News  |  PhilanthropyGrantmaking

Philanthropy giant pledges millions to help find coronavirus cure

Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 5:48 pm
Maggie Coggan
It’s the first round of grants from the foundation to support COVID-19-related research 

Monday, 23rd March 2020
at 5:48 pm
Maggie Coggan



Philanthropy giant pledges millions to help find coronavirus cure
Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 5:48 pm

It’s the first round of grants from the foundation to support COVID-19-related research 

One of Australia’s wealthiest philanthropic foundations is giving out $9 million to universities and research groups in a bid to find a cure for COVID-19 and support vulnerable communities. 

The Paul Ramsay Foundation announced on Sunday that a $3.5 million grant would go to the University of Queensland to assist finding and developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The grant is part of a $23.5 million program to finance the vaccine development.

The Peter Doherty Institute will also receive $2 million to help develop a passive immunisation treatment to protect against COVID-19, which if successful, would provide immediate protection against infection, but would need to be renewed every two months. 

A further $2 million will go towards developing a targeted response for high-risk communities, particularly Indigenous communities. 

And $1.5 million will support existing grant partners whose work has been impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19. 

Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO Professor Glyn Davis AC said that it was incumbent on the foundation to support efforts to control and contain the virus.

“Vulnerable communities are hit hardest in times of crisis and that is why we have announced today our phase one response to the pandemic which will assist in accelerating work to find a vaccine and other treatments,” Davis said. 

Bushfire support will still continue 

In early January, the foundation pledged $30 million to support the bushfire recovery, with the majority of the money ($27 million) earmarked for longer-term work with fire affected communities. 

Davis said that while COVID-19 had “understandably dominated” the news and lives of people across the globe, bushfire communities could not be forgotten, and support would continue.  

“We believe our work to assist fire-ravaged and drought-affected communities should continue along with the COVID-19 grants we are announcing today,” he said. 

“We know that those in regional Australia who were already disadvantaged before the fires, will be doubly so in their aftermath while also dealing with the impact of COVID-19.” 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Transferring wealth… into the hands of the community

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 5th February 2020 at 5:24 pm

Ancillary fund landscape revealed

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 23rd January 2020 at 8:21 am

Participatory grantmaking: Can we afford not to do it?


Monday, 16th December 2019 at 4:17 pm

Australian philanthropy needs more crowd power

Krystian Seibert

Tuesday, 26th November 2019 at 8:40 am


Government temporarily doubles unemployment payments amid COVID-19 outbreak

Luke Michael

Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 4:43 pm

Calls to extend coronavirus supplement to DSP recipients

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 24th March 2020 at 5:03 pm

Government unveils stimulus support for charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 5:36 pm

NFPs reveal the devastating impact of coronavirus on their organisations

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 18th March 2020 at 2:47 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!