Our initiatives

The Centre for Brain Research (CBR) is recognised as one of seven University of Auckland Research Centres.

This recognition, in keeping with objectives of the Hikina kia Tutuki process, provides for partial funding from the University for five years to specifically support the exciting initiatives which we outline below. 

Outreach and Education Programmes

The CBR will build on its existing outreach and education programmes to provide knowledge transfer to the community and an enriching environment for emerging researchers to engage with clinicians, scientists and communities.

These include CBR Brain Day, the Being Brainy programme for primary and intermediate schools and the Brain Bee Challenge for high school students.

A major focus for these programmes will be to increase engagement with Māori and Pacific communities and primary and secondary school students, providing Māori and Pacific graduate students as role models and highlighting opportunities for tertiary education and engagement with neuroscience.

Additional outreach events will be held at Te Matatini, the National Agricultural Fieldays, and regional A&P Shows.

CBR Translational Neuroscience Research Unit

Through the appointment of the Hugh Green Foundation Professor of Translational Neuroscience and the development of an integrated CBR Translational Neuroscience Research Unit incorporating existing and new CBR research clinics and facilities, we are establishing a single, patient-focused research entity to facilitate the translation of research outcomes into clinical care for neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and other clinical specialties associated with brain research.

Māori Engagement Strategy

An enlarged and refreshed Māori Advisory Board (MAB) and our recently appointed Deputy Director-Māori (Dr Makarena Dudley) will guide our partnership with the James Henare Research Centre to build robust, equal and reciprocal relationships with Māori communities.

A Māori Researcher Rōpū, comprising of all Māori CBR staff and postgraduate students, as well as members of the MAB, will give a strong voice for Māori researchers in the CBR to help develop our Māori strategy, facilitate Māori-led research and provide mentoring and a safe environment for Māori researchers. 

To support development of new Māori researchers, we have provided funding for Māori summer studentships, a Māori PhD scholarship and will seek further funding for Māori post-doctoral fellowships.

We will develop Te Reo Māori materials to support our primary school (Being Brainy) and high school (Brain Bee) education programmes and are working with Ngāti Whatua to provide for the Dementia Prevention Research Clinic to move into the community.

Pacific Engagement Strategy

We will develop a Pacific engagement programme in partnership with the new Centre for Pacific and Global Health (CPGH) to identify needs and to support development of a cohort of Pacific neuroscientists and clinicians.

We will establish an Oceania Researcher Group for peer support and an external community, Pacific Advisory Group, for mentoring and pastoral care of Pacific researchers and students.

The CBR has provided funding for Pacific summer studentships, a Pacific PhD scholarship and will seek further funding for Pacific post-doctoral fellowships.


The CBR, working with the new Centre for Co-Created Ageing Research (CCREATE-AGE), will provide opportunities for researchers to partner with a community of co-creators including Māori and Pacific communities, community support organisations and patients and their whānau to co-create world-class brain research.