NSW Health and Medical Research

Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants

These grants will enable researchers to drive discoveries to improve cure and care for people with spinal cord injury

This program provides grants to NSW spinal cord injury researchers to drive cutting-edge, cure and care related projects. The objectives are to:

  • drive discoveries with the long term aim of improving wellbeing and health outcomes across NSW for people with spinal cord injury
  • grow the capacity and reputation of spinal cord injury research in NSW in a way that is equitable and sustainable
  • build capability of spinal cord injury researchers in NSW
  • realise long-term sustained economic impact for NSW through the development of new therapies in spinal cord injury
  • drive cutting-edge, cure and care focused spinal cord injury medical research projects, and develop them through to their long-term potential.

Funding of $15 million is available for this program. Grants up to $2.5 million will be provided to successful research projects for a three to five year duration from 2020. Applicants are encouraged to partner with other organisations and collaborate with clinicians, researchers and service providers.

Funding is allocated via a competitive merit based process.

Apply now

Application closes on 5 pm 15 March 2020

  • Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants Application Form

    DOCX - 58 KB

Indicative program timeline

  • Call for Applications – November 2019
  • Applications close – 15 March 2020
  • Announcement of successful applicants and commencement of funding – May 2020

Before you apply

Guidelines for applicants

Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants Roundtable

A roundtable meeting will be held from 2-5pm on 9 December 2019 to:

  • provide information about the grant and to answer questions about the application process
  • encourage collaboration
  • discuss future directions for spinal cord injury research.

If you are interested in attending the roundtable, please RSVP by COB 29 November 2019 by emailing MOH-OHMRGrants@health.nsw.gov.au.

Research grant agreement

The Research Grant Agreement for the NSW Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants (2020-21 to 2023-24) is provided for applicants to review. For successful applicants, there will be a short turn-around time to sign the agreement in the lead up to the end of financial year 2019-20.

  • Funding Agreement Template - Spinal Cord Injury

    DOCX - 278 KB

Frequently asked questions


1. Does the scope of the Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants program include non-traumatic injury?

Yes, it includes treatments relating to neuronal pathways of both traumatic and non-traumatic injuries.

2. Can improving functioning be considered cure?

Research projects focused on improving function for patients with spinal cord injuries will be funded under this grant where:
• the research relates to addressing the underlying pathology causing the functional impairment
• the research does not relate to addressing access or quality improvement to rehabilitation services or similar
• measurement of functional improvement includes objective and subjective tools.

3. Can children be included in clinical trials funded under this grant?

Yes, the grant does not specify any age groups.


4. Is it critical for the Chief Investigator to be a practicing clinician for clinical/applied research projects?

The Chief Investigator does not need to be a practicing clinician but any senior researcher who undertakes clinical work for the project must hold the credentials as described in the funding Guidelines.

5. Does the grant allow multi-site collaboration and sites outside NSW including international sites?

Yes, sites outside NSW including international sites can be included. A key eligibility criteria is that 50% of the research team must be based in NSW and the host organisation must be in NSW (see funding Guidelines for more details).


6. For basic science research projects, does the ‘translation’ selection criteria require a business model for commercial sustainability?

No, however the applicant should articulate translation activities that bridge the gap between research and application (e.g. stakeholder engagement, governance, resources and guidelines). The applicant should also articulate long term outcomes that may be aspired to (eg. commercialisation of a therapeutic).


7. Are salary on-costs covered by the grant e.g. (as superannuation, long service leave)?

Yes, funds may be used to pay the related on-costs of staff who will be involved in conducting the research project up to a maximum of 15% of the total salary. Please ensure that the role, salary level, on-costs and FTE of the staff members are specified.

8. Does the grant allows ‘administrative costs’?

No, it does not cover general administrative costs such as capital works, general maintenance costs, organizational infrastructure or overheads, telephone/communication systems, basic office equipment, such as desks and chairs, rent, and the cost of utilities (see Guidelines).

Grants can cover a salary on-costs (see FAQ above).


9. Will references for the research project (Section B of the application form) be included in the word count?

No, references are not included in the word count. Please attach references to the application and submit as one document or you can upload a separate pdf of the reference list.

10. Does the Chief Investigator have to adhere to the two page limit for the CV?

The Chief Investigator (the applicant) of the project can submit a detailed CV (no page limit). All other investigators in the team should adhere to the 2 page limit.

11. Are the scores weighted?

Yes, weightings have been assigned for each category of selection criteria (see below). The Spinal Cord Injury Research Expert Advisory Committee was consulted and the NHMRC approach was considered in assigning these weightings.

Category Weighting (%)
Project 35
Translation 35
Team 20
Budget 10

Applications will be assessed against the selection criteria as detailed the Guidelines for Applicants.

12. Will feedback be provided to applicants before the final submission of applications?

Yes, tailored feedback in the form of clarifications requested by reviewers will be provided on each application.

Applicants will have a week to respond and incorporate relevant information and to re-submit applications to the Office for Health and Medical Research (OHMR) with tracked changes. Final applications will then be reviewed by the review panel and final recommendations made.


The project directory lists all research projects and/or devices that have received funding through the Office for Health and Medical Research

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Updated 2 years ago

Centenary Institute’s Dr Xiangjian Zheng, Head of Cell Signalling Laboratory. Photo credit: Belinda Rolland © 2016