Key Dates and Announcements

Congratulations to our 2017 Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship recipient, Dr Sylvia Gustin, whose research aims is to increase understanding of the development and maintenance of chronic pain using neuroimaging techniques.

Congratulations to Prof Richard Payne, our 2015 Dintenfass Award recipient, who is amongst the seven scientists to receive the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science awarded to Australia’s top scientists, innovators and science teachers. Prof Payne was awarded the  Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for his research on Re-engineering nature to fight for global health.

In 2016, a total of $1.31mil was awarded to fund 48 grants, 1 fellowship, 5 PhD scholarships and 3 awards. Congratulations to successful grant applicants for 2016!


Peer Review

Grant applications are assessed by a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The Foundation thanks members of the 2015 SAC for their contribution to the 2015 granting process.

Fellowship applications will be assessed by a Fellowship Committee

For reviewer guidelines and instructions for the Assessor Portal, please refer to the Peer Review page of our website.


Presentation Dinner

In 2016 a presentation dinner will not be held as funds have re-directed to provide additional research funding.

Click here to see details and photos from our 30th Anniversary Presentation Dinner held in 2014.




Welcome to The Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation

The charter of The Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation is to advance, promote and encourage medical research, throughout Australia.  The Foundation prioritises areas of medical research that are not widely funded by other funding bodies, and currently supports the following six areas of medical research:

  1. Brain Sciences: Psychiatry and Neurology
  2. Endocrinology and Diabetes
  3. Geriatrics
  4. Lung Disease (other than Cancer)
  5. Rheumatology
  6. Vision Sciences

The Foundation strives to ensure that its funds are directed towards high quality research and high quality researchers.

High quality research is considered to be research that not only has scientific rigour and feasibility, but that will fundamentally benefit the world we live in or significantly improve our understanding of the disease/condition. This includes basic science, applied research and translational research.

High quality researchers are individuals who have excelled or show potential to excel in their chosen area of medical research. The Foundation supports researchers at all stages in their career. The Foundation additionally seeks to create opportunities for less established researchers who show potential, to secure the necessary funding to propel their careers and their research.  Specifically, the PhD scholarships and The Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowships awarded by the Foundation are reserved for researchers in the earlier stages of their career.

Grants provided by the Foundation are awarded to support the direct costs of research, typically tangibles including laboratory equipment and consumables. The Foundation does not support indirect costs and would not normally pay salary costs for those already employed in salaried positions. The Foundation provides relatively modest grants which are frequently used to:

- top-up funding in instances where other funding for a project has already been secured; or

- to leverage additional funding for a project.

Applicants employed by not-for-profit and non-commercial institutions are prioritised.

The Foundation values input from the medical research community in its endeavour to achieve the outcomes detailed above. The Foundation invites the expertise and contributions of the research community to inform its funding decisions, improve its operations and guide its future direction.  

Our Contribution

Since its inception in 1984, The Rebecca L Cooper Medical Reseach Foundation has awarded over $19.4 million in funding for medical research. In 2016 alone, a total of $1.311 million has been allocated to fund 48 grants, 4 PhD scholarships, 1 fellowship and 3 awards. 

Follow this link to read more about the research we have supported.

A Self-Funded Medical Research Foundation

The Foundation does not directly conduct medical research. Rather, it supports medical research by providing annual research grants, fellowships, PhD scholarships and awards. The cash flow for such funding is achieved through the income derived from a large portfolio of properties bequeathed by the Foundation's benefactor, Mrs Rebecca Lillian Cooper. This portfolio of 108 properties comprises primarily older style terrace houses in the inner Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.  The endowment of Mrs Cooper's estate comprised mainly properties in derelict or dilapidated condition. The Foundation works tirelessly in an effort to improve the properties in order to maximise the rental returns and therefore the amount available for medical research grants.

The annual income of the Foundation has steadily increased from below $80,000 in 1984 to more than $3 million at present. A large part of our income continues to be used for maintenance and improvement of the properties.  However, with the accelerated income return that this work provides and the determination of the current Directors to broaden the Foundation's asset base, the time will come when a far larger proportion of our income will be available to the medical research fraternity.  We envisage that we will then be able to invest beyond our original endowment, thereby ensuring the continued growth of the Foundation.

Business of the Foundation is conducted by a Board of Directors.  The board is made up of directors who possess a range of skills and backgrounds.