How We Fund Parkinson's Research

Shake It Up is acutely aware of the limited resources available in a competitive market and the need for Parkinson’s research funds to be managed efficiently if we are to accelerate the path to a cure.

To this end Shake It Up Australia Foundation has created a funding and operating model that sees the efficient allocation of resources and functional leverage of our partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).

Some key features of this model include:

  • 100% of all funds donated to Shake It Up are directed to Parkinson’s research targeted at finding better treatments on a path to a cure (a pledge made possible by the founding directors’ commitment to fund all of the Foundation’s outgoings).
  • All funds donated are directed to research conducted in Australia.
  • All funded research is first assessed and validated by the expert panel of scientists at MJFF to eliminate redundancy of research around the globe.
  • Once approved the research projects are monitored and benchmarked by a team of formally trained PhDs and business-trained project managers.
  • Whilst we are an independent foundation established and operating in Australia, the partnership with MJFF provides us with a proven model for success.



Shake It Up Australia Foundation works closely with The Michael J. Fox Foundation to maintain a comprehensive knowledge of the developments and initiatives in Parkinson’s research worldwide with a specific focus on the Australian landscape.   We promote funding opportunities to Australian researchers and facilitate biannual research forums to encourage a culture of collaboration within the Parkinson’s research community.


Upon receipt of funding applications from Australian researchers and research institutes, an independent scientific panel at MJFF reviews each individual proposal and determines its competitiveness against all Parkinson’s research proposals globally. Those with the most potential to be readily transformed into clinical testing and practical relevance for patients are selected for further review with the expert panel prior to approval. By placing a strong emphasis on translational and clinical research, we ensure that new ideas are constantly flowing into the drug development pipeline.


When the most promising research opportunities are identified, we organise funding to the scientists as soon as possible so research can begin almost right away.  The highly skilled and experienced team at MJFF prescribe milestones and evaluate outcomes throughout the research process. This guidance from formally trained PhDs and business-trained project managers is central to ensuring that roadblocks or unanticipated problems are addressed promptly and if necessary the research parameters are adjusted


As a result of the close working relationship between the Australian researchers and the formally trained PhDs from MJFF promising findings are communicated as they occur. These findings are critical to influencing the direction of future research and they are often made available to the global research community in real time. This approach to sharing data, samples and results advances all Parkinson’s research and gives us the very best chance of finding a cure. Additionally, if a study is producing promising results we may grant an immediate extension to the funding to ensure no time is lost in the quest to find a cure.

All research outcomes are valuable steps in identifying the future areas of focus and the process starts again — one step closer to our goal.

Since the inception of Shake It Up Australia, we have co-funded over $30 million to Parkinson’s research in Australia. Each dollar has helped to learn more about the disease, develop better treatments for patients and, ultimately, get us closer to ending Parkinson’s. With your help we will make it to the finish line.