Neurotrauma Research Program (NRP)

The Neurotrauma Research Program (NRP) brings together neuroscientists, neurosurgeons, and clinicians in unprecedented collaborative scientific endeavours that are improving the lives of people affected by brain and spinal cord injury.

The NRP provides seed funding for vital neurotrauma research, providing opportunities and incentives to maintain Western Australia as a significant contributor to global neurotrauma research.  As the only WA-based funding body for brain and spinal cord injury research, the NRP is a vital and unique provider of research funds.

The NRP’s mission is to support research into avoiding, understanding injury mechanisms and developing effective treatments for acquired trauma to the nervous system (brain and spinal trauma). The ultimate goal is to ensure that nobody has to live with permanent disability from spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. 

The world-class scientific research of the NRP is aimed at improving the lives of people affected by neurotrauma and the wider community, recognising the medical, social and psychological implications of these injuries. 

Queen’s Birthday Honour for NRP Chairman

Congratulations to Professor Bryant Stokes AM RFD who has been recognised for his contributions to public health in WA and has been awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours announced today.

Professor Stokes, Chairman of NRP for over 20 years, received the honour for “distinguished service to public health care governance and standards in Western Australia through leadership and advisory roles.”

The neurotrauma research community is honoured to have Professor Stokes advocating for their cause and NRP is indebted to his leadership, vision and tenacious commitment to this vital program.

ECU Spinal Cord Injury Research Study

Looking for participants!

We are looking for people (18 – 70 years of age) who suffered a spinal cord injury at a cervical level at least 1 year ago to take part in a research project, funded by NRP. We use non-invasive brain stimulation (rTMS) to try and enhance the efficacy of residual connections between the brain and arm. The effect of rTMS will be measured with neurophysiological and behavioural measures including motor control and sensory measures. Participants will be asked to visit ECU Joondalup seven times. In order to participate in this study, you will have to have a residual upper limb motor deficit with muscle weakness and no joint-related limitations of passive range of movement of the upper extremities.

If you are interested and would like more information, then please contact Dr. Onno van der Groen via email or phone 08 6304 3644.

NRP and COVID-19 : What’s the Impact on Grants?

We are doing our best to ensure grant funding will continue to support this vital research. The NRP is working to ensure grants for neurotrauma research are available later in the year, as usual, despite the COVID-19 impact. This means you can use that isolation time to start preparing for your applications!

Although we can’t confirm anything at the moment, for those who want to get an early start on their application, the Department of Health guidelines from last year will likely be very similar to those used again this year.

Please check back here for updates and note that any announcement regarding grant rounds will also be sent out via the usual email channels. If you would like to join our email distribution list, please use the form on this page to contact us, and we can add you.

Grant Applications

Grant Outcomes 2019

The NRP/Department of Health Funded Grant Applications outcome:

The NRP Executive Committee is pleased to announce the successful applicants of the NRP/Department of Health funded 2018-2019 grants.

Congratulations to the following researchers who have received NRP funding for their important neurotrauma research.

Elizabeth Armstrong, Natalie Ciccone, Juli Coffin, Deborah Woods, Rodney Carpio, Sandra Thompson, Judith Katzenellenbogen, Deborah Hersh, Meaghan McAllister and Erin Godecke. Brain injury yarning circles: Support groups for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury
Edith Cowan University

Anthony Blazevich, Ken Nosaka and Vanesa Bochkezanian
Effects of electrically-evoked eccentric strength training on muscle mass, strength, physical health and quality of life in people with spinal cord injury
Edith Cowan University

Melinda Fitzgerald, Kaylene Young and Chidozie Anyaegbu
Project Title: Is oxidative damage to OPCs at the blood brain barrier a contributor to pathology following neurotrauma?
Curtin University

Hakuei Fujiyama, Alex Tang, Shayne Loft, Jane Tan and Vanessa Bowden
Improving the executive decision-making process using non-invasive brain stimulation in older adults: A step towards reducing traffic accidents
Murdoch University

Alan Harvey, Stuart Hodgetts and Steve Petratos
Effects of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) gene therapy on the regeneration of corticospinal axons after spinal cord injury
University of Western Australia

Jennifer Rodger
Interaction of brain state with brain stimulation to promote brain repair
University of Western Australia

Jennifer Rodger, Alexander Tang, Olivier Clément, Darren Clarke, Jessica Moretti and Jodi Pawluksi
Identifying neurons activated by rTMS: distribution, subtype and physiological properties
University of Western Australia

Janet Taylor
A novel method to prime the spinal cord for motor rehabilitation
Edith Cowan University

Onno van der Groen, Dylan Edwards, Jennifer Rodger and Sarah Dunlop Low-intensity rTMS in human spinal cord injury: a translational approach
Edith Cowan University

The NRP/Insurance Commission of Western Australia Funded Grant outcome:

The NRP Executive is pleased to announce the successful applicants of the NRP/ICWA funded 2019-2020 grant round. 

Stuart Hodgetts, Alan Harvey and Gong Chen
Direct in vivo reprogramming of host astrocytes into functional neurons in the injured spinal cord
University of Western Australia

Jillian Swain, Toby Richards and Sarah Dunlop
A single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial of the AusCAN Prevent © wheelchair re-positioning theory-based behaviour change program with real-time biofeedback of pressure injury risk – The MOVE© Trial
University of Western Australia and University of Notre Dame

Congratulations to all the successful teams! And happy researching to all our current and future NRP recipients !

International Neurotrauma Symposium (INTS)

We are pleased to be providing travel bursaries to assist students and early career researchers to attend the meeting and present their research. 

New dates for 2021

Saturday 7 to Thursday 11 February, 2021

The location remains unchanged at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Link to our host Perron Institute

Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science has generously hosted administration of the NRP since February 2018. Perron Institute’s research focuses on neurological disorders and diseases and closely aligns with the goals and objectives of NRP.

If you would like to know more about Perron Institute please click on the link below.

Our Sponsors


Stay tuned for new events.

Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS)

Perth, 8-11 December 2020

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International Neurotrauma Symposium (INTS)

Melbourne, 7-11 February 2021

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Science on the Swan

Perth: 16-18 May 2021

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