationally for research gifts to support research projects in clinical neurosciences.
The primary objective of the Brain Foundation Research Gifts is to support individual researchers and research teams to conduct the highest quality research into brain disease and neurological disorders as well as brain and spinal injuries.
A subsidiary objective is to provide opportunities for early career researchers, subject to merit, to gain initiating funding for projects with potential. This also provides an important first opportunity as a Chief Investigator; a very necessary step.
Annually, towards the end of March, we advertise the opening of our Research Gift Program. Applicants must adhere to our application guidelines, and need to complete a comprehensive application form along with their proposal. Read more about Application Guidelines on our research page.
We receive applications from specialists in research institutions all around Australia over a period of a few weeks. Applications are received from neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-scientists, and other researchers.
Applicants submit their applications within one of the following categories:
- Alzheimer’s & Other Neuro Degenerative Diseases
- Cerebral Disease
- Brain Tumours
- Neuromuscular Disease
- Paediatric Neurology
- Headache & Migraine
- Neural infections
Once we close the application period (usually end June) all applications are reviewed and scored by our Scientific Committee (see below for details), made up of eminent Neurologists, and headed by Professor David Bourke, AO. Unfortunately, every year we receive many more outstanding applications than we can fund.
We announce the winners usually in September, and have an annual Cocktail Party and Award Ceremony in October in Sydney, where each winner gives a short presentation of their proposed research. See Where Does your Money Go for details of all previous grants, plus YouTube clips of presentations.
We generally aim to award at least one grant in each category, and usually fund research in institutions (universities, hospitals, and other research establishments) across all states.
Grants are usually of the order of $40,000, and we expect to receive progress reports and/or final reports after one year.
In 2015, for the very first time we have awarded a major research gift of $300,000, over a three year period, to go to research that exhibits great potential for improved patient outcomes. We congratulate Dr Neil Spratt based in Newcastle who was awarded the significant grant, which was formally announced at the Annual Neurology Conference in Auckland in May 2015. His research title is “A new understanding of increased pressure within the skull in brain diseases”.
We publish research reports in our bi-annual newsletter BrainWaves.
We believe that funding competitive research that is independent of any state or institution results in the best projects coming to fruition.
- Professor David Burke – Chairman
- Professor Kate Drummond
- Professor Victor Fung
- Professor Michael Halmagyi
- Professor Matthew Kiernan
- Professor Simon Koblar
- Professor Pamela McCombe
- Professor Stephen Robinson
- Professor Elsdon Storey
- Professor Steve Vucic
We thank all on the Scientific Committee for their continual support and hard work.
These grants have been made possible through the generosity of our donors, corporate sponsors and through the legacy of generous people who leave the Brain Foundation bequests to fund further research into brain diseases, disorders and brain and spinal cord injuries.