Our Funding Process


The Brain Foundation is dedicated to funding high quality Australian neurological research that will advance diagnoses, treatment and patient outcomes. This has been our mission for over 50 years, and researchers have made dozens of groundbreaking discoveries in that time. 

Our grant program is committed to being:

Scientifically rigorous

All applications are reviewed by our scientific committee to find the highest quality projects


We are not affiliated with any government organisations or research institutions

An equal playing field

We accept applications from across Australia, and provide opportunities for early career researchers (subject to merit)

Application & evaluation process

Every year, towards the end of March, we invite researchers to apply to our grant program. The application involves:

  • A brief project summary in layperson’s terms
  • Outline of the project’s aims, background, research methods, and potential outcomes/significance
  • A detailed budget
  • All applicants must adhere to the guidelines and eligibility criteria

Applicants can 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

If you are a researcher and wish to know more detail about these guidelines and application requirements, please see our research page

The application period usually ends in June, and the projects are scored by our Scientific Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of eminent neurologists and is chaired by Professor Steve Vucic.

The quality of the proposed research is judged according to internationally benchmarked criteria of scientific quality and significance & innovation. We aim to award at least one grant in each category, and usually fund research in institutions (universities, hospitals, or other research establishments) across all states.

Unfortunately, every year we receive many more outstanding applications than we can fund. But until we have the money to issue more grants, our funding process allows us to maximise our impact by selecting the highest quality projects.The winners are announced in October and their project summaries are published in our summer BrainWaves newsletter. You can subscribe to our newsletter to read all about these promising new projects.

Supporting the future of Australian research

Despite many advances over the years, there is still so much we don’t know about the brain. It is one of the most complex organs in the human body, and our questions won’t be answered through any single research project. 

We believe the key to major breakthroughs is a strong foundation across the research community. This requires research diversity and consistent, stable funding. These factors have so many benefits for both researchers and patients, illustrated below.

Our funding process allows us to support research diversity in Australia without sacrificing the quality of the projects we select. We fund different types of research for a number of disorders, and accept applications from researchers at any stage of their career. 

With your support we can continue to enrich Australia’s research landscape and improve outcomes for people affected by brain disorders, diseases, and injuries.

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.