Innovative Research to transform Kids’ health

SCHF is one of Australia's largest funders of paediatric research, supporting research into a wide range of childhood conditions and diseases, such as childhood cancers, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, encephalitis, osteogenesis imperfecta, metabolic conditions, COVID-19, and more.

We support a broad range of research needs for the Sydney Children’s’ Hospitals Network like scholarships for early stage and emerging researchers, PhD students and Fellowships. We also fund research infrastructure including labs, equipment, research staff and consumables, all essential to contributing to so many high-quality research and clinical trials each year.

Our unique approach to funding Research is that we support both researchers and clinicians, working side-by-side. Many of the researchers we support are also clinicians, ensuring their world leading research is quickly translated into treatments for their young patients. Our research is geared directly to the frontline delivery of better health outcomes for kids.

SCHF Research funding in FY22

A researcher looking through a microscope

The research we support focuses on Improving children’s health outcomes and driving excellence in paediatric health through discovering new insights into childhood diseases and developing better diagnostic methods and treatments through clinical research and clinical trials.

The research is driven by International leaders who work with the most advanced treatments in the world to improve kids’ health both locally and globally.  

The research programs we fund span across a range of childhood disease. They all have the potential to change the lives of not just Australian children but those around the world. The potential ripple effect of these projects, outside the quality-of-life outcomes for the children is vast:

They will improve social determinants to health


Reduce the tax burden of disease

Substantially reduce the burden on carers

Contribute positively to GDP growth through workplace participation

They will find new diagnoses to childhood illnesses, new treatments and potentially even cures. Find out how research changed the future for Maddy and Briella.

Research and philanthropy

How Philanthropy helps find and fund the research initiatives that will have the greatest impact on kids' health

In Australia, most medical Research is funded by various entities including the Federal Government, Medical Research Future Fund and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and philanthropy.

The market is competitive and there are obstacles researchers often face when applying for funding via traditional funding methods. The success rate is increasingly low and vital research is often denied funding because they are seen as too pioneering or led by early-career researchers with no track record.   Researchers have reported spending a third of their time writing extensive applications and are often left to seek funding on their own when unsuccessful.

That's where philanthropy plays a critical role. Read more about barriers to funding research here.

With thanks to the vision and generosity of our donors, we have given the green light to 22 innovative research projects and raised $4.6M to date.

At SCHF, we have identified the critical need for philanthropic funding to support paediatric research and we developed a unique approach to how we find and fund research initiatives that often falls outside the traditional sources of funding pathways. We call this approach Greenlight.

The Greenlight process works as a discovery engine and helps us identify high impact, early stage research and innovative ideas, often from the fringes. The process sorts and selects  novel ideas and connects them with donors who are inspired to bring them to  life with their philanthropic support.

We have unearthed and funded 22 research initiatives to date using our Greenlight approach and thanks to philanthropy we are one step closer to finding the cures and treatments that will directly impact and benefit kids health today and in the future.

A researcher in a lab

Greenlight Funded Research Initiatives

A/Professor Aaron Schindeler | Gene Therapy to Cure Brittle Bone Disease

Gene Therapy to Cure Brittle Bone Disease

World-leading breakthrough technology for bone-targeted gene therapy. 

Dr Brendan McMullan | HOMEFREE


HOMEFREE helps children receiving treatment for infections to switch to oral antibiotics, resulting in a reduced hospital stay. 

Dr David Mowat | STOP2


Early treatment in infants with an mTOR inhibitor that aims to cure Tuberous Sclerosois 

Left to Right: Kaustuv Bhattacharya, Kiera Batten, Carolyn Broderick
When Food is Your Greatest Hurdle 
The race to find the best nutrient for children with rare genetic disorders. 
Dr Sandra Cooper
A paradigm shift in the diagnosis of genetic disorders and inherited cancers.
Big Data for Small People
Big Data for Small People
Using Children's Vital Signs to Improve Critical Care.
Addressing the double jeopardy of disadvantage and disability.
The OA Kid's Story
The OA Kid’s Story
A story book for children with Oesophageal Atresia “that answers the questions “why am I different?”
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Phage therapeutics and application in Cystic Fibrosis.
Preventing asthma deaths through effective home monitoring.

TFN Greenlight Crowdfunding Event

In March 2022, we held an inspirational evening of storytelling and first ever crowdfunding event and were inspired by three brilliant frontline paediatric specialists who shared their research-led projects with us and how they plan to change the game for kids’ health.

Our aim was to raise funds to give the green light to kids across Australia so they have the best chance to live their healthiest lives.

In a collective effort, we raised $91,250 to help bring the transformational research projects to life. We are grateful to everyone who joined us and thanks to your generosity, they have been making great progress.

Learn more about the impact of your donations below:
Baby tube feeding

Bringing the joy back to mealtimes for kids who are tube fed with the SuCCEED model of home-based health care

Dr Chris Elliot, specialist in General Paediatrics and Community Child Health

Lauren Hamill, Senior Speech Pathologist

Give Voice

Lauren Hamill, Senior Speech Pathologist (Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick) 

Dr Belinda Ratcliffe, Anita Gardner, Dr Michelle Wong, AP David Dossetor

Taking the Westmead Feelings Program online to reach out to autistic kids in rural and regional Australia and beyond

Dr Michelle Wong PhD DCP, Senior Clinical Psychologist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Enquire about Greenlight