OTA Research Foundation

Research and the publication of evidence for occupational therapy is crucial to all three of the current strategic plan pillars.

Our strategy includes the funding of research grants, provision of awards and recognition to our researchers and to publish research in the Australian Journal of Occupational Therapy.

The Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation (OTARF) commenced in 2012 and supports the first two activities of this strategy.


The mission of OTARF is to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians by supporting occupational therapists to engage in, produce, disseminate, and promote occupational therapy research, which will inform occupational therapy practice, policy, and education.

The Foundation solely supports occupational therapy research that addresses the promotion, maintenance, and enhancement of health status and wellbeing of people in line with the Australian Department of industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education’s National Research Priorities and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Health Priority Areas.

It endorses research conducted across World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health levels to understand, measure, and enable engagement in occupation.

The Foundation is a public ancillary fund with deductible gift recipient status. Funds are administered through a trust deed. All donations and bequests made to the Foundation are tax deductible.

To donate to OTARF please contact OTA.


Direct Gift Recipient (DGR) grants

The OTARF grants scheme stimulates new research knowledge and supports the career development and capacity of researchers.

Priority will be given to those applicants who:

  • Have an emergent rather than established research and publication track record
  • Have to date not obtained large, national, international competitive research grant funding
  • May have experienced interruptions to research track record dur to carer or other responsibilities/circumstances
  • Will actively benefit from research team interaction and monitoring

For this research grant process, no priority areas of research have been determined. However, consistent with the goals of the scheme to generate new occupational therapy research knowledge, the primary project aim must be to address an aspect of occupational therapy.

This award is run annually. In 2023-2024, there is up to $14,000 available for distribution.

If you would like more information about the award, you can download the award guidelines (PDF, 144 KB).

Applications for the 2024 OTARF DGR grants are currently closed.

If you have any questions please email awards@otaus.com.au

Current Recipient


Catherine Hilly
Feasibility of the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance Approach to improve occupational performance and participation for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and coordination difficulties. 

Past Recipients


Nastaran Doroud
Development and evaluation of an innovative occupation-based program to promote participation and recovery for community-dwelling adults living with mental illness. 


Lorrae Mynard
Implementing occupational formulation and goal setting into the occupational therapy practice process. 


Annette Peart
Practice education in lockdown: the experiences of occupational therapy practice educators during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Ornissa Naidoo
Play-based prewriting skills project 


Anoo Bhopti
We Care – supporting parental well-being when there is a child with disability 

Freyr Patterson
Rehabilitation groups: participation, satisfaction and the client experience 


Celeste Glasgow
What is the most effective orthosis for improving functional outcomes for individuals with extension deficits of their proximal interphalangeal joint following hand trauma? 

Claire Dickson
Outcomes of an occupational therapy program for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder using trained Assistance Dogs 

Margaret Wallen
Effective engagement of children and young people with cerebral palsy as partners in research 

Nerida Hyett
How do occupational therapists practice with communities to improve population health, well-being, and inclusion? A systematic review and practitioner survey 

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