Now in its fourth year, the EMCR Awards were initiated in 2019 by the EMCR Committee to recognise excellence in academic achievement by our students and early-mid career researchers. The awards are also aimed at providing EMCRs the opportunity to cite this Award in their CV as testament to their achievements.

In 2022, IHT expanded the award categories to include three Group Awards aligned to the IHT Strategies of Research Impact, Multidisciplinary Research and Excellence in Industry Partnerships.

With 21 applications received this year, our IHT executive wish to thank everyone who took the time to apply and congratulate all applicants for your impressive work over the last three years – the calibre of all applicants was extremely high.

Presented by IHT Director Alfred Deakin Professor Anna Peeters, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Alfred Deakin Professor Matthew Clarke, recipients received an award certificate and a $500 prize to be allocated for education or research.

Thank you to the 2023 judging panel: Pat Nicholson, Nikki McCaffrey, Steve Allender, Tailane Scapin, Peter Enticott, Elizabeth Holmes-Truscott, Ana Hutchinson, Merran Stewart, Sara Holton and Catherine Bennett.


Introducing our 2023 EMCR Award Winners

Individual Awards

Individual Awards for Research Excellence aims to recognise researchers with an excellent track record in terms of quality and contribution to science. There are three categories for individual awards:

Individual PhD Award

PhD Students – Current students or students’ one-year* post thesis PhD submission for research conducted between 2021-2023.

Simone McCarthy, DoH








Since 2018, Simone has published 15 peer reviewed journal articles, four government reports, four published conference abstracts and one book chapter. She has also led 2 successful external grants totalling over $84,000.

She has led numerous successful research and community engagement collaborations both nationally and internationally including the World Health Organisation, Public Health Foundation of India, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF), VicHealth, and the Cancer Council WA.

Simone recently testified to the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into online gambling, which led to recommendations for a comprehensive gambling ad ban. Her research was also used to advocate for reduced opening hours of gambling venues (announced by the Victorian Government July 2023). She has engaged with national media, including writing for The Conversation, providing expert commentary to The Guardian, and regular appearances on ABC radio across the country.

Individual ECR Award

This award is for emerging researchers with less than 5 years* post PhD or other research related employment for research conducted between 2021-2023.

Edith Holloway, ACBRD








Since 2021, Edith has 12 Peer-reviewed journal articles published, with 42 co-authors and her research has been cited in 22 countries. In the same time she has grant income as lead of $1,615,329.

She has multiple local and (inter)national, multidisciplinary collaborations with leaders in health psychology, behavioural diabetes, ophthalmology, endocrinology, health economics and general practice.

Edith led the development of a web-based resource for reducing psychological barriers to Insulin Therapy.  She worked with a clinician/epidemiologist to develop a novel screening model for diabetic retinopathy using artificial intelligence and this has been replicated in Poland, Rwanda, China and New Zealand.

Erica Reeve, GLOBE








Erica has 10 peer-reviewed articles as Lead Author and another 14 as second author, 86% which are in Q1 journals.

She has secured over $3.3M in competitive research funds in the past 5 years (including as Lead, Chief investigator), including both external and industry funding.

She has collaborated with leading researchers and policy actors across the Pacific, Asia and Europe, and have been invited to present to senior bureaucrats across many countries.

She has co-facilitated a new research collaboration between Deakin IHT, the University of Sydney, the Department of Health in Victoria and the NSW Health Department recently attracted $1.4m in NHMRC grant funding.

Individual MCR Award

Awarded to experienced researchers 5-10 years* post PhD or other research related employment for research conducted between 2021-2023.

Serene Yoong, GLOBE








Serene has been chief investigator on approximately $18 million in research funding primarily from NHMRC, ARC, MRFF and the Heart Foundation on a range of collaborative, multidisciplinary projects targeting community and clinical health services.

She is ranked in the top 1% of authors in health promotion in Australia (expertscape) and identified as one of the top 300 most productive publishers of nutrition research.

She co-facilitated a group of international researchers to develop guidance for conducting implementation trials. This group comprised trial methodologists, health economists, statisticians, implementation scientists, policy makers, and health service managers and resulted in a publication in the BMJ in 2021.

This resource is being used by Australian translational research centers, and in leading international implementation science training courses, including in the United States, Australia, and Ireland.


Group Awards

In the Group Awards category, the group could be made up of a combination of EMCRs and Senior Researchers, noting the role of the EMCRs needed to be moderate or extensive.


This Award recognises the importance of Research Impact to the Institute’s strategy.

Mary Rose Angeles, DHE








As lead research fellow in a team led by Professor Martin Hensher, Mary conducted a narrative review that identified knowledge gaps, adapted and developed an economic model to analyse the impacts of Long COVID, resulting in significant contributions to the evidence on the health and economic impact of Long COVID in Australia.

Some of these publications were used as references or informed government reports, clinical guidelines, and academic publications. Her co-authored report was used as reference in the Long COVID submission inquiry, demonstrating the role of their research in informing policy discussions and influencing strategic decisions.

Mary’s Long COVID research has attracted significant media attention, highlighting the wide-reaching impact of her work with Martin Hensher. This included a Deeble policy brief which was assessed by the Analysis and Policy Observatory as one of the most interesting, influential and important resources in 2021.

Multidisciplinary Research

This Award acknowledges outstanding contributions to research by a team of IHT researchers who are collaborating across discipline boundaries and who have combined their expertise to produce achievements of outstanding national or international significance.

Florentine Martino, Navoda Liyana Pathirana & Kathryn Backholer, GLOBE








The SCANNER research project is a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between the GLOBE and the IISRI and is the first application of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing regulation. This innovative partnership combines the expertise of public health policy researchers from GLOBE with AI researchers from IISRI, fostering the development of a system that facilitates governments to monitor accountability and compliance of existing regulation related to the marketing of harmful products in a low-resource, novel manner.


This Award recognises the importance that IHT researchers play in the process of initiating, developing, enhancing and managing IHT’s research partnerships.

Erica Reeve, GLOBE

WHO European Region








Over the last 4 years Erica has led the partnership with colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) Office of the European Region to develop research that assists with them with the implementation of diet-related noncommunicable (NCD) policies in the Region.

Using action-oriented policy analysis methodologies, her research has codesigned healthy and sustainable public food procurement policies, addressing a current policy priority in Australia and Europe. The research directly addresses critical information gaps, particularly considerations for strong and coherent policy design, and the strategic capacities that are required by countries to support their policy action.