Research funding and grants

For the past five years the Western Alliance Grants-In-Aid program has provided funding to over 20 research projects across the western region of Victoria. This has been an important initiative in building the research footprint and capacity in regional/rural areas, as well as fostering collaboration between the health sector and academia. Feedback from our member organisations, as well as a review of international best practice, has highlighted that our research funding efforts could be strengthened by ensuring we focus on the identified health priorities for our region. In order to do this, and in preparation for our bid to become an NHMRC accredited Centre for Innovation in Regional Health (CIRH), we conducted a workshop earlier this year to identify the region’s key health and research priorities. The workshop involved over 30 of our key health and research leaders and consumers, with a guest presentation from Professor Helena Teede, Executive Director of Monash Partners Academic Centre for Health. With the Primary Health Network regional data as a guide, we were able to identify and prioritise our key areas for future research, as well as our collective capacity to meet these research needs. The graphic below gives an overview of what was generated on the day and what will be used to guide Western Alliance research efforts moving forward.

 

In light of the above, we are moving forward with a new program of research funding and support which will replace our research Grants-In-Aid program. This involves the establishment of regional interprofessional research ‘hubs’ to drive collaborative research efforts across identified focus areas, to link with established associate organisations to access external funding and capacity building, and to set the agenda for internal research funding programs. As a starting point, each hub will be launched via a forum which will see health professionals, consumers, researchers and managers from across the Western region gather to identify the key issues and gaps within a particular theme and to develop these into specific research questions. This process will narrow the research focus to ensure regional relevance, and will foster collaboration across regions and sectors. This will then be followed by a competitive funding round specifically targeting the generated research questions within that theme. As part of this approach, we have also been building partnerships with key research institutes and peak bodies, who will provide support, and in some cases co-funding, for our research efforts. Funding of up to 100k will initially be allocated to each research hub.

The first cab off the rank for this approach is Ageing, and we are excited to be launching the Western Alliance Ageing Research Hub, in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute. The inaugural forum was held on Friday 6th September 2019 in Warrnambool. You can view the presentations made on the day and read an update here.

The next forum to be held is the Digital Health Forum, scheduled for 14 February 2020, you can read more about this upcoming forum here.

Further hubs and forums are also in planning and will follow, with rolling funding rounds aligning with the development of each research hub.

Small Research Grants for Early Career Researchers

Please click here to read more regarding small research grants for early career researchers.

Access to specialised research support

Feedback from across the region has identified that accessing specialised research support, particularly for biostatistics and health economics, can be extremely difficult and cost prohibitive. Fortunately, our academic partners Deakin and Federation Uni have significant expertise in these areas. To assist health sector based researchers to access this support, Western Alliance has allocated $20,000 of funding per year, which will be offered via an Expression of Interest process. Individuals will be able to access up to $3,000 in funding to meet their biostatistics or health economics research support requirements. Further details of the EOI process and timeline will be distributed shortly.

New positions – Research Translation Coordinators

Please click here to read more about our Research Translation Coordinator positions.

Research Education and Training

Please click here to read about our Education programs.

Previous Western Alliance Funding (Grants-in-Aid)

To read more about the Grants-in-Aid program and research that Western Alliance has supported, please click here.