Press release: COVID-19 and research

The Neurological Foundation has become a leader in neurological research funding during COVID-19.

The Neurological Foundation becomes a “lifeline” for researchers during COVID-19


Ensuring that lifechanging research can continue, even on our darkest days, has and will always be the Neurological Foundation’s priority. When COVID-19 hit, we put immediate measures in place to ensure that the research could continue, that the hope would remain. We understand how important neurological research is to our supporters. They have helped fund so many extraordinary projects over the years, and without such support, the ground-breaking discoveries made by these scientists and clinicians would not have happened.

It is vital that we continue on the pathway to hope, even during COVID-19, and so the Foundation has committed to an assistance package for our grant recipients.

Key facts and messages include:


Over the years the Foundation has focused on building a financial reserve to ensure research is not impacted by short term funding issues. COVID-19 is a clear situation where having these reserves will ensure valuable research can get back on track once restrictions are lifted and that research does not stop midway through.

Fellowships and Scholarships

Salaries and stipends have been extended for an extra three months for fellowships and scholarships that we currently fund. This three-month extension allows research fellows and PhD students to continue to receive their salary/stipend even if the research is on hold at the moment, then have time to restart projects that have had to be stopped due to the lockdown.


Projects that we currently fund have also been extended by three months, which includes an additional three months of salaries. Extra funding will also be provided for additional or ongoing costs incurred due to the lockdown. Project grants employ research fellows, research assistants, nurses and technicians, whose skills are critical to continuing neurological research in NZ. The Foundation’s goal is to ensure the research community does not lose these specialist skills, and that projects can be restarted once restrictions are lifted.

Future Funding

We have committed to both of our 2020 grant rounds. We have seen an increase in project applications in our current grant round and will be awarding the full amount that has been allocated for this round. To continue funding new research, we will be using our reserves to support grants affected by COVID-19. Current donations from our generous supporters will be used to fund new projects, fellowships, and scholarships throughout the 2020-2021 year.


These decisions have already seen a ripple effect throughout the research community. Our grant recipients are so incredibly grateful for this support and it would not have been possible without the generous donations from our supporters.

“Thank you for this incredible support package, this is a life saver for my postdoc” says one scientist from the Otago region. Another, from the University of Auckland says this support is a “lifeline for [their] project”.

For any questions or inquiries about this press release please contact us at

To make a donation to the Neurological Foundation to continue to support neurological research please email or visit our online donation form.



About the Neurological Foundation

The Neurological Foundation funds life-changing research through generous donations from our supporters. The Neurological Foundation receives no government funding and relies on the generosity of everyday New Zealanders through donations large and small.

Since 1971, research funded by the Foundation has led to a greater understanding of the brain and nervous system, as well as conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, motor neuron diseases, stroke, multiple sclerosis, migraine, epilepsy, dementia, traumatic brain injury and dozens of other debilitating conditions. The work of scientists and clinicians funded by the Foundation has led to many ground-breaking discoveries and improved understanding of the more than 700 neurological conditions which affect one in five New Zealanders.

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