Funding Activities

Since its inception in 2010 the Jacka Foundation’s major focus has been the awarding of grants to support research and development in areas relevant to the naturopathy profession. In 2015 the Foundation also began offering scholarships for postgraduate studies.

All monies granted by JFNT to date have been for the purpose of supporting naturopathy and natural therapies in both practice and research. The Foundation is also interested in joint research enterprises involving medical and alternative approaches.

The following outlines current and recent recipients of grants and scholarships.



2015: Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine - $45,000

2016: Ongoing support for Research Mentoring and Leadership program - $30,000 

The ARCCIM grant supports an international naturopathy research leadership capacity building program. The initial funding covered a series of research seminars plus networking activities to help identify potential applicants. Over 40 applications were received from around the world and eleven Research Fellows were competitively selected.

The Fellows receive mentoring from senior, highly published researchers and also collaborate with each other to identify and carry out research projects. Writing and publication skills are further developed. Each Fellowship includes travel and accommodation allowances for attendance at an annual four day residential program at UTS in Sydney, plus ongoing mentoring and collaboration.

2015: National Institute of Complementary Medicine - $2 million dollars over four years$2_million_grant

In recent years the Foundation’s major philanthropic effort has been to support the work of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), based at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). The funding supports academic leadership and promotes research into natural therapies.

NICM has put in place processes for the establishment of the Jacka Foundation Chair of Integrative Medicine Research, a milestone for natural medicine in Australia. Research led by the Chair will contribute to judicious use of complementary medicine and better integration into conventional care. It will contribute data on safety, quality and efficacy of interventions and provide greater guidance to consumers.

2015: Lifestyle Initiative - $60,000

The Lifestyle Initiative is an online comprehensive lifestyle change program It will be available to health practitioners for their patients and directly to the public, and people will be able to enrol in the program and track their progress online. This initiative will address a major gap in the healthcare system - prevention of lifestyle disease - and aims to reduce the incidence of chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

2011: Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists - $10,000

This grant was provided to support the establishment of a voluntary registration system for naturopaths and herbalists in Australia. 


In 2015 the Jacka Foundation awarded three postgraduate scholarships. All students are enrolled in the School of Health Sciences at RMIT University, which generously offered a 50:50 funding arrangement with JFNT. The recipients and their projects are:

  1. The Judy Jacka Scholarship for Doctoral Research was awarded to Dr Joy Hussein MD for a PhD project titled Repeated Sauna Therapy – investigating the benefits, risks, and potential mechanisms of action in terms of health, wellness, and its effects on bioaccumulated levels of environmental toxicants/ xenobiotics in humans using metabolomics analysis
  2. The Alf Jacka Postgraduate Research Scholarship was awarded to Ms Nicole Bijlsma for a Masters degree project titled Environmental Chemical Assessment in Clinical Practice: Uncloaking the elephant in the room.
  3. The Jacka Foundation Research Training Scholarship was awarded to Ms Lauren Burns for her project Investigating the effects of pesticides on human neurocognitive function and physiological performance. 

2018 Update:

Dr Joy Hussein

Title of Research Project
Study of Whole Body Thermotherapy (Dry Sauna) in Human Health and Wellness

PhD Abstract

Worldwide many people sauna-bathe routinely for reported health benefits but the medical evidence to support these practices has not been well established. Repeated sauna bathing, or whole-body thermotherapy, involving short-term exposures to elevated environmental temperatures with or without increased humidity levels leads to physiologic responses that involve increased sweating and likely hormetic stress-related metabolic responses that may be developed for clinical applications.

Publications derived from the project

1. Hussain, J. N., Mantri, N., & Cohen, M. M. (2017). Working Up a Good Sweat – The Challenges of Standardising Sweat Collection for Metabolomics Analysis. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 38(1), 13–34. Full text available at:
2. Hussain, J.N., Cohen, M.M. (2018). Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Full text available at:


Nicole Bijlsma – PhD Candidate (Masters converted to PhD 2017)

Title of Research Project
Environmental Chemical Assessment in Clinical Practice

PhD Abstract

Previous environmental exposure methodology will be reviewed and, in conjunction with the knowledge gained from interviews with expert environmental clinicians, an exposure history tool will be developed that will enable clinicians to obtain a standardised exposure history assessment. This tool will then be implemented in different clinical populations to determine if environmental exposures that are detected by the tool correlate with any disease outcomes. The tool will involve questions relating to occupation, place (e.g. residential exposures), lifestyle (e.g. diet and hobbies), and dental history.

Publications derived from the Project

Bijlsma, N and Cohen MM. (2016). Environmental chemical assessment in clinical practice – Unveiling the elephant in the room. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(2):181. Available at:


Lauren Burns – PhD Candidate (Masters converted to PhD 2017)

Title of Research Project
Lifestyle Strategies and Elite Performance

Overview of Research Project

The project consists of two major components:

  1. Lifestyle Practices of Elite Athletes (completed interviews)
    Ten world, olympic and paralympic champions were interviewed about their lifestyle practices. The results have shown emergent themes in 3 main areas:
    Psychological Aspects (intrinsic motivation, work ethic, dominance and visualisation), Lifestyle and Performance Strategies, and Interpersonal Relationships.

  2. Clinical research on the effect of organic food and herbal beverages on human neurocognitive function, performance and metabolism.

The following story about Lauren and her project appeared in the 2017 edition of RMIT’s donor magazine Impact:

The Power of Organic Living:



Applications for JFNT scholarships are currently closed. The next round of scholarships will be advised on this website when open for application.

Scholarships available at other Institutions

Postgraduate scholarships for CAM research are available at several Australian universities. 


National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), WSU

NICM and Blackmores Institute Scholarships

UTS/ARCCIM PhD Scholarships

RMIT University School of Health and Biomedical Sciences

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