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We’re here to develop a clear understanding of vertebral subluxation.

But what do those two words mean? For the purpose of our research agenda, the ASRF developed this definition:

“A vertebral subluxation is a diminished state of being, comprising a state of reduced coherence,
altered biomechanical function, altered neurological function and altered adaptability.”

Our Research Agenda

Over the last 47 Years the ASRF has funded or co-funded over 250 research projects costing in excess of AUD $2.9M.

We investigate the impact of chiropractic care on the quality of life of an individual and the wellbeing of their community.

This research agenda was developed through an in- depth consultation process that enabled us to identify the most pressing questions facing our profession.

Our first task was to develop a definition of vertebral subluxation, relevant to both research and clinical practice. We achieved this in one year.

Moving forward, we want to develop a deeper understanding of the:

  1. Reliability, validity and reproducibility of vertebral subluxation measures of identification
  2. Impact of vertebral subluxation and adjustment on an individual
  3. Epidemiology of vertebral subluxation
  4. Impact of vertebral subluxation and adjustment on the community.

This much-needed research focuses on the impact chiropractic care has on human function, rather than on disease and treatment. The outcomes will have strong clinical relevance for chiropractors, greatly enhancing our knowledge base and developing our profession.

Our Research Agenda
Our Program

Our Program

Our grant program is ambitious, rigorous, supportive of researchers and centred on producing research with strong clinical relevance for chiropractors.

Our application and assessment process reflects research sector best practice, setting us apart from other bodies funding chiropractic research.

We use a rigorous two-stage approval process to determine grant applications.

Current Topics of Interest

In order to further refine our Research Agenda, in 2024 we will be calling for grant applications exploring
the role of vertebral subluxation in Quality of Life (QOL) and Functional Outcome Measures (FOM) across the human lifespan.

Submissions open the week of 27th May, 2024.

Icon of vertebrae in spine

The role of vertebral subluxation

Concepts that inform this component:

  • The assessment indicators of subluxation
  • The technique protocols related to subluxation
  • The technique application to adjust the subluxation/s
  • The approach/es used to assess the delivery of the adjustment

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Validated tools to be utilised – for example (but not limited to):

  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) such as the UK Infant Questionnaire, SF8/12/20/36
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Functional status
  • Symptoms and symptom burden
  • Health behaviours
  • Patient experience

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The Human Lifespan

  • Infants
  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Adults
  • Elderly
  • All genders

Grant Categories

Three grant categories are available, intended to encourage and support new researchers and novel ideas, as well as support projects with a more developed evidence-base and researcher track record. All submissions must be relevant to our research agenda and the topics that are currently being investigated.

Targeted Research Grants

  • 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

  • For researchers who are currently undertaking a research higher degree and are yet to be recipients of competitive project funding.
  • Only one grant per postgraduate researcher will be awarded.
  • Funding of a maximum of $10,000 for a maximum period of 1 year.
ASRF logo in a circle
ASRF Logo in white circle

Seeding Research Grants

  • Supporting 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.
  • 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).
  • Recipients of SRGs should apply for full funding under the TRG scheme (or a similar external scheme) within 12 months
  • Funding of a maximum of $10,000 for a maximum period of 12 months.

Grant Application Process

1. Expression of Interest (EOI)

  • All applicants submit an initial 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 deadline.

2. Full Grant Submission

  • Provides more extensive details, particularly concerning the proposed methodology and the intended outcomes of the research project.
  • Provides a complete budget, including any estimated in-kind contributions.

Review Process

Both EOIs and full grant applications are subjected to the same merit-based review process. Applications in each stage are reviewed by our Clinical Advisory Panel and Research Committee.

Scientific and clinical evaluation will be based on:

  • Project merit and validity.
  • Likelihood of completion.
  • Value for money.

Key Dates

2024 Grants Round will open on 27th May, 2024.

Expression of Interest Form will be available for download on that date, along with guidelines and all other key dates. 


The Results

Once all submissions have been reviewed, our Research Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board then decides which projects to fund. All applicants are notified of the results of their application.

The ASRF receives many excellent submissions, and we are unable to fund them all. We collaborate with other bodies to facilitate funding of worthy projects that we cannot fund ourselves.

We acknowledge our Members, Donors, Fundraisers and Commercial Supporters for their amazing commitment to research and our great profession.

Please direct all communications to

The Research Results


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