AusCP-CTN & QCPRRC teams have collaboratively obtained over $14M new competitive research funding in 2022

13 January 2023

2022 has been another very successful year for teams at the Australasian Cerebral Palsy and Clinical Trials Network, with competitive funding awarded over $14M, including key prestigious grants:

  • Medical Frontiers Health Fund (MRFF; $2.5M 2023-2027) for Australian Musculoskeletal Network, a longitudinal cohort study on 4-9yo children with CP GMFCS III-IV-V across 9 sites who will be followed for hip displacement, scoliosis, motor capacity, bone health, nutrition  and Physical Activity;
  • EU-NHMRC Partnership Program ($0.5M 2022 – 2026, which builds on the successful EU Horizon 2020 program Euro6M) for AInCP, to identify, collect and combine relevant and multiple clinical and digital biomarkers (clinical multiaxial assessments, brain structure and function, in Upper Limb (UpL) daily movement) in order to stratify the children with UCP and create a first decision making tool (dDST). It will inform the decision-making process for providing an accurate prognosis and individualised tailoring of rehabilitation, in multiple sites in Europe, and at the University of Queensland and CSIRO (QLD).
  • NHMRC Synergy ($5M; 2022-2026) for CP Synergy Program, which will undertake the E-PINO Early Prediction of Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in n=650 high risk infants at 3 sites looking at harmonised neuroimaging, HD EEG, Genomics, Gut Microbiome, clinical biomarkers for automated analysis and measurement of neuroplasticity in response to interventions.
  • NHMRC Partnerships Grant ($3M; 2022-2026) for TRANSMIT: multifaceted knowledge TRANslation Strategy iMprovIng funcTion in children and youth with cerebral palsy. This partnership propose a mobile health aide (mHealth) that streamlines and filters evidenced-based intervention options for children with CP, inclusive of 5 KT strategies that directly overcome implementation barriers identified by our 3 stakeholder groups – consumers, clinicians, and policymakers. The anticipated outcomes from our 3-tiered KT approach are a 10% improvement in function (independence of daily living) to expedite long-term independent living and employment, and a 20% reduction in NDIS costs. Our solution is highly responsive to the priorities of government, the community, and clinicians. In partnership with the NDIS, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, NSW Health, Vic Health, QLD Health, University of QLD, International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability and Montreal University, we will reach 100% of the Australian CP population and ultimately all people with CP worldwide.
  • NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence ($3M; 2022-2026) for DRIVE CP: Direct Research Into Very Early Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is common (1 in 700) and the cost is immense (0.14% GDP). The rate has fallen by 30% meaning more is possible. Our CRE is co-designed with consumers to directly address the priorities set by consumers in our National CP strategy. Together we will diagnose CP early through a national screening program, then develop and transmit new early interventions, that reduce severity and improve independence. We will use artificial intelligence to automate screening for diagnosis. The new injection of CRE and Clinical Trials funding will facilitate collaborations with the broader Australasian Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials Network community, allowing teams to further expand findings from our previous studies (PPREMO/PREBO, REACH, GAME, PACT/Early PACT), in testing new interventions (HABITILE, Preschool HABITILE, LEAP-CP, RUN4 Health, and PEERS) to improve the outcomes and quality of life of families of children with CP.

The AusCP-CTN, CP Synergy and DRIVE -CP networks bring together international leaders in the field of CP on epidemiology, neuroprotection, genomics, neuroscience, early detection, rehabilitation, automated surveillance with a track record of >50 randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of interventions, three international Clinical Practice Guidelines and best practice implementation studies. These networks combine internationally recognised teams at The University of Queensland, Cerebral Palsy Alliance & University of Sydney, CSIRO, Westmead Children’s Hospital; Monash University/Monash Children’s Hospital; Telethon Kids Institute/Curtin University/Perth Children’s Hospital and the University of Auckland/Starship Children’s Hospital; linked to state-wide CP clinical teams enabling capacity building across four states.


Find out more about our Research


The overall CRE network builds on over 20 years of active collaborations, and have collaboratively achieved $160M+ competitive research funding. Other current key research support include: 

    1. EU Horizon 2020 grant “BORNTOGETTHERE” Euro 3.5M, CIs A/Prof.essor Andrea Guzzetta, Dr Giusy Sgandurra (Pisa), Prof. Ros Boyd, Dr Kath Benfer for implementation of Early Detection, surveillance and Early Intervention across six sites in Europe (Italy, Denmark, Holland, Georgia), SE Asia (Sri Lanka) and Remote and Isolated Australia. Funding for the Australian part of the project was achieved from NHMRC (Aus$0.5M).
    2. NHMRC & Government-funded People Support: ~$10M across the AusCP-CTN team, including Prof. Ros Boyd (Investigator grant L1, 2021-2025), A/Prof. Leanne Sakzewski (ECR 2 2018-2022), Dr Kath Benfer (ECR1 2018 - 2025). Prof.. Paul Scuffham (Senior Research Fellow 2018-2022), Prof. Russell Dale (Practitioner fellowship), Rose Gilmore (NHMC Postgraduate Scholarship), Prof. Iona Novak (Fulbright Scholar) and A/Prof.. Michael Fahey (Fulbright Scholar).
    3. MRFF and NHMRC Project & Partnership Grants (over $35M): School Readiness, Active Strides,  HABIT-ILE; Participate CP; GAME; REACH; PREBO & PREBO-6; PREDICT; KiTE-CP & Early Natural History CP; and the Early Moves Cohort study. 
    4. Philanthropic Funding Support: The team has secured over $20M project awards from philanthropic grantors including Merchant Charitable Foundation, Queensland Children’s Hospital Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and Perpetual Trustees, providing generous support to catalyse the foundation and progress of our projects, including: PACT and EARLY PACT; LEAP-CP Indigenous (both QLD and NT, PhD scholarship Carly Luke); VISIBLE RCT; and Queensland Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation & Research Centre (QCPRRC).