Media Release: The Mark Hughes Foundation announces $2 million Brain Cancer Innovation Grant Round

  • 22 August 2019

A simple decision to purchase a $25 beanie could be the game changing move desperately needed to improve outcomes for brain cancer patients. This year’s Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) Beanies for Brain Cancer Campaign saw 170,000 beanies sell out across the country, most notably during the NRL Beanies for Brain Cancer round. 

Thanks to the country’s generous support, Hunter Medical Research Institute is conducting a nationwide call for research projects aimed at making a difference to patient outcomes faster. Up to $2 million in funding will be allocated through this round, opening on August 22, with grants awarded for projects valued up to $200,000. The funding will support one to two year projects with an emphasis on innovative treatments and investigations, such as immunotherapy which are showing promise in current studies and clinical trials. 

MHF scientific Committee member Associate Professor Viive Howell says the committee’s strategic focus was for collaborative projects across the research spectrum and across research institutes. 

“We were incredibly excited by the breadth of research proposed in last year’s innovation grant round. We must think outside the box and attract the best minds if we are to improve outcomes for those affected by brain cancer,” Professor Howell said. “The tireless fundraising efforts of MHF in combination with the innovative grant round generated a synergy that is accelerating research efforts for this previously neglected cancer.” 

“We are looking forward to this round of grant proposals to further energise brain cancer research. It is only through research that we will find the answers we seek to give hope and improve outcomes for brain cancer patients,” Professor Howell said. 

MHF Scientific Committee strategies align with the National Brain Cancer Mission, ensuring that research dollars are invested to complete the translational pipeline with the best potential to improve patient outcomes. 

Founders of the Mark Hughes Foundation, Mark and Kirralee Hughes, work tirelessly to raise funds for brain cancer research and support, with over $13 million raised by the foundation since 2014. “The aim of this year’s Beanies for Brain Cancer campaign was to raise $3 million dollars for this grant round and to support the National Brain Cancer Mission,” Mark Hughes said. “The community are simply amazing, stores across the country sold out of beanies. We can’t thank the nation enough for getting behind us. 

“Every dollar makes a difference and helps us fund the country’s greatest minds to work on finding better treatment outcomes for brain cancer patients.” 

To find out more about the grants visit 

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community. 

CONTACT: Linda Drummond HMRI | 4042 0589 | 0414 218 882 | [email protected]