Researchers rewarded in Budget 2021-22

8 June 2021

Congratulations are in order for several Prevention Centre researchers who have been awarded funding under a number of schemes announced in the Federal Budget 2021–22.

Under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grants for Maternal Health and the First 2000 Days, Exercise and Nutrition, and Early Childhood have been awarded to:

  • Dr Cheryce Harrison (Monash University) – Chief Investigator A for ‘Optimising the delivery of antenatal interventions in public healthcare: Improving equity, access and engagement for better maternal and neonatal health outcomes’ ($1.45 million).

“An increasing proportion of young women are commencing pregnancy overweight or obese,” Dr Harrison said. “Research demonstrates lifestyle interventions to optimise gestational weight gain improve health outcomes and are cost effective, yet scale up into routine pregnancy care remains limited. We plan to address this critical gap, supported by stakeholder and community engagement, by developing and enhancing digital technology to increase equity, usability and engagement across two Australian healthcare settings.”

  • Professor Amanda Lee (The University of Queensland) and Associate Professor Gary Sacks (Deakin University) for ‘Benchmarking for healthy stores in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities‘ ($1.45 million), led by CIA Associate Professor Julie Brimblecomb (Monash University).

“How food is promoted, priced and made available in food retail has considerable impact on consumer behaviour and subsequently population health,” Professor Lee said. “In partnership with government and Aboriginal health services, the remote retail sector and policymakers, we plan to codesign and test the feasibility and effectiveness of an innovative benchmarking approach to support healthy food stores in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and identify the pathway to set benchmarking into policy.”

Professor Sandra Eades and Associate Professor Catherine Chamberlain have been named as Chief Investigators as part of the new NHMRC-funded National First Nations Research Network. The $10 million National Network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers has been established to create an inclusive structure that builds the capacity and capability of Indigenous researchers.