World Rugby is calling for universities and medical bodies to put forward submissions for funded research that will help combat concussion and injuries on the sports field.
The organisation said it was looking to fund research that would help minimise player injuries.
World Rugby head of technical services Mark Harrington said it was important the organisation had access to research and expert advice to ensure player welfare, especially when it came to preventing concussion.
Figures from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) show there were almost 66,000 claims for rugby union-related injuries last year at a cost of $74 million. Just over 2000 were for concussion or brain injuries.
The number of claims for rugby-related concussion claims has risen 49 percent since 2010.
New Zealand Rugby medical director Dr Ian Murphy said some 148,000 people played the game each winter weekend.
He says there were about 3000 games played every week over an average of 15 weeks which was about 45,000 games of rugby every year.
"We think injury rates for what is a contact sport fairly reflects these numbers."