IHT is pleased to announce the winners of our 2022 EMCR Award Program.  There were 16 applications in total, across all categories and candidates were of a very high calibre.

Thank you to the Judging Panel which was made up of Peter Enticott, Merran Stewart, Pat Nicholson, Steve Allender, Lisa Barnett and the winners of last year’s awards Hannah Pitt, Jo Watson and Jennifer Browne.

As with previous years, a full review of the Awards will be undertaken to determine improvements for next year and you will have the opportunity to provide input through this process.

Congratulations to the winners below.

Individual Awards for Research Excellence

PhD Category (up to 1 year post PhD)

Winner: Ha Le, DHE

Runner Up: Rebecca Jedwab, QPS

Dr Ha Le is an economist with expertise in applied economic evaluation, focused on the economics of child health (including child obesity and child mental health) and family nutrition. She has co-designed and conducted multiple economic evaluations, including the VicHealth award-winning Supermarket Eating for Life (SHELf) and SHOPSmart trials that aimed to promote healthy eating, and multiple NHMRC- and ARC-funded trials that aimed to prevent problems in child behaviour, language and learning. She also conducts complex economic data analyses on longitudinal population health studies. She has led multiple consultancies with Government partners (e.g. Department of Health and Department of Education and Training) and providing assessment for value for money of multiple health related programs.

Ha’s reflections on the award

Being the recipient of this prestigious award has given me humongous encouragement and acknowledgement of my research capacity. It has also enhanced my research endeavour.  I am delighted to contribute to promoting the excellent research of the IHT.

Early Career Researcher (< 5 years post doc)

Winner: Sharon Kramer, QPS

Runner Up: Elizabeth Holmes-Truscott, ACBRD

Dr Sharon Kramer is an early career researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the Centre of Quality and Patient Safety. She has a background in physiotherapy in stroke rehabilitation. Her research is focussed on developing and exercise-based interventions to improve stroke with a strong focus on consumer engagement. She has qualitative and quantitative research experience and has extensive experience in clinical trial designs. Additionally, she is interested in designing effective early phased trial methods which can be applied to systematically develop effective neurorehabilitation interventions.

Sharon’s reflections on the award

I am grateful for receiving this award. As an early career researcher in a competitive environment, you are not always sure if your work is good enough or if you have done enough work. An award like this recognising my work makes me feel proud of what I have achieved so far.  

Mid-Career Researcher (5-10 years post doc)

Winner: Rebecca Patrick, DOH

Dr Rebecca Patrick is a member of IHT’s Determinants of Health Domain, Director of the Deakin Sustainable Health Network, Co-lead of the Health, Nature, Sustainability Research Group, and Vice President of the Climate and Health Alliance.

Rebecca’s work has been cited in national peak body practice and policy documents including the Council of Academic Public Health Institutions of Australasia, Doctors for the Environment  Australia, Climate and Health Alliance and Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. The research she leads on climate change and mental health is inter-disciplinary by design, synthesising the knowledge and methods from health promotion, environmental psychology, and psychiatry. As a qualitative research expert, I am adept at building and leading inter-disciplinary teams to support mixed method epidemiological research as well as community-based participatory research based on systems dynamics approaches.

Rebecca’s reflections on the award

Participating in this award process has been a great opportunity to stop and reflect on where I/we have come from with our research and where we are heading. Super grateful for all the support provided by IHT and my Health, Nature, Sustainability Research Group colleagues.

Group Awards (all categories of EMCR researchers)

Research Impact

Equal Winners: Sara Holton, QPS and Elizabeth Holmes-Trusctott, ACBRD

Dr Sara Holton is a senior research fellow in the Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research – Western Health Partnership in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and IHT. Sara is mid‐career researcher and social scientist who conducts psychosocial research in three main, often intersecting, areas: women’s health, chronic disease, and health services research. Sara is currently leading a research program about the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers and students including one of the first Australian studies to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the psychological wellbeing and work and personal lives of hospital clinical staff. Sara’s research findings have informed health policy, practice and research.

Sara’s reflections on the award

I am very pleased to receive this award and it is a great acknowledgement of the important research our team has conducted about healthcare worker wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research was initially supported by a small grant from the IHT and this recognition of our work will be beneficial in promoting our findings and highlighting our leadership in this field particularly in future external grant applications. I am very grateful to the IHT for the support and encouragement provided for our research.

Dr Elizabeth Holmes-Truscott (PhD, health psychology) is a ECR research fellow with the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD). Elizabeth leads a program of research seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of people affected by diabetes, with three key themes: a) understanding and addressing diabetes stigma; b) reducing barries to self-management, and; c) the selection, validation and assessment of diabetes-specific person-reported outcome measures. Elizabeth was awarded a Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in 2018, and has received research funding from government, industry, and diabetes organisations. Details of Elizabeth’s publications are available via Google Scholar.  

Elizabeth’s reflections on the award

It is a great honour to be Equal Winner of the EMCR Future Leaders Award for Research Impact. Particularly so, given the calibre of EMCRs within the Institute and the diversity and depth of their research impact. Thank you to the Institute for the continued support of our research, and dedication to supporting, and recognising the achievements, of my fellow EMCRs. Also, thank you to team at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) –  this award is a direct result of our enduring teamwork and mission over the past decade to understand and address the problem of diabetes stigma.

Research Partnerships

Winner: Tailane Scapin, GLOBE

Dr Tailane Scapin is a one-year Postdoctoral Research Fellow in GLOBE. Tailane has background and experience in the food and nutrition fields, holding a PhD and a Master by Research in Nutrition and a Bachelor (Honours) in Nutrition and Dietetics. Tailane’s research is focused on strategies to promote healthier food choices, including food labelling and improvements in retail food environments. She is part of a a three year partnership (2021-2024) with UNICEF East-Asia and Pacific Region (UNICEF-EAPRO) to develop evidence for improving the healthiness of retail food environments in the Asia region.

Tailane’s reflections on the award

The EMCR Future Leaders Award Program gives us the opportunity to have recognition for our research efforts and demonstrate the high-quality work being developed at the Institute for Health Transformation. This year, I was thrilled to see that the program brought the new partnership category, which values our efforts in undertaking collaborative work with external partners. 

Multidisciplinary Research

Winner: Amelia Lake, ACBRD

Dr Amelia Lake is a post-doctoral Research Fellow and Early Career Researcher with The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD). Amelia has expertise in evidence and theory-based development of resources to promote uptake of screening for diabetes-related complications. Her PhD programme of research promoting uptake of diabetic retinopathy screening for people with younger-onset type 2 diabetes received several awards and an invitation to present at the UK Royal Society of Medicine (Ophthalmology Section) 2019 conference.  More recently, Amelia coordinated a federally funded research programme to develop psychoeducational messaging to increase uptake of diabetes screening for women after gestational diabetes (2019-2022).

Amelia’s reflections on the award

In accepting the award, I acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of all members of the ME-MaGDA project team. Commencing in 2019 our team, comprising behavioural scientists, clinicians, allied health professionals and population health researchers from multiple institutions, worked collaboratively to improve long-term health outcomes for women with prior gestational diabetes who are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. ME-MaGDA addresses multiple policy-level goals of the Australian Government National Diabetes Strategy. Utilising the pathways identified, the psychoeducational messaging that our team developed will reach >220,000 affected Australian women and provide a template for similar initiatives globally. I also thank the Australian Government Department of Health for funding the project, and the women with prior gestational diabetes who contributed to multiple elements of the research program.