Our Funding Process


The Brain Foundation invites applications for research funding to support research projects in clinical neurosciences all over Australia.

The primary objective of the Brain Foundation research funding 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.

Read about previous research we have funded.

Every year, 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 Disease and other Dementias
  • Brain Tumour incl. Acoustic Neuroma
  • Cerebrovascular incl. Stroke, Aneurysms, AVM
  • Concussion & Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Infections, Meningitis & Encephalitis
  • Migraine & Headache
  • MND / ALS & other Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Movement Disorders incl. Parkinson’s & related diseases, Dystonia, Huntington’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis & other Inflammatory Diseases
  • Neuromuscular incl. Muscular Dystrophies, Myopathies & Neuropathies
  • Peadiatric Neurology
  • Other

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 Burke, AO.  Unfortunately, every year we receive many more outstanding applications than we can fund.

We announce the winners around 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 our Research Grants page 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 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.

Scientific Committee:


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.

Please consider donating to help maintain and expand our crucial brain research.

Please Help Us Help Those

with brain disease or disorders and brain and spinal injuries by donating to the research program.

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Brain FoundationThe Brain Foundation is the largest, independent funder of brain and spinal injury research in Australia. We believe research is the pathway to recovery.