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Health systems around the world need to respond to the rising burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders. It’s time we re-engineered the way we do science, education and clinical practice. In doing so, we can discover the causes and treatments for these disorders. We can bridge the gap between research and care. And we can provide the world’s best care, diagnosis, treatment and patient experience.

Through our partnership, we are addressing the burdens of ageing, mental health, neurological and addiction disorders. We aim to translate high-quality, multidisciplinary research into new, innovative clinical services for those affected by disorders of the brain. And we will invest in research that will keep improving on that care into the future.


As one of the largest Maridulu Budyari Gumal Clinical Academic Groups (CAGs) with the largest burden of disease, our activity to date has been focused on creating robust collaborations within and beyond our group – across industry, policy, education, healthcare and research. We have established 60 new collaboration teams and provided seed funding for 25 research projects. These projects will be distributed across our sub-themes and priority areas.


  • Children and Adolescent Wellbeing
  • Complex and Difficult to Treat Diseases
  • Healthy Ageing
  • Brain Sciences and Translational Neuroscience

Priority areas:

  • Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing
  • Innovations in Health Technology (Living Lab)


Collaborative committees, meetings and partnerships have been set-up and are in full swing. They include clinical collaboration with leaders across mental health and addiction services, cross-CAG collaboration with Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, and theme collaboration between each of the 4 sub-themes noted above. We have also been developing strategic partnerships with renowned national and international organisations and bodies.

Clinical Secondment Program

We developed this program to encourage knowledge transfer between our CAG’s clinical partners. As a result of this program, we have been able to support the research of one of our Associate Professors to do a fellowship in America. The aim of this secondment project is to gather insights on best practice, process and policy in relation to mental health care for children and adolescents with chronic physical illness.

Projects that are currently being developed under this program include:

  • GPs working in Aboriginal health services
  • Building better culture in drug and alcohol services
  • Good Clinical Practice Guidelines

Speed Dating Research Event

This networking event was created to facilitate a fun, outcome-driven exchange of knowledge within the higher degree research (HDR) and early mid-career research (EMCR) community.

Visiting Scholar Program

The visiting scholar program supports and hosts high calibre researchers to present seminars and workshops. It was established to develop collaboration between researchers, while increasing its members’ knowledge base. Funding is awarded to scholars whose work is aligned with one of our sub-themes or key focus areas.


We are funding projects that will create bring together the clinical services of local health districts. We are also distributing our research funding across several, smaller groups. The thinking is that we will create new collaborations within these groups that can then go out and facilitate further research and funding.


The Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction CAG is a large, diverse group. It constitutes a network of world-renowned researchers and clinicians that manage complex clinical conditions. These conditions include physical, behavioural, mental and social dimensions across the lifespan.

Within our group, we have a network of leaders who are highly influential across a range of international organisations. Many of them sit on multiple health and academic committees in Australia and overseas. They are also involved in local, state or national guideline writing, or Australian standards of care writing.

As a result of our partnerships, we’re able to create high calibre interdisciplinary research expertise alongside clinical leadership and community engagement. We leverage existing skills and cohorts, sharing data and working together to ensure better outcomes for patients.


Better Health, Better Lives: Building communities free of the disorders of the brain.

Leadership Funding Collaboration

- Members of the World Health Organisation, United Nations and specialist international organisations.

- Instrumental in developing the Federal Government, MRFF program and initiatives.

- Developed the mental health strategy within Australia’s first National Childhood Heart Disease Action Plan.

Funded 25 research projects, as well as clinical secondments and visiting scholar positions.

Major collaboration at policy, industry and government level within highly senior and influential spheres including ANZ, Federal Government, HeartKids Australia, and NSW Health.

Support better lives:

For more information on our work, contact Sophie Pageon-Tamburic, Project Officer.

A national effort to strengthen consumer and community involvement

SPHERE is co-leading a national collaborative effort with AHRA members to accelerate the implementation of best practice Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) in Australia.

Learning, sharing and weaving

Understanding Aboriginal perspectives and cultural knowledge was the subject of this outstanding Applied Indigenous Research Methods workshop.

2023 Seed Funding Grant recipients announced

We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 SPHERE Seed Funding Grants.