Dementia Australia Research Foundation – Victoria was established in 2012 to distribute funds generously donated to Dementia Australia in Victoria for the purpose of research. The funds are used to provide research grants to Australian based dementia researchers, with priority given to projects with potential benefits for the 81,000 Victorians living with dementia and their families and carers.

Investment in research is vital if we are to find improved treatments for dementia and ensure people living with dementia have the best quality of life possible. Some of the leading dementia researchers in the world are working right here in Australia, and the Foundation is dedicated to supporting them.

The Foundation awards dementia research grants annually, in cooperation with the Dementia Australia Research Foundation. To date, we have distributed 11 research grants with a total value of $530,000. The Foundation is extremely grateful to everyone who has donated funds to help us achieve this. We are encouraged by the increasing support from Victorians who are clearly interested in supporting dementia research, and we are excited to see the potential contributions the funded research projects will make to the field.


Annual Dementia Grants Program

The annual research grants program is managed and administered by the national Dementia Australia Research Foundation on our behalf. Each year, applications are sought from Australian dementia researchers in February, with applications closing in April. Early career researchers are eligible to apply, as the aim is to help build Australia’s dementia research capacity. The grant applications received are subject to a rigorous external assessment process and are further considered by the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation’s Scientific and Medical Panel. Researchers are notified of the outcomes in November and funding can commence from the following January.

In 2015, the Foundation will offer six dementia research grants of $50,000 each. Four of these will be general research grants, with priority given to projects addressing our research priority areas. The highest ranked project will be awarded the Cecilia Margaret Hudson Dementia Research Grant. Two additional grants will be offered in the area of dementia prevention – the B B & A Miller Research Grant in Clinical Prevention of Dementia and the B B & A Miller Research Grant in Lifestyle Prevention of Dementia.


Projects Funded for 2016

Does social competence impact quality of life for people with a diagnosis of dementia?

Dr Michelle Kelly and colleagues at University of NSW are utilising a new screening tool of social cognition (currently being piloted in a group of people with dementia) to determine the role that impairments in social cognition play on quality of life. Dr Kelly was the recipient of the Cecilia Margaret Hudson Dementia Research Grant.

"Beauty and the Brain" - A novel approach to anhedonia in dementia

Dr Muireann Irish  and her colleagues at University of Newcastle are working to determine the extent to which an inability to experience pleasure, “anhedonia”, is present in people living with younger-onset dementia by using experiential and neuroimaging analyses.

The neural correlates of memory improvement following transcranial direct current stimulation combined with cognitive training

Dr Donel Martin and his colleagues at University of NSW are using functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural mechanisms for memory improvement following transcranial direct current stimulation combined with cognitive training. Dr Martin was the recipient of the BB and A Miller Grant (Clinical).

Hotspots of dementia risk in Australian communities: an approach to better targeting preventive interventions

Dr Nasser Bagheri and his colleagues at the Australian National University are developing and applying new methodologies to identify geographical hotspots of dementia risk in local communities and their associations with important socio demographic, environmental and individual characteristics. Dr Bagheri was the recipient of the BB and A Miller Grant (Lifestyle).

Research Priorities

The Foundation’s priority is to fund research that is likely to directly benefit people with dementia, their families and carers. Grants have therefore generally been awarded to projects investigating psychosocial and clinical aspects of dementia, rather than to projects based in the lab. In consultation with the Dementia Australia Vic Consumer Advisory Committee and others, the Foundation’s Board have set five priority research areas for our grants program.

  • The less common forms of dementia (including frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body disease)
  • Assistive technologies to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their families
  • Supporting families and carers
  • Improving care of hospitalised patients with dementia
  • Translational research (moving evidence into practice)

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