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Nominations for the BGRF Medal and Young Researcher of the Year awards will be requested early in 2019


This annual award is made to a medical researcher or clinician working within Australia who has made an outstanding contribution in the area of progressive neurological disorders or palliative care, either in basic or clinical research activities. First awarded in 1998, the medal includes a grant of $5,000.

The Foundation chooses the medal recipient from nominations and also from their knowledge of the preeminent practitioners involved in the areas of progressive neurological disorders and palliative care .

The medal is presented at an annual gathering of researchers and invited guests.

At the same time, all grant recipients are awarded a plaque from the Foundation to commemorate their research.


1998 Professor Ian Maddocks Professor of Palliative Care,International Institue of Hospice Studies, The Flinders University of South Australia
1999 Dr Lawrence Austin Neurochemistry and Muscle Biochemistry, Monash University and Melbourne Neuromuscular Research Centre
2000 Dr Perry Bartlett Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
2001 Professor Colin Masters Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne
2002 Emeritus Professor James McLeod Emeritus Professor of Neurology of the University of Sydney
2003 Professor Edward Byrne Founding Director of Centre for Neuroscience . The University of Melbourne
2004 Professor Claude Bernard Foundation Director, Neuroimmunology Laboratory, La Trobe University
2005 Professor Frederick Mendelsohn Director, Howard Florey Institute .
2006 Professor Michael Ashby Director, Centre for Palliative Care, The University of Melbourne
2007 Professor Ashley Bush, Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria (Australia) and a co-founding scientist of Prana.
2008 Professor Geoffrey Donnan, Director of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and Professor of Neurology, University of Melbourne (Department of Medicine) in Australia; co-founder of the Australian Stroke Trials Network (ASTN) and Neurosciences Trials Australia (NTA).
2009 Professor Sam Berkovic, Director of both the Epilepsy Research Centre of the University of Melbourne and the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Austin Health.
2010 Professor Philip Beart, Senior Principal Research Fellow at Florey Neuroscience Institutes
2011 Professor Stephen Davis, Director of Neurology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital
2012 Professor Linda Kristjanson, Vice Chancellor of Swinburne University
2013 Professor Trevor Kilpatrick, Head of MS Division at the Florey and Head of the MS Unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, in addition to being Director of the Centre for Neuroscience and the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute at The University of Melbourne.
2014 Professor Ingrid Scheffer, Chair of Paediatric Neurology Research at The University of Melbourne and Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
2015 Professor Kathryn North, Director, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, David Danks Professor of Child Health Research, University of Melbourne.
2016 Professor Roberto Cappai, Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne
2017 Professor Terence O'Brien, the James Stewart Professor of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) and The University of Melbourne as well as consultant neurologist at the RMH
2018 Professor Frank Vajda, a neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for his dedication to helping women with epilepsy have children


This prize (plaque with accompanying $5,000 award) was developed to reward mid-career scientists in the fields of neuroscience or palliative care.

Past winners are:
2010 Dr Bradley Turner for his contribution to fighting motor neuron disease
2011 Dr David Nisbet for bioengineering solutions to repair brain damage
2012 Dr Bruce Campbell for stroke neuroimaging research
2013 Dr Adam Vogel for research on overcoming communication and swallowing difficulties
2014 Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon for her ground-breaking work on pain perception
2015 Dr Janet Bray, for her contribution to improving outcomes for emergency cardiovascular patients
2016 Dr Scott Ayton for his impressive work on dementia and the great potential he has as a future medical research educator and leader.
Dr Yen Ying Lim for her outstanding contribution to research on Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Robert Galinsky outstanding progress on developing a collaborative research program into the causes, detection and treatment of preterm brain injury, such as cerebral palsy

Established in 1993, the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation (BGRF) funds vital research into life threatening, progressive neurological disorders including Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neuron Disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's Disease as well as stroke and palliative care.

The BGRF launched the Young Researcher of the Year award initiative in 2010 to reward early to mid-career scientists in the fields of neuroscience and palliative care.

Applicants must be nominated by their institution, who are invited to nominate up to two Victorian scientists for the award in March each year. Electronic applications as well as three hard copies of the following are required:

. CV
. a page on their future directions and
. NH&MRC fellowship application or similar.

Nominated researchers should be within five years of receiving a PhD and must be submitted by a relevant institution.

The winner is announced at our annual function usually scheduled in July/August each year.

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