Grant strategy

Grant strategy

Spinnaker Health Research Foundation is committed to the support of translational and applied research for the direct benefit of the community of south metropolitan Perth that can also demonstrate local, national and global leadership. Established in 1996 at Fremantle Hospital the Foundation has funded almost $5,000,000 for research at Fremantle Hospital, Fiona Stanley Hospital and at universities and institutes with a direct link to the region.

In 2021 Spinnaker Health Research Foundation entered it’s 25th year and celebrated a legacy of funding medical research that has had a profound impact on the practice of medicine and the health of our community.  2022 heralds a new chapter in our 25 year history as we embark on an expanded program of support for public health that seeks to ensure our hospitals are counted amongst the very best in the world and seeks to ensure equitable access to the very best health care for every member of the community.  In so doing, the Board of Trustee Directors have mandated a strategic plan to address unmet and underserved needs in Western Australia that will serve the short and long term needs in areas that present critical health issues to many members of our community; here in WA and beyond.  With an emphasis on research excellence, exemplary patient care and the prevention of disease for the preservation of health and wellbeing, the Foundation is committed to the following six focus areas:

1.         Early Career Research and Seed Funding (our traditional purpose) – investing in pioneering ideas while facilitating a culture of aspirational innovation in health research

2.         Family Health – committing to equal access for every child to world-leading public health services and supporting evidenced based interventions at the earliest possible moment for children who may be at risk of life-impacting disease 

3.         Men’s Health and Wellbeing – in response to the Western Australian Men’s Health and Wellbeing Policy (2019), support a holistic program of integrated mental and physical health programs to address the inequities of health outcomes for West Australian men and boys

4.         Aboriginal Health – establish a comprehensive research centre for collaborative, translational research for Aboriginal Health to bring together essential expertise to address the critical health needs of WA’s diverse Aboriginal population

5.         Melanoma Research – fund WA’s only dedicated melanoma research grant program to improve patient outcomes through ground-breaking advancements in diagnosis, treatment and care (first grants awarded November 2021)

6.         Education and Advocacy – to facilitate the translation of research and inform the public, funding bodies, policy makers and health providers of advancements in medicine to ensure West Australia’s public health services are the best in the world and access is equitable.

At Spinnaker we know that better research means better health and we are committed to the discovery of the next great cure through:

Our grant-making strategy is focused on improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients in the hospitals we support and the prevention of disease for improved community health.  At Spinnaker we strive to:

  • Support research that responds to the identified needs of the south metropolitan community of Perth, Western Australia.
  • Support and inspire research with demonstrable translation to clinical practice
  • Improve patient outcomes across all areas of disease and injury
  • Support research for the prevention of chronic health conditions
  • Provide opportunities for the translation of knowledge for benefit of all members of the community


Our grant making policy prioritises research that responds to identified health needs of the south metropolitan community of Perth. As the only medical research foundation based south of the river, Spinnaker provides support for research that seeks to improve patient outcomes in the hospitals we support and to improve the overall health of our community through research for preventions and cure.  Applications for funding must be able to respond to an identified health issue or concern in our community and demonstrate how that research will improve diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention through translation to clinical practice and the sharing of knowledge on a local, national and global stage.


Since 1996 we have awarded almost $5,000,000 that has been leveraged five-fold to support total research valued at approximately $20,000,000 through other funders such as NHMRC.

With a focus on Early Career Research and Seed Grants, in the last five years we awarded 54 grants totalling approximately $1.4 million dollars:

  • $598,530 on improving treatment outcomes
  • $426,766 on collaborative grants in mental health, cancer, heart disease and diabetes
  • $301,117 on preventative research
  • $59,400 for vital research equipment