Researchers from the Institute for Health Transformation have received funding totalling more than $1.1 million in the 2024 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants.

The competitive grant scheme provides Australia’s highest-performing researchers, across the spectrum of health research and at all career stages, with consolidated funding for their salary, if required, and a significant research support package for five years.

The successful projects are:

Improving mental health among Australian adults with diabetes through population-level monitoring – $589,520.00

Dr Edith Holloway, School of Psychology and the Institute for Health Transformation’s Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD)

It’s estimated 750,000 Australians with diabetes struggle with mental health, this is set to double by 2050. Despite guidelines, the mental support is still lacking in routine diabetes care.

Led by Dr Holloway, this research will establish a national mental health and diabetes monitoring system to improve access to early intervention. To do this, the project will answer questions like: What are the mental health trajectories for Australians with diabetes? Which early interventions are effective?

The project aims to uncover the mental health trajectories and ensure tailored early intervention to benefit Australian adults with diabetes is available.

Transforming resource allocation decision-making for obesity prevention – $510,914.41

Associate Professor Jaithri Ananthapavan, School of Health and Social Development and the Institute for Health Transformation’s Deakin Health Economics (DHE) domain

Obesity is a notable driver of poor health in Australia, which leads to poor health, health inequities and can be costly to tackle.

Government decision-making on which policies and programs to fund to address this complex issue needs to consider the costs, benefits and equity impacts of potential strategies.

Associate Professor Ananthapavan’s project will work with decision-makers to develop the evidence they need to make informed and consistent decisions to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

The frameworks and models developed for this grant will be internationally significant as governments around the world grapple with resource allocation dilemmas and the outputs can inform decision-making for obesity prevention at local, state and national levels. It will also have application beyond obesity prevention as common factors impact preventive health decision-making in general.