About the PRF

From management of lower back pain to stroke rehabilitation, advances in the treatment of physical conditions are largely informed by clinical research. Clinical trials produce a scientific evidence base that enables practising physiotherapists to adopt the latest, safest and most effective techniques when providing care and treatment. The PRF provides grants to support innovative physiotherapy research.

35 years of the PRF

Mission Statement

To support the physiotherapy profession by promoting, encouraging and supporting research that advances physiotherapy knowledge and practice.

Finance and Governance

The PRF was established in 1988 as a charitable trust from the profits of the 1988 conference held by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy in Sydney. The trust deed enables the Foundation to support a range of physiotherapy research and research-related initiatives and the APA is the trustee.

The grant programs operates under the guidance of a grants review committee comprised of physiotherapists currently working in leading research institutions across Australia. The committee assesses each grant application against a set of criteria and provides recommendations for funding to the Board subcommittee.

The PRF is largely funded by APA members, providing the opportunity for practitioners to directly contribute to the research that informs their practice. The financial statements of the PRF are reported separately in the annual report of the APA and are not included in the APA’s consolidated financial statements.

Read the PRF Annual Report.

Suzanne Kuys
Chair of PRF Grant Review Committee, PhD, PGradDip Public Health, BPhysio (Hons 1A)

Professor Suzanne Kuys is an APA Neurological Physiotherapist and is the National Head of the School of Allied Health, Australian Catholic University. Suzanne’s research focuses on rehabilitation of people following stroke across the continuum of care. Suzanne is interested in optimising rehabilitation outcomes, particularly in gait rehabilitation, to maximise physical activity and participation within the community.   

Claire Baldwin
Deputy Chair of PRF Grant Review Committee, PhD, BPhysio (Hons)

Dr Claire Baldwin is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at Flinders University. Her research focuses physical activity and sedentary behaviour in acutely hospitalised groups, with a particular focus on older adults and people with a critical illness.

Kelly Bower
PhD, BPhysio (Hons)

Dr Kelly Bower is a Senior Lecturer (teaching and research) at the University of Melbourne, and also works as a physiotherapy clinician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She has a passion for neurological rehabilitation, falls prevention and finding innovative ways to use technology to enhance recovery and function.

Sean Horan
PhD, MPhty, BExSc, GCertHigherEd

Dr Sean Horan is a Senior Lecturer in musculoskeletal physiotherapy at Griffith University. His research focusses on the assessment of neuromotor function in older adults using electrical stimulation, biomechanical analyses of movement using motion analyses, and the management of musculoskeletal disorders through both therapeutic and exercise based physical activity interventions.

Nia Luxton
PhD (Psychology), MAppSc Physiotherapy (Cardiorespiratory), BSc Hons Physiotherapy, FHEA

Dr Nia Luxton is a Senior Lecturer at ACU, a Senior Physiotherapist and a Titled Member of the APA. Her areas of interest are digital health, prevention and cessation of tobacco and e-cigarettes, and health policy.

Sze-Ee Soh
PhD, Master of Biostatistics (with Distinction), BPhysio (Hons)

Dr Sze-Ee Soh is a teaching and research academic with extensive clinical experience in the provision of physiotherapy care for older adults. Her research focus is intentionally broad and spans chronic diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis), falls prevention, health services research, patient reported outcomes and psychometrics.

Scott Farrell
BPhysio (Hons), PhD

Dr Scott Farrell is a physiotherapist and Research Fellow at RECOVER Injury Research Centre, The University of Queensland. Scott’s research investigates mechanisms underpinning musculoskeletal pain after injury, with a focus on chronic whiplash neck pain.

Amitabh Gupta
PhD, MPhysio (Sports), BPhysio

Dr. Gupta is an academic and conducts both quantitative and qualitative research across a diverse range of areas including motor control, biomechanics, pain, and clinical practice. He continues to work clinically as an emergency department physiotherapist on weekends and has ongoing roles with the APA and APC.

Judith Hough
PhD, MPhysio (Res), BPhysio, MAPA

Judy is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at ACU, a consultant physiotherapist in the neonatal nursery at Mater Mothers Hospital and an honorary Associate Professor at Mater Research-UQ where she is the co-program leader of the Critical Care of the Newborn (CCNB) research program and the respiratory team leader.

Annemarie Lee
PhD, MPhysio (Cardio), BPhysio (Hons)

Annemarie’s research areas of interest are physiotherapy for bronchiectasis, including airway clearance and exercise based in interventions and examining the clinical impact of comorbidities. She is also exploring the role of adjuncts to pulmonary rehabilitation to maximise outcomes. 

Verity Pacey
PhD, GCert (Sports Physio), BAppSc (Physio)

Verity is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Health Professions within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. Verity has over 15 years’ experience as a clinical physiotherapist in paediatrics and is considered an international leader in the physiotherapy management of individuals with connective tissue dysplasias.  Her area of expertise is rare and complex conditions in paediatrics, focusing on physical activity, function and quality of life.

Shane Patman
PhD, BAppSc (Physio), GCert Teaching, GCert Leadership & Management

Shane is a former Associate Dean (Programs Coordinator) within the School of Physiotherapy, University of Notre Dame Australia, and lead the cardiorespiratory stream. He is immediate past Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Council, was on the Conference Planning Committee (CPC) for WCPT Geneva 2019, and presently chairs the CPC for World Physiotherapy Congress 2021.

Gavin Williams
PhD, GraDip (Physio), BAppSc (Physio), FACP

 Associate Professor Gavin Williams PhD has worked in neurological rehabilitation for over 25 years. Gavin works clinically in the neurological rehabilitation unit and in a research role at 0.5EFT, focusing on the assessment, classification and treatment of mobility limitations for people with neurological conditions.

Joshua Zadro
PhD, BAppSc (Physio)

Dr Joshua Zadro is a Physiotherapist and NHMRC-funded Postdoctoral Researcher. He completed his PhD in 2017 with a research focus on physical activity-based self-management strategies for people with chronic back pain. His current research focuses on utilising eHealth to reduce waiting times for outpatient musculoskeletal physiotherapy in the public sector.