Neurotrauma research to benefit from development grants

Thursday, 21 February, 2013

Twelve new research projects focusing on improving outcomes for TAC and WorkSafe Victoria clients have been funded through the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) 2013 Development Grants Program.

A total funding pool of almost $530,000 has been allocated to projects that can deliver tangible benefits in the short term to ISCRR’s partner organisations, including $340,000 towards neurotrauma research.

Successful research proposals were from a wide range of institutions including Monash University, La Trobe University, the University of Sydney, Austin Health, the University of Melbourne, Florey Neurosciences Institutes and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

The CEO of ISCRR, Professor Niki Ellis, said the grants supported smaller-scale research projects conducted over a 12-month period.

“It is an important opportunity for researchers to initiate research that could benefit the clients of compensation schemes,” Prof Ellis said.

“The successful research projects cover a wide range of important topics, including the use of tablet computers for people living with quadriplegia, seating modification for occupational car drivers with lower back pain, achieving successful employment outcomes following traumatic spinal cord injury, successful return to work practices in Victoria, and the support needs of children with traumatic brain injury.”

This is the third year that ISCRR has offered Development Grants. Prof Ellis said the growth in interest in the program was very encouraging.

“We received just over 50 proposals this year. This is more than double the number we received in the first year,” Prof Ellis said.

“This shows that the grants are helping to build the capacity of researchers to do interesting work in the field of compensation health. Overall, the applications were innovative, insightful and of such high quality that we increased the funding allocation in order to support more projects.

“ISCRR was established to develop a collaborative research model which brings academic researchers and policy makers together to define relevant research questions and to translate research into policy and practice.”

Applications were assessed on the basis of alignment with ISCRR’s research strategy, their potential for positive impact within 12 months, scientific quality and feasibility, innovation and the track record of the research team.

ISCRR is a joint venture between Monash University, WorkSafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

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