Funding opportunities

The CatWalk Trust accept proposals aimed at advancing research towards a cure for spinal cord injury.

The Neurological Foundation of NZ undertakes the evaluation of all applications to The CatWalk Trust on the basis of their scientific merit and relevance to the aims of the Trust. All applications are submitted to a peer review process via the Neurological Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

The Neurological Foundation makes a recommendation to The CatWalk Trust on whether the application should, in their view be considered for funding. The final decision on funding is made by The CatWalk Board of Trustees.

Grants and careers

There are two funding rounds per year for biomedical or clinical research projects. There is one round per year for Postgraduate scholarships and Postdoctoral fellowships. All applications are available for use in New Zealand or at an overseas centre of excellence.

The Scientific Advisory Commitee (SAC) and Personal Awards Committee (PAC) meet in June and November each year to consider applications for funding. The recommendations of the committees are presented to the CatWalk Trust Board of Trustees and outcomes are announced in early July and December.

All applications must be submitted in the online portal through the appropriate research institution by the deadline dates specified.

Biomedical or clinical research projects

1 April submission deadline – outcomes announced in June.

1 September submission deadline – outcomes announced in November

Post Graduate Scholarships to study towards a PhD

($25,000 annual stipend plus fees).

1 October submission deadline – outcomes announced in December.

A one or two-year Post Doctoral Fellowship to be undertaken either in New Zealand or in an overseas centre of excellence

1 October submission deadline – outcomes announced in December

CatWalk Trust Translational Award


These grants are focused on translational activities aimed at addressing scientific and technical hurdles on the critical path to the clinic. Funding is designed to bring promising treatments to a stage that they are ready for first-in-human studies, and will provide support for pre-clinical studies of the following example types: dose-response, toxicity and studies of the optimum therapeutic windows; optimisation of delivery methods; assessment in additional spinal injury models. Support for phase I clinical trials and clinical feasibility trials will also be considered. Milestones that are demonstrably on the critical path to the clinic are essential and will have a strong bearing on the success of the application.


  • Projects that support the translation from the laboratory into the clinic of promising new treatments for spinal cord injury
  • Candidate treatments should already have demonstrated efficacy in a peer-reviewed publication in at least one in vivo spinal injury model, and should involve a clinically-feasible delivery procedure
  • Applicants will be expected to have considered possible primary and secondary clinical outcomes and the target patient cohort.

Who can apply?

  • Post-doctoral research fellows
  • Clinicians
  • Continued academics

What can be funded?

  • Salaries for post-doctoral research fellows
  • Salaries for named investigators
  • Salaries for research assistants and technicians
  • Working expenses, including publication costs
  • Equipment up to a value of $15,000

What will not be funded?

  • Funding through this scheme will not be available for projects where the primary aim(s) are to examine mechanisms of action, test novel therapeutic concepts or establish proof of principle
  • Stipends or fees for postgraduate students
  • Salaries or institutional overheads for clinicians or scientists with permanent positions

Closing dates

If the closing date falls on a weekend or holiday, it will be extended to the next working day

  • 1 April and 1 September

For the full grant details or for an application form

Contact us here.

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Let’s get them walking again!