Seed Grant Showcase

Our Seed Grant funding program is dedicated to advancing research that addresses key priority areas within our research streams, focusing on disability and rehabilitation. These grants are instrumental in fostering interdisciplinary research that innovates and enhances clinical practices, service delivery, and system improvements across the spectrum of disability and rehabilitation.

The Seed Grants serve as a critical starting point for pilot studies, the translation of research findings into practice, or the enhancement and expansion of ongoing research projects. By supporting these initial stages, the grants enable interdisciplinary teams to build strong collaborations, potentially leading to further research opportunities and funding, as well as tangible impacts on practice or service delivery.

The primary beneficiaries of these grants include individuals living with long-term consequences of conditions such as acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, persistent pain, and amputation, as well as those facing challenges associated with developmental, age-related, and other lifelong disabilities. Through the Seed Grant-funded projects, The Hopkins Centre is committed to improving the lives of these diverse populations by translating cutting-edge research into meaningful and effective interventions.

A vector image of a hand, holding a seedling plant, in grey and white.



Adapting Communication Partner Training for ABI Support Groups

Year Started: 2018

Background: Examines the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering communication partner training to leaders of a community peer support group for adults with acquired brain injury.

Aims: To adapt and evaluate the TBI Express program for use in community settings, enhancing inclusion and quality of life for individuals with ABI.

Outcomes: The project aims to improve community support and inclusion for people with ABI through effective communication training for peer group leaders.

turquoise tile  Click here to download Project Flyer


Clinicians’ Views on Persistent Pain Management for Refugees

Year Started: 2018

Background: This project explores the persistent pain management challenges in refugees attending the Persistent Pain Clinic at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Clinicians face difficulties in communication and cultural understanding, affecting pain management effectiveness.

Aims: To understand clinicians' perceptions of the barriers and facilitators in managing persistent pain for refugees and assess the need for cultural competence training.

Outcomes: The project is crucial for developing guidelines to enhance pain management for refugees, influencing other services within Metro South Health and informing culturally focused practices and training.


Developing an Evidence-Based Framework for Vocational Rehabilitation in ABI

Year Started: 2018

Background: Aiming to support vocational rehabilitation for adults with acquired brain injury within the Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service (ABI TRS).

Aims: To develop and implement a novel framework for early vocational rehabilitation tailored for people with acquired brain injury in Queensland.

Outcomes: Produced four publications and informed the development of a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation framework now being implemented across Queensland.


Evaluating the Translation of an ABI Rehabilitation Program

Year Started: 2018

Background: Uses the RE-AIM Framework to evaluate the integration of the Adapted Physical Activity Program into the Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service.

Aims: To develop a sustainable model for clinical exercise physiology in brain injury rehabilitation and a framework for translating research into practice.

Outcomes: Provides a model for effective research translation that enhances clinical practice and optimizes resource use within rehabilitation services.


Getting research closer to practice: Using a research capacity building framework to develop and evaluate a clinician-researcher position in occupational therapy

Year Started: 2019

Background: Focused on documenting and evaluating the implementation of a clinician-researcher role to enhance research capacity in rehabilitation.

Aims: To develop a resource aiding the planning and support of clinician-researcher roles, aiming to increase research engagement across rehabilitation divisions.

Outcomes: Aims to establish a research capacity building approach to keep research closely aligned with clinical practice, enhancing therapy services' responsiveness and cost-effectiveness.


Reviewing SCI Management on Orthopaedics Wards

Year Started: 2019

Background: Reviews the current care processes for managing patients with spinal cord injuries on the orthopaedics wards at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Aims: To identify and implement improvements in the early management of spinal cord injuries to enhance patient outcomes.

Outcomes: Expected to lead to improved care processes and the development of context-specific solutions for better patient and staff outcomes.


Design and Feasibility Testing of a Graded Motor Imagery Application for SCI

Year Started: 2020

Background: This project develops a novel approach, Graded Motor Imagery, to manage neuropathic pain in individuals with spinal cord injury.

Aims: To pilot test a three-stage Graded Motor Imagery intervention, aiming to reduce neuropathic pain in paraplegia patients.

Outcomes: The project will provide pilot data to apply for larger grants and offers a novel intervention for managing neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury.


