Funding that creates opportunity

The Waikato Medical Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting, encouraging and sustaining the Waikato’s medical and health research community.

Governed by a Board of Trustees, we invite research proposals from local researchers related to health and medical issues. With careful consideration by our Grants Committee, projects are selected in line with set criteria. Unsuccessful applicants are provided with feedback on ranking and how their grant applications can be improved for future success.

In addition, this committee provides assistance to other groups evaluating the worthiness of research funding requests. Innovative research projects that have the potential to make a positive change to the health and wellbeing of the wider community are also considered.

Our local status when supporting and promoting local medical research is a key driver for funders and supporters of the Foundation. We’re committed to creating opportunities for powerful research in the Waikato’s medical and health-related industries.

Research projects supported by the Foundation include studies of 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.

Over the years, the research has included close collaboration with major Waikato institutions, including Waikato Hospital, Waikato University, WINTEC, AgResearch Centre Ruakura and the Waikato Clinical School.

Grant philosophy

Established in 1986, the Waikato Medical Research Foundation promotes, encourages and sustains medical research in the Waikato region.

Since establishment, the Foundation has received assets of over $3.5m and has supported research projects, including studies of:

    • Leukaemia
    • Infant feeding
    • Healing of ligaments
    • Stroke
    • Breath testing for stomach infection
    • Renal failure
    • Medical ultrasound
    • Synthetic hip joints
    • Diabetes
    • Eye disease associated with contact lenses
    • Head injury therapy
    • Medically-useful natural products
    • Antibacterial properties of human breast milk and of honey
    • Asthma
    • Blood flow to the brains of premature infants
    • Prostate surgery
    • Breast cancer
    • Coping with disability
    • Disease of the pancreas
    • Synthetic bone
    • Damage to heart muscles

The financial support given to these projects is over $2.3m, with most of the research listed  performed in the major Waikato institutions: University of Waikato, Waikato Hospital, AgResearch, WINTEC, and The Waikato Clinical School of Medicine.

The Foundation encompasses a Board of Trustees and Grants Committee that assess requests for funding of research applications annually. All applications are required to meet the standards for national funding by the Health Research Council. The Trustees have a wide range of skills, including scientific, social, medical and financial.

The Foundation is particularly well-supported by Trust Waikato, which effectively doubles the funding for health research that the Foundation’s own income from investments can supply. The demand for health research specific to the needs of people of the Waikato region is increasing and the Foundation seeks further support from organisations and people of the region.

The WMRF broad funding policy is that:

    1. All applications are required to meet the standards for national funding by the Health Research Council.
    2. Research that benefits the public.
    3. While WMRF-funded projects are all health related, not all are purely medical and funding is available for a full range of health related issues.
    4. Where appropriate, consideration is given to applications from young/inexperienced researchers who do not yet have a track record. This is a valuable route to gaining a larger grant elsewhere for these researchers.
    5. Funds are not promised for more than one year.
    6. Funds are not provided to attend conferences. The philosophy is flexible.