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Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants

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

Key dates

  • 15-MAR

    Applications close

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

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

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.

Updated 1 week ago