Exploring the experience of fatigue for people with a traumatic brain injury and their carers to inform evidence-based clinical management

Year Started: 2020

Background: Investigates the experiences of fatigue among individuals with traumatic brain injury and their carers.

Aims: To understand and enhance clinical management of fatigue in the brain injury rehabilitation continuum.

Outcomes: Has significantly advanced understanding of TBI-related fatigue, influencing the development of new educational resources and winning a Research Translation Award.


Assessing cognitive-communication skills in the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) return to work population

Year started: 2020

Background: Aims to develop and validate tools for assessing workplace communication needs to support return-to-work for individuals with acquired brain injury.

Aims: To create clinical tools that assess cognitive-communication skills, supporting effective return-to-work strategies.

Outcomes: The project will result in validated tools that enhance support for employment reintegration in the ABI population.


The influence of time-of-day on physiological and perceptual responses to exercise in people with spinal cord injury living in the community

Year Started: 2020

Background: Investigates the optimal time of day for exercise to minimize fatigue and enhance daily activities for individuals with spinal cord injury.

Aims: To determine the time-of-day effect on exercise responses in people with SCI and inform clinical exercise recommendations.

Outcomes: Expected to influence exercise timing recommendations, enhancing long-term health outcomes and reducing secondary complications in SCI individuals.


Supporting Ethical Inclusion of People with Acquired Disability in Research

Year Started: 2021

Background: This project seeks to create best-practice resources for ethically engaging people with acquired disabilities in research.

Aims: To develop and disseminate a community resource to aid individuals with disabilities in making informed decisions about research participation.

Outcomes: Produced a significant community resource enhancing ethical research engagement, supporting the inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable populations.

turquoise tile Click here to view the Project Flyer


Virtual Reality-Based Nature Exposure for ABI Rehabilitation

Year Started: 2023

Background: Studies the effects of virtual reality-based nature exposure on reducing anxiety and depression in individuals with acquired brain injury during hospital rehabilitation.

Aims: To assess the therapeutic potential of virtual nature exposure to improve mood disorders in ABI patients.

Outcomes: This research could lead to novel rehabilitation methods that integrate technology and nature to support recovery and enhance mental health in ABI patients.

turquoise tile Click here for project flyer.


Can we enhance the home modification process and outcomes using 3D visualisations of activities of daily living (ADLs)?

Year Started: 2023

Background: Aims to improve the effectiveness of home modifications for individuals with disabilities by developing a 3D visualization tool.

Aims: To create a prototype tool that provides interactive 3D visualizations of activities of daily living, aiding the design and implementation of home modifications.

Outcomes: This tool is expected to enhance the planning and execution of home modifications, improving daily living activities for people with disabilities.


EPIC-Tech - Engineering and Physiotherapy Interdisciplinary Collaboration with Technology

Year Started: 2023

Background: Explores the integration of engineering and physiotherapy through the use of a robotic device in rehabilitation services at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Aims: To evaluate the feasibility of a transdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation service delivery, incorporating engineering insights into clinical practice.

Outcomes: This project aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of rehabilitation services, potentially guiding future interdisciplinary collaborations in health care.


Implementing principles of health literacy into rehabilitation practice using a change champion/co-design approach

Year Started: 2023x

Background: This project focuses on enhancing the health literacy of rehabilitation service users to empower them in managing their health and rehabilitation needs.

Aims: To develop and evaluate a health literacy toolkit tailored to the needs of people with acquired disabilities.

Outcomes: The toolkit will potentially revolutionize rehabilitation services by improving health outcomes and advocacy for people with disabilities.


Sustained employment following acquired brain or spinal cord injury

Year Started: 2023

Background: Studies the sustained employment experiences of individuals with acquired brain or spinal cord injuries.

Aims: To explore personal, injury-related, and workplace factors that support sustained employment and provide practical strategies for employment retention.

Outcomes: Will offer insights and strategies to support sustained employment, enhancing economic security and quality of life for affected individuals.


Supporting Friendships and Social Connections for People with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): Real Strategies for Sustainable Change.

Year Started: 2023

Background: Friendship and social connections, a basic human need which may be compromised following catastrophic injury, have not been addressed broadly in rehabilitation practice.

Aims: This project aims to maintain and build friendships and social connections throughout rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and acquired brain injury (ABI), across 3 phases. 

Outcomes: Phase 1 completed early 2024, and Phase 2 in progress.