APA websites


Home » Research » PURPOSE OF THE PRF

Physiotherapy Research Foundation


1.About the PRF

The Physiotherapy Research Foundation (PRF) promotes, encourages and supports research that advances physiotherapy knowledge and practice. 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.

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.

2.How your donation helps

The Physiotherapy Research Foundation supports the physiotherapy profession by promoting, encouraging and supporting research that advances physiotherapy knowledge and practice.

The PRF aims to:


boost the careers of new researchers through seeding grants


support research in key areas through project grants


encourage academic excellence through university prizes.

In 2018, the PRF awarded:

Project grants


two worth


Seeding grants


three worth


University prizes


worth a total of



Donations from members







in donations was received.

Would you like to make a donation?

Please note: All donations are tax deductable.


PRF Grants Review Committee

Suzanne Kuys
PhD, PG Dip Public Health, B. Physio (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.   

Verity Pacey
PhD, Grad Cert Sports Phty, B App Sci (Phty)

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.

Jenny Setchell
PhD, Grad Cert (App Physio), BSc (Physio)

Dr Setchell is an NHRMC Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. Her research interests involve bringing the social science into physiotherapy, and encompass the psychosocial, cultural, political and ethical aspects of healthcare. Dr Setchell is recognised for her expertise in qualitative and knowledge translation methodologies.


Adam Culvenor
PhD, Grad Cert Global Clinical Scholars Research, B. Physio (Hons)

Dr Adam Culvenor is a physiotherapist and NHMRC Research Fellow at La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre. His research focusses on the prevention and management of knee injuries and osteoarthritis over the lifespan.

Gavin Williams
PhD, Grad Dip, B App Sci (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.

Natalie Collins
PhD, M. Sports Physio, BPhty(Hons)

Dr Natalie Collins is an APA Sports Physiotherapist and Lecturer in Physiotherapy at The University of Queensland. Natalie’s research focuses on knee pain conditions across the lifespan, with the aim of optimising management and preventing persistence and progression of patellofemoral pain and osteoarthritis.

Catherine Said
Chair of PRF Grant Review Committee, PhD, B App Sci (Physio)

Catherine Said is an Associate Professor of physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne’s Western Health Medical School. Catherine’s research focuses on gait and balance disorders in older populations and those with neurological disorders.

Joanna Diong
PhD, BAppSc (Physio)(Hons)

Trained as a physiotherapist, Joanna aims to understand what makes human movement normal, and why it’s impaired after stroke. Joanna examines joint kinematics and muscle activity (EMG) in motor impairment. With a passion for good science Joanna also co-authors the blog scientificallysound.org.

APA Partners