Research Program

The Mission of the Foundation is to facilitate research that furthers the understanding and development of chiropractic care.

The Foundation is incredibly proud of our two-stage approval process. We believe this sets us apart from other research funding bodies. It has served us well for many years and was the result of reviewing the processes used by a number of national and international competitive funding bodies. Our application and assessment process reflects research sector best practice.

In 2020 we continue to refine our research agenda by calling for grant applications focussing on the role of subluxation in resilience and adaptability.  Based on an extensive survey, our members identified stress and immune function/dysfunction as the two key health outcome areas associated with resilience and adaptability.

2020 Grant Program

In 2020, the Foundation has called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from researchers looking to explore the following items.

  • Investigate reliability, validity and reproducibility of stress and immunity outcome measures associated with vertebral subluxation (can stress and immune health outcomes relating to vertebral subluxations be measured using reliable and valid indicators?).
  • Investigate the impact of a vertebral subluxation and an adjustment on stress and immune function (what impact does vertebral subluxation and the adjustment have on health outcomes?).
  • Investigate the epidemiology of the subluxation relating to stress and immunity (the scientific, systematic, data-driven frequency and patterns of the cause and risk factors of vertebral subluxation in the community).

Grant Categories

The Foundation offers three categories of research funding in 2020.

These are intended to both encourage and support new researchers and novel ideas as well as support projects with a more developed evidence base and researcher track record. The following types of research grants are available:

  • Targeted Research Grants (TRG) are intended to provide support for quality research projects relevant to the clinical practice and scientific basis of chiropractic and relevant to the research agenda categories that are currently being investigated. Funding of up to $20,000 per year is available for between one and two years.
  • Dave Russell Postgraduate Scholarship Grant (DRPSG) are intended for researchers who are currently undertaking a research higher degree and are yet to be recipients of competitive project funding. Funds for DRPSG’s will be awarded for quality research projects relevant to the clinical practice and scientific basis of chiropractic and relevant to the research agenda categories that are currently being investigated and will be a maximum of $10,000 for a maximum period of 1 year. Only one grant per postgraduate researcher will be awarded.
  • Seeding Research Grants (SRG) are intended to support novel research ideas, pilot studies or preliminary research develop into viable competitive research proposals for submission for funding to ASRF or other external granting bodies. It is intended that the recipients of SRG apply for full funding under the TRG scheme within 12 months.  SRGs are open to any researcher, however preference will be given to an Early Career Researcher (ECR – defined as researchers who are currently within 5 years of having completed postgraduate studies and who have not as yet been recipients of competitive project funding). Funds for SRGs are to support quality research projects relevant to the clinical practice and scientific basis of chiropractic and relevant to the research agenda categories that are currently being investigated and will be a maximum of $10,000 for a maximum period of 12 months.

Application Process

There is a two-stage process for submitting an application for funding.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI) CLOSED

All applicants are required to submit an initial EOI. The EOI provides concise, referenced information regarding the intent of the proposed research project, the clinical and/or scientific basis of the intended research, how the proposal meets the Foundation’s research agenda, and an indicative budget. Applicants will be notified promptly of the Foundation’s decision regarding their expression and if endorsed, will be invited to complete a full submission by the prescribed deadline.

Stage 2: Full Grant Submission CLOSED

Full Grant Submissions build on information provided in the EOI but provide more extensive details, particularly concerning the proposed methodology and the intended outcomes of the research project.

Key Dates

Expressions of Interest were received by Friday 17 July 2020. Those who proceed to Full Grant Submissions were notified and instructed to submit by 25th September 2020. It is anticipated that those who are successful in their applications will receive word of the outcome by mid-November, 2020.

Grant Guidelines are available here.

Please forward all communication to grants@spinalresearch.com.au

More on The Process

Both EOIs and full grant applications are subjected to the same merit-based review process. Scientific and clinical evaluation will be based on project merit and validity, likelihood of completion and delivery of intended outcomes, as well as value for money. Applications in each stage are reviewed for clinical relevance and merit by the Clinical Review Panel and full applications are assessed by the Research Committee for overall scientific merit and feasibility.

Full applications may also be subjected to independent external peer assessment. The overall application and assessment process is overseen by the Research Agenda Working Committee.

The Results

The Board of Governors is responsible for the funding approvals based on the recommendations of the Clinical Advisory Panel and the Research Committee via the Research Agenda Working Committee.

The Foundation often receives more projects appropriate for funding than we can financial support. It is for this reason that we have built relationships with other bodies to facilitate the funding of this important research.

We believe our grant program is ambitious, rigorous, supportive of researchers and is centred on producing research with strong, clinical relevance for chiropractors. We acknowledge our members for their commitment to research and their profession.