The power of partnership



TYPE Prevention Centre News

At a recent meeting to discuss achievements and map research synergies across CERI member organisations, early and mid-career members heard their group now spans expertise across more than 37 research methodologies, 30 topic areas, 27 target populations, 17 target settings and 17 research areas.

CERI members’ research aligns in numerous areas, including nutrition and diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco control and health in the first 2000 days.

They work across multiple target settings, with a shared focus on implementation and scale-up, knowledge translation, intervention development and testing, data simulation and modelling, economic evaluation and epidemiological research.

Shared research methodologies span world-leading implementation science expertise, knowledge synthesis and systematic reviews, co-design, behaviour change strategies and health economics.

CERI brings together researchers across Australia from different fields of research and allows CREs form a more integrated picture of the state of health and wellbeing in Australia and how we can build capacities together to make positive contributions. It is an extremely welcoming and vibrant community that helps me grow as an early career researcher and build connections both personally and intellectually.

Ang Li, Healthy Housing CRE

The first initiative of its kind in prevention in Australia, CERI was launched in 2020 as a national collaboration between the Prevention Centre and four related CREs. Its mission is to enhance the impact, profile and value-add of prevention research in Australia through multi-centre collaboration and networking. This year, the collaboration has grown to include 11 CREs and continued to achieve a range of outputs and impacts.

Several CREs collaborated on a knowledge synthesis of evidence around prevention in the first 2000 days – the period from conception to age five. This knowledge synthesis combined the expertise of research, policy and communications experts with evidence drawn from 60 peer-reviewed articles, synthesised and interpreted with guiding input from 12 prevention policy makers from eight jurisdictions convened over two national roundtables. Another knowledge synthesis is planned on CERI’s shared learnings about implementation.

An Emerging Leaders Symposium in July saw more than 100 early to mid-career researchers (EMCRs) and policy makers come together virtually to discuss good systems leadership. They also attended expert-led workshops on topics such as building relationships, the nature of evidence, co-production and science communications. EMCRs from the member organisations also have access to the full range of Prevention Centre capacity building opportunities.

CERI brings together those passionate about evidence-informed prevention across the lifecourse,and provides opportunities to collaborate to achieve this incredibly important shared goal. CERI has built my capacity as a researcher, and I look forward to the work we have planned for 2023.

Dr Vicki Brown, EPOCH-Translate

One of CERI’s aims is to develop a stronger and more aligned voice for prevention in Australia. The group has jointly developed numerous media articles and four policy submissions that bring together perspectives from several different organisations. Six Prevention Centre podcasts feature CERI research and have been disseminated widely through our networks.

Researchers and professional communication experts meet monthly to discuss common issues and share insights on a range of science communication topics, with the aim of supporting member CREs in their knowledge translation activities. Members have worked together to produce a communication user guide, a practical resource for all researchers aiming to disseminate their work.

CERI members are working together on shared advocacy goals, including joint stories about the value of prevention and calls for increased funding for prevention research.

The exciting thing about CERI is that even though we come from different areas of research, we all want the same thing – to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians. The impact that we can achieve through CERI, whether it be through capacity-building, advocating for prevention, or conducting cutting-edge research, is so much more than we can achieve on our own. We have the potential to achieve transformational change through coordinated and strategic joint efforts.

Tara Boelsen- Robinson, RE-FRESH