Volunteers driving NeuRA research

Volunteers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) play a critical role in helping advance the treatment and understanding of diseases of the brain and spinal cord.
National Volunteer Week (21-27 May) is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. This years’ theme ‘Give a little. Change a lot’ represents the millions of volunteers Australia-wide who make a profound impact in their communities and on society, through giving a little time.

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, NeuRA wishes to thank all the volunteers that help us to discover, conquer and cure diseases of the brain and spinal cord. We appreciate our volunteers’ commitment to medical research, which ultimately improves the lives of Australians and others around the world.

Without the help of our volunteers, NeuRA would not be able to undertake its quest for discovery and quest for a cure.
Many of our scientists rely on volunteers for their research. Professor Simon Gandevia, NeuRA’s Deputy Director and Foundation Scientist, recognises the important role that volunteers play in his own research into respiratory clinical neurophysiology and motor impairment.

“Medical research can make no progress without volunteers to help with our studies. Sometimes the time and effort involved is rather trivial but for some studies the personal commitment from volunteers is huge,” said Professor Simon Gandevia.

Associate Professor Julie Brown who researches child injury says volunteers drive research that has a real-world impact.

“The needs of real people are at the heart of our research, so volunteers are critical to us delivering solutions that will make a real difference,” said Associate Professor Julie Brown.

NeuRA enlists the help of volunteers who are affected by certain neurological and spinal conditions for a range of research projects. But healthy volunteers, i.e those with no neurological conditions, are also required for medical research at NeuRA. Healthy participants are essential to our research as they form a comparison group to help scientists measure the changes in affected individuals.

We need your help

Although research at NeuRA is focused on understanding disorders of the brain and nervous system, many of these research projects also need healthy volunteers.

You are never too old to be a healthy adult volunteer. Our oldest healthy control volunteers are 102 and 103 years of age.

We are also seeking to recruit healthy children and adolescents up to 16 years of age and we have opportunities for people 17 years and older.

Usually, we ask one or both parents to be involved if their child is a volunteer in a study so that the parents can be informed about the study and can provide information about their child.

For both registries, requests to participate in a research project will be about once per year. Occasionally, this may be more often but requests will never exceed three times per year, with participation remaining entirely voluntary on each occasion.


Find out more

Contact us on 02 9399 1155 or email us at volunteers@neura.edu.au