Research grants worth $400,000 announced

Thursday, 19 January, 2012

Eight new research projects focusing on return to work, occupational health and safety, injury prevention and neurotrauma have been funded through the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) 2012 Development Grants Program.

ISCRR conducts and commissions research in workplace injury and illness prevention, compensation practice, health and vocational rehabilitation.

Professor Niki Ellis, ISCRR CEO, said that the development grants are designed to fund projects that can deliver tangible benefits in the short term to ISCRR’s partners, WorkSafe Victoria and the TAC. “By supporting smaller-scale projects conducted over a 12-month period, the grants provide an important opportunity for investigators to initiate research that has the potential to make a difference in a relatively short period of time,” Ellis said.

This year, a total of $200,000 was allocated to research into safety, compensation and recovery, with a further $200,000 being made available to researchers working in the neurotrauma - brain and spinal injury - field.

The projects cover topics which include:

  • Injury prevention in an ageing workforce: How prepared is industry in the face of an ageing population?
  • The return to work experience for women with children: Women with children have longer periods out of work following injury. What are the reasons for this phenomenon and what would assist this group in their return to work?
  • Understanding how the social and structural context at work can lead to an increased risk of injury among vulnerable workers (young workers, immigrants and other minorities).
  • Decreasing severe disability in traumatic brain injury survivors: Using multimodal MRI to improve neurosurgery techniques and investigating the use of therapeutic hypothermia on traumatic brain injury patients.
  • Assessing the health, activity, participation and quality of life outcomes for people with severe acquired brain injury living in shared accommodation.

“We had an outstanding response to the program, with over 30 proposals received from a broad range of institutions throughout Australia. Overall, the applications were innovative and of a high calibre,” Ellis said.

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

“ISSCR was established to develop a collaborative research model which closes the gap between the real world of policy and practice and the academic world of research. We are finding that creating opportunities for dialogue between policy makers and researchers on what is needed and what is possible is the key.

“This is proving to be a powerful tool for developing research projects with relevance and the potential for change.” ISCRR is a joint venture between Monash University, WorkSafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

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