About us

Our purpose

The Waikato Medical Research Foundation (WMRF) is a Registered Charitable Trust governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of leading scientists, medical, clinical and business professionals. Established in 1986, our purpose is to both promote and fund medical research in the Waikato, and attract new people to jobs both at Waikato Hospital and the University of Waikato. We aim to continue to improve the medical care available to everyone in the Waikato and beyond, by funding thorough and ethical research.

Since its inception, WMRF has promoted and funded more than $3 million in significant medical research throughout the Waikato. We have supported ground-breaking research projects including studies in leukaemia, stroke, diabetes, head injury therapy, medically-useful natural products, antibacterial properties of human breast milk and honey, asthma, breast cancer and coping with disability.

These research projects have been carried out in a range of institutions, including Waikato District Health Board, University of Waikato, University of Auckland at Waikato Clinical Campus, AgResearch, WINTEC and private researchers. The impact of this research has been to improve medical care and survival rates for many, many people.

The Waikato is a major centre for the training of health professionals. This is only possible because we have a cadre of active research health professionals based in the region. Local medical and health researchers are involved in training the next generation, whether it is medical, nursing, allied health or psychology students.

Research is a genuine recruitment tool for attracting quality health professionals to the region. In addition to the benefits of the critical thinking of those professionals, patients chosen for studies often benefit from participation in research projects. Therefore, research presents many opportunities that allow our community to thrive.

Each year the Foundation invites research proposals from local researchers related to health and medical issues. These are carefully considered by the Foundation Grants Committee and projects are selected in line with set criteria. This multi-disciplinary committee can provide feedback on ranking and how grant applications can be improved.

In addition this committee can assist other groups when evaluating the worthiness of research funding requests. Innovative research projects that have the potential to significantly benefit the health and wellbeing of the wider community are also considered.

The WMRF has a strong community focus, and has witnessed first hand how medical research can advance medical breakthroughs and transform people’s lives.