Research Corner

Research Corner

Be a part of the breakthroughs that change lives

Be a part of the breakthroughs that change lives

SCIA Research Corner

Our primary partners supporting Australian research into spinal cord injury are:

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)  SCIA partner with NeuRA on a range of research initiatives including several that include NeuroMoves staff. NeuRA is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Sydney, Australia. As a leader in brain and nervous system research, their goal is to prevent, treat and cure brain and nervous system diseases, disorders and injuries through medical research.  

Spinal Cure Australia – SCIA works with SpinalCure on a range of projects including a current project utilising NeuroMoves staff. SpinalCure is Australia’s premier nationally operating Not for Profit organisation funding spinal cord injury research. They are committed to making a cure for spinal cord injury not only achievable but available and fund breakthrough technologies, data, and creative thinking. 

SCIA Supported Research

SCIA has ongoing research partnerships with the following organisations to advance research to build a better community for people with disabilities.

University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) has co-funded a 3-year research project in collaboration with the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney to investigate the current physical activity levels of persons with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in a national-level survey. This survey will measure current physical activity volume and intensity while exploring what barriers individuals regularly face to participate in exercise and any motivators for physical activity.

The overall goal is that these findings will produce valuable information that practitioners, policymakers and peer advocacy agencies can utilise to facilitate physical activity in what we know is a sedentary population. This national survey will hopefully lead to an increase in physical activity across this population.

Research Opportunities

Australia (Virtual)

University of NSW (UNSW): Virtual Reality Walking study for treatment of neuropathic pain following SCI
Participants must be 18 years and older. Have a complete SCI at C5 or below for greater than 12 months and have persistent neuropathic pain

Click here for details

Central Queensland University (CQU): Survey to gain perspectives on electrical stimulation home-devices

Participants must be 18 years and older, and have a SCI above T12 for at least 12 months.

Click here for details

Western Sydney University (WSU): Cognitive strategies to improve outcomes
for children with spinal cord injuries or disease

Participants must be aged 6 – 18  years.

Click here for details

Melbourne

Austin Health, TESCoN, The University of Melbourne: Driving functional recovery after SCI using transcutaneous electrical spinal cord neuromodulation (TESCoN)
Participants must be between 15-75 years, have tetraplegia below C4 as a result of a traumatic SCI. Time since injury between 3-6 months, or 12 months or more. Not had previous tendon or nerve transfer in the hand or arm, and no implanted device (eg pacemaker)

Click here for details

University of Melbourne: Hotter in the city: experiences of physical disability during heatwaves in the City of Melbourne
Participants must be 18+ years, live in the greater Melbourne area and have had a SCI since at least Jan 1st 2022.

Click here for details

Sydney

University of New South Wales (UNSW): A pilot trial to examine the effect of an EEG neurofeedback system as an innovative treatment for chronic neuropathic pain after a spinal cord injury.
Participants must be 18 years and older, have persistent pain at or below the level of injury and live in Sydney metropolitan area.

Click here for details

NSW Health, The University of Sydney: The SMART Trial- Spinal Cord Injury, mind and heart. A novel neuro-cardiac self-regulation therapy to improve autonomic and neural function after SCI
Participants must be 18 years and older and have a SCI for longer than 12 months.

Click here for details

NSW Health, University of Sydney, NeuRA, Lambert Initiative: Spinal Cord Injury and Chronic Pain, exploring effects of cannabidiol on chronic pain following SCI (SCAN trial)
Participants must be 18 years and older, have a SCI with ongoing pain and reside in NSW.

Click here for details

NSW Health, University of Technology (UTS): Metagenomics based diagnostics for control of urinary tract infections,
Participants must be 18 years and older, have a neurogenic bladder and a stable SCI or stable MS.

Click here for details

University of Technology Sydney (UTS): Robot assisted game based training for the arm and upper limb following a spinal cord injury

Adults who have had a spinal cord injury that affected their ability to move their hand and arm for a minimum of six months.

Click here for details

Further Information

Research at SCIA is underpinned by our Research Framework.

Research Governance
Researchers

Clinical Governance and Research Committee

Research and Clinical Governance at SCIA is supported by the Clinical Governance and Research Committee (CGRC), a subcommittee of the SCIA Board of Directors.

The CGRC members are experts and people with lived experience that voluntarily provide advice on research and clinical matters. Meetings are quarterly. Current members include:

Professor Glen M Davis OAM (SCIA Board Member and Committee Co-Chair): Professor of Clinical Exercise Sciences in the Sydney School of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, with clinical and research experience in exercise therapy and rehabilitation for people with neurological conditions, particularly spinal cord injury.

Leesa Addison (SCIA Board Member and Committee Co-Chair): A passionate change advocate currently working as a business and digital transformation consultant after 25 years working in technology and innovation as a CIO and senior executive. A lived experience advocate for systemic improvement of our health and community services sectors serving as a Non-Executive Director in disability and mental health.

Dianne Lucas (SCIA CEO): Experience as both the Deputy CEO and Acting CEO at St Vincent De Paul Society NSW, where she led several disability services. Dianne has also managed several organisational functions including organisational performance and development, information and communications technology, governance, fundraising and communications as well as human resources.

Judith Cross AM (Lived Experience Representative): 22 years’ experience as a CEO working in health and community services with a particular interest in governance.

Professor Mary Galea AM FAHMS (Research Representative): Professorial Fellow, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne. A physiotherapist and neuroscientist, with clinical research experience in the rehabilitation of neurological conditions including stroke, MS and SCI.

Dr Jackie Reznik (Clinical Representative): Extensive national and international expertise as a clinical neurological physiotherapist (SCI, Brain Injuries and other chronic/genetic neurological conditions) in adults and children. Also a researcher in the area of SCI and traumatic/non-traumatic brain injuries.

Dr Camila Quel De Oliveria (SCIA Internal Research Adviser): Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Technology Sydney. Postgraduate clinical qualifications in Neurological Physiotherapy applied to the chronic and acute patient (adult and paediatric) populations. Is an allied health researcher in neurological populations, with special interest in SCI, Camila is a SCIA representative member of the committee.

Beverley Wright GCBM (Community Family Member/Carer): 10 years lived experience with her husband who is a C3/4 Quadriplegic. A highly motivated management professional with substantial senior management and leadership experience across a wide range of industries including Aged Care, Commercial and Retail Banking, Superannuation and Hospitality.

If you would like to discuss anything on this page in more detail please contact Jess Hansson, Secretary of Clinical Governance and Research Committee, at jhansson@scia.org.au or call (03) 7003 5105.

Research Framework and Research Plan

Research at SCIA is underpinned by our Research Framework and guided by our Bi-annual Research Plan.

Please take some time to read the following documents to see if you project aligns:

  • Research Framwork (PDF)
  • Bi-Annual Research Plan (PDF)
  • If you would like SCIA’s Clinical Governance and Research Committee (CGRC) to provide your research support through promotion, support, partnership and funding please fill out our Research Proposal Form or Research Support or Promotion Request Form

    If you have any further questions please contact Jess Hansson, Secretary of Clinical Governance and Research Committee, at jhansson@scia.org.au