Researchers awarded more than $1.5million in Federal grants

19 September 2017

University of Sydney researchers have received Federal Government funding to support a number of fellowship initiatives.

Researchers at the University of Sydney have been awarded eight grants by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the 17th round of Australia Awards Fellowships program.

The grants are part of a larger $18 million pool awarded to 48 organisations to host 94 fellowship programs.

The grants will provide funding for 106 fellows working across health, food security, governance, education and disability and development sectors with the opportunity to strengthen and deepen linkages with leaders and professionals in developing countries.

Five of the grants were awarded to researchers at Sydney Medical School, with the three remaining grants awarded to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science.

Associate Professor Kirsty Foster, Associate Dean International and Head of the Office for Global Health in the Sydney Medical School said she is proud of the University being involved in the program from the beginning.

“We are proud that the University of Sydney has been involved in capacity building since round one of the Australian Awards Fellowship scheme and that DFAT has recognised our significant expertise and capability to lead capacity building in our region,” she said.

Associate Professor Foster will lead a fellowship program focused on student-centred medical education in Myanmar.

The fellowship has selected 15 leading academics from the University of Medicine No. 1 Yangon, The University of Medicine No. 2 Yangon, The University of Medicine, Mandalay, The University of Medicine, Taunggyi and the University of Medicine, Magway to provide them with guidance and training on best practice for curriculum development and effective education of medical students.

Joint Head of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Neonatology, Associate Professor Kirsten Black and sexual health clinician Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, will build institutional capacity to strengthen sexual and reproductive health services in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Cambodia and Timor Leste.  The program will connect Pacific and South East Asian health professionals with experts at the University of Sydney to help provide locally relevant and evidence-based support on clinical, policy and research issues.

In November, Associate Professor Vitali Sintchenko from the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology will host eight fellows from India’s Manipal University and the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, to provide a platform for linking pathogen genomics and informatics with epidemiological context and clinical data to make conclusions regarding the transmission and spread of drug resistant HIV and outbreaks of tuberculosis.  This knowledge will assist in the redesign of disease control programs in India.

Professor Mu Li from the Sydney School of Public Health is hosting 11 fellows to tackle the multi-sectoral issues around adolescent nutrition in Indonesia.  Fellows will come from Universities, government and NGOs to encourage collaboration across sectors, evaluate health policies and foster bilateral collaborations between Indonesia and Australia.

Associate Professor David Evans from the School of Education and Social Work has received a grant towards improving access to education for all children and adolescents, particularly those with disabilities in Indonesia.

Associate Professor Evans’ program will develop skills and knowledge within the Indonesian education system that will benefit those students with disabilities and encourage them to continue their education.

Dr George Odhiambo from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will oversee the development, training and implementation of educational programs in Cambodia. The program aims to assist the Cambodian government’s plan to hand administrative autonomy to individual schools.

Dr Odhiambo has received funding to help facilitate the training of staff and administrators in public administration, school improvement, program evaluation, practical skills development and reintegration and knowledge transfer.

Associate Professor Inakwu Odeh from the Faculty of Science will work with people from Tanzania and Kenya to improve their agricultural systems in order to improve their food security.

The program has received a grant to help facilitate educating fellows on assessing land for agricultural production and how to optimise production systems. The initiative will also encourage regionally coordinated research, support and sharing of best practices to improve agricultural outcomes.

Elliott Richardson

Assistant Media Advisor (Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy)

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