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Leaders in paediatric healthcare and research came together today for International Women’s Day at a breakfast hosted by the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Once again, the event saw the launch of this year’s Mary McConnel Career Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research.

Queensland women committed to working wonders in the field of paediatric research are encouraged to apply for funding of up to $50,000 from the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The program aims to support women to increase delivery and dissemination of research, thereby ‘boosting’ the researcher’s track record and competitiveness for future funding.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation has invested almost $950,000 since 2018 in outstanding female researchers working to improve healthcare outcomes for sick and injured children.

The successful 2020 applicants were:

  • Dr Lisa Akison – Choline as an intervention to prevent offspring disease following periconceptional alcohol exposure
  • Dr Joanne George – Advancing early detection biomarkers in infants at risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes and cerebral palsy following early brain injury
  • Dr Jessica Schults – First do no harm, recognising hospital-acquired complications in paediatric critical care
  • Dr Cassy Spiller – Novel detection methods for adolescent germ cell cancers.

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, said the Foundation was proud to support outstanding female clinicians and researchers who work tirelessly to ensure a brighter future for all children.

“Currently, women only account for 17 percent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes,” Ms Simpson said.

“The Mary McConnel Career Boost Program aims to close the significant academic gender gap – and, importantly, improve health outcomes for children and young people.”

Successful applicants will receive $50,000 funding to overcome barriers to career progression and receive one-on-one mentoring support from a leading research professional.

The Mary McConnel Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research program honours Queenslander Mary McConnel, who worked hard to establish the State’s first children’s hospital in 1878.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation launched the inaugural program on International Women’s Day in 2018.

Applications for the 2021 grant round are open until 5pm, Wednesday 14 April 2021. For more information, please our website.