ECU was successful in gaining a Collaborative Research Network (CRN) supported by $5,615,052M of funding from the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. This funding will accelerate the growth of research activity in four key areas selected for their close alignment to the Australian Government’s National Research Priorities and the University’s Strategic Plan, as well as leverage recent major investments by ECU and the Commonwealth and State Government.
The CRN will allow us to leverage this investment via access to and collaboration with experts at Australia’s leading research universities. Our initiatives are focused on building common technical and methodological platforms for on‐going collaboration, as well as increasing our high-quality research expertise to ensure we continue to generate world‐class research outcomes and sustain new research programs via access to competitive grants.
The initiatives will benefit more than 250 research staff; increase our research active staff by seven; increase the percentage of time spent on research; provide 21 visiting fellowships; and and provide over 30 exchanges for co‐supervised higher degree research students and staff, enabling the co-supervision of an additional 30 PhD students and significantly increasing ECU's research capacity in these strategic areas.
The CRN involves six sub-projects (three are health focused), each representing a collaborative research network supporting a key research theme.
The sub-projects in health are:
- Promotion of Mental Health and Wellbeing in Young People (Health) led by Professor Donna Cross;
- Exercise Medicine for the Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease (Health) led by Professor Rob Newton; and
- Integrated Health Services to Enhance Community-Based Care (Health) led by Professor Cobie Rudd.
- The sub-project entitled: ‘Integrated Health Services to Enhance Community-Based Care’, led by Professor Cobie Rudd, has three partnering institutions (University of Melbourne, University of Queensland and University of Western Australia) and spans all major health care delivery disciplines.
It will provide:
- an evidence-based integrated regional strategy for health services based on collaborative research with partner institutions with significant national impact;
- developing evidence-based models of health care, service delivery and the subsequent educational approaches required (teaching and learning informed by research), including inter-professional learning (IPL), experiential/work-based learning, and simulated learning; and
- augment the role of community engaged research in health to drive institutional change in higher education and national health reform.