16 March 2020 Featured News

Grants shine spotlight on Queensland women making a difference in child health research

Once again, on International Women’s Day the Children’s Hospital Foundation launched the Mary McConnel Career Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research.

Queensland women committed to working wonders in the field of paediatric research were given the opportunity to apply for funding of up to $50,000.

The program aims to support women to increase delivery and dissemination of research, thereby ‘boosting’ the researcher’s track record and competitiveness for future funding.

Since the launch of the program in 2018, the Foundation has invested more than $735,000 in outstanding female researchers working to improve healthcare outcomes for sick and injured children. The successful 2019 applicants were:

Dr Katherine Benfer – Establishing peer-delivered early intervention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants at high risk of cerebral palsy.

Dr Sumaira Hasnain – Advancing therapeutic target against viral infections in children.

Dr Caroline Grant – Developing scanning and monitoring tools for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis using 3D scanning.

Dr Alexandra De Young – Transforming early intervention to improve mental health outcomes in very young burn-injured children and their parents.

Dr Laura Genovesi – Novel genetic and genomic treatment approaches for children with medulloblastoma (the most common type of brain cancer in children).

Dr Bronwyn Griffin – Development of a core Australian clinical registry for children with burn injuries.

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, said the Foundation was proud to support outstanding female clinicians and researchers who work tirelessly to ensure a brighter future for all children.

“Currently, women only account for 17 per cent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes,” Ms Simpson said.

“The Mary McConnel Career Boost Program aims to close the significant academic gender gap – and, importantly, improve health outcomes for children and young people.”

Successful applicants will receive $50,000 funding to overcome barriers to career progression and receive one-on-one mentoring support from a leading research professional.

The Mary McConnel Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research program honours Queenslander Mary McConnel, who worked hard to establish the State’s first children’s hospital in 1878.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation launched the inaugural program on International Women’s Day in 2018.

** The third round of the Mary McConnel Career Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research has now closed **