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A note from our Executive Director:

We are pleased to welcome Perth Blood Institute as our newest partner, bringing WAHTN's membership to 21 partners. PBI undertakes world class medical research, clinical trials, community education and contribute to patient care. As a Medical Research Institute conducting high calibre health translation research, PBI’s purpose fits squarely within WAHTN’s remit, and complements that of the other six eminent MRIs within the network.

On that note, we are also pleased to share our Strategic Plan 2021 - 2025, which defines WAHTN's Vision, Mission, Purpose, and a series of Strategic Goals and Activities grouped under four pillars. Read it and download a copy here.

Recently, a WAHTN team completed a series of surveys on woundcare as part of an Australian Health Research Alliance national initiative, with the aim of ascertaining the actual cost of wound care based on best product and best practice. This is intended to inform policy, planning and potential reimbursement of wound care costs through the PBS. This project is part of a suite of work requested by the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and also includes an updating of Wound Care Standards. Many thanks to Keryln Carville, Jo Wilkie and Tanya Tuffrey for their hard work leading this project, and to the team of survey staff. 

We have also just launched a new course developed by our RETProgram and CCIProgram teams: Consumer and Community Involvement in Health Research. This free 30-minute online course is suited to consumers, community members, researchers, administrators, policy makers and will be made available to all nationwide through the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA). I encourage you to share it among your networks.

At WAHTN we are always pleased to highlight new developments here in WA that assist researchers so we pleased to bring to your attention a program developed at Curtin University. Research Screener is an easy-to-use web-based application that allows researchers to undertake systematic reviews more efficiently. The app semi-automates the abstract screening process by ranking research articles based on their relevance using machine learning and natural language processing techniques. A retrospective analysis of nine previous systematic review studies has validated that Research Screener was able to save the researchers between 68 to 96% of the manual screening time reading irrelevant abstracts. A scientific peer reviewed paper has been published on this analysis here.

In 2020-21 the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) reached full capitalisation of $20 billion. WA receives less than 5% of these funds (despite having 10% of the Australian population). Taking advantage of these opportunities will depend on research being translated into health care solutions and the workforce to do this. Although 63% of Australian medical graduates are interested in research, the number of medically-qualified researchers appears to be in decline in Australia. Between 2013 and 2017 medical practitioner researchers dropped by 3.9% when they should have increased to meet the increased demand for MRFF disbursements. The Australian National Health Workforce Data Set shows that in 2017, 39% of the 1,346 research practitioners were over 55 years old. In response to this situation, WAHTN has held a series of meetings with stakeholders to gauge whether there is an appetite in WA to increase the numbers of Clinician Researchers in WA by better coordinating and smoothing the path for young consultants in training who wish to combine a service and academic role. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Until next month,
Professor Gary Geelhoed

Clinical trials survey

The Future Health Research Innovation Fund (through the Department of Health), supported by WAHTN and MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub, is conducting a consultation regarding potential Programs and Initiatives to advance clinical trials in WA.

The purpose of the consultation is to identify actions that may enhance clinical trial capacity and expertise, improving the quality of clinical trials in WA and making the State more competitive for grant funding and attractive to commercial sponsors.
 
A survey to support this consultation is now open (until midnight on Thursday 2 September) and all responses are welcome: 

IRNet survey

The Indigenous Research(er) Capacity Building Network's short survey, which aims to find out how the AHRA Centres and their Partners are working toward the IRNet Action Plan 2019-2021, closes this Sunday 29th August.

Dementia research priorities

Give your input on the areas that matter the most for future research about medicine use in people living with dementia.

A team of researchers is seeking feedback from both healthcare professionals with any experience in caring for people with dementia, as well as people living with dementia and their carers, family and friends, via this survey. Your responses will help determine research priorities.

Achievements

Congratulations to:

Read More News
Current funding opportunities include:
  • Business Events Perth Aspire Awards (up to $10,000)
  • FHRI Implementation Science Fellowships and Translation Fellowships ($200,000 p.a. for three years)
  • Raine Medical Research Foundation Research Collaboration Awards (up to $30,000)
  • Raine Medical Research Foundation Publication Prizes ($5,000)
See All Funding Details
Please be aware that the following events may be affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Check with event organisers for real time updates.
More Events

CCIProgram update


The CCIProgram team is offering two training workshops over the coming months, with both in-person and online sessions available for each. Register now!
CCI in Practice
This training workshop for community members and researchers provides an introduction to CCI, in-depth understanding of involvement methods in research, and a 'how-to' of designing a consumer and community involvement plan.

In person: Thursday 16 September
Online: Wednesday 22 September

Communicating CCI
This training workshop for community and researchers focuses on how to write your CCI plan into grant applications, write in plain language, promote involvement opportunities in research, and present and share findings alongside consumers.

In person: Wednesday 20 October
Online: Wednesday 13 October
Visit CCIProgram

RETProgram update

Our Research Education and Training Program courses are available free for staff within WAHTN Partner Organisations.

The newest addition is a short introductory course created in collaboration with our CCIProgram:
This course offers an introduction to Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI ) in health and medical research. It is designed for consumers, community members, researchers, administrators, policy makers and organisations involved in health research.

In just the first two weeks it was completed by 23 people and received 100% positive feedback, such as:
 
"The information was concise and relevant. The material challenged and extended my thinking around the topic." 

"[The best aspect was] understanding the difference between participation, engagement and involvement."

"Simple, easily accessible format. Short and sharp (I can fit it easily in at the end of my work day)."

Join the 48 people who have enrolled so far!

To stay updated on RETProgram courses, register here.
Visit RETProgram

CTDMC update


Our Clinical Trials and Data Management Centre offers a Clinical Research Support Service, with on-site meetings available for WAHTN partners. 
Over the next few weeks, they will be visiting Joondalup Health Campus, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital. If you would like help with clinical research, please visit the website or email Christine Robins at CTDMC@curtin.edu.au for further information or to book a session.
Find out more about the CTDMC

We'd love to hear from you! 


If you have any opportunities you'd like to share with the Network then please
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