The last major round for NHMRC funding under the old schemes is coming to an end and the release of grant outcomes was bittersweet for many researchers. Now that the embargo has been lifted, OPUS scored three wins – 2 from our Early Career Researchers and 1 from our captain – in such a competitive environment and we congratulate them for their effort:
NHMRC – Project Grant
Dr Sam Bunzli
The PRETEND Trial: A mixed methods study evaluating PREferences, feasibiliTy, and costs of pErformiNg sham surgery trials involving major surgical proceDures
Randomising patients to receive either an ‘active’ or a ‘sham’ (pretend) surgery and comparing the outcomes is the best way to test how effective a surgical procedure is. However, few orthopaedic surgeries have been tested in this way. This study aims to determine the feasibility of conducting a sham surgery trial in a major orthopaedic procedure by 1. identifying the conditions under which patients and surgeons would consider participating 2. Estimating how much it would cost.
**Sam has also received a St. Vincent’s Hospital Research Endowment Fund for her pilot program focused on health-related impact to quality of life in Aboriginal Australians. Outcomes from this pilot will provide the foundations for the ECCO program.
NHMRC – Practitioner Fellowship
Prof Peter Choong
Treating end stage osteoarthritis – System redesign targeting appropriateness, cost-effectiveness, safety and efficiency
Severe osteoarthritis is a significant cause of disability that can be treated by joint replacement. Indiscriminate and overuse can lead to harm and waste that can account for 20% of all costs. I will lead a multidisciplinary research team to answer the question of appropriateness, decision-making, alternatives to surgery and health economic impact to develop a model of care based on safety and cost-effectiveness. This work will give valuable lessons into managing other chronic diseases.
**As the top scoring applicant out of 14 successful grants (19% success rate this year), Prof Choong will be receiving a Research Excellence Award next year in Canberra!
MRFF – Translating Research into Practice Fellowship
Dr Jo-Anne Manski Nankervis
From simulation to translation: A new quality improvement program for antibiotic prescribing in general practice
The misuse and overuse of antibiotics contributes to the global increase in antimicrobial resistance, a major public health threat that makes it more difficult and expensive to treat infectious diseases.
This project will focus on improving the appropriate prescription of antibiotics in general practice by developing a computerised tool to help GPs make better decisions about prescribing antibiotics.