AVERT Early Rehabilitation Research Group

To date, our group has provided vital new research to improve stroke rehabilitation outcomes and practice world-wide. To impact the global burden of disability after stroke, we continue to focus our efforts and innovate to develop the most effective treatments and treatment environments (hospitals) to maximize recovery in people after stroke.

At the core of our current research program is the AVERT DOSE trial, an international randomised trial recruiting patients in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Ireland and India. Led by Professor Julie Bernhardt, this trial aims to identify the most effective mobility training program early after stroke. As a part of this trial, collaborators Professor Vincent Thijs and Dr Kate Hayward aim to better understand the contribution of body biology (genetics and brain markers) to stroke recovery.


Our team is also working on how the hospital environment can be optimised to accelerate neurological recovery and create the ideal rehabilitation service. Central to this is the NOVELL trial, which will use virtual reality and design science to develop a model for the redesign of health architecture in stroke rehabilitation.


As well as undertaking studies in people with stroke, Professor Julie Bernhardt co-ordinates a global collaboration of research and clinical experts, funders and consumers, called the Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtable. This collaboration has published consensus recommendations on eight stroke research priorities areas, with over 23,000 pdf downloads (at May 2019). We use these recommendations to improve our own stroke research. Professor Julie Bernhardt also leads the Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery. This centre aims to transform stroke research and practice in Australia.

Our research program is investigator led and not-for-profit. For each project, we require funding support from governments (state, federal and international), as well as philanthropic support. We are currently seeking new funds to develop a Global Integrated Biobank for Stroke (GIBS), an innovative technology resource to support new research using stroke biological data.

Our research at a glimpse

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