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The Behavioural Epidemiology Group within Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences had scored a perfect five.
“We put in for five research fellowships through both the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA),” said the head of school and recently appointed Alfred Deakin Professor, Professor David Crawford.
“I knew we would do well because all our grant applications these days are always highly competitive.
“But when we got five out of five, especially when you consider the normal success rate with these applications nationally is about 15-20 per cent, well that’s an astonishing result.
The Famous Five are: Dr Verity Cleland – NHMRC Public Health (Postdoctoral) Fellowship Understanding and promoting physical activity amongst socioeconomically disadvantaged women.
Dr Kylie Hesketh – NHFA Australian Career Development Award Promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviours during early childhood to prevent overweight.
Dr Clare Hume – NHFA Postdoctoral Research Fellow Influences on physical activity among children living in urban and rural areas.
Dr Sarah McNaughton – NHFA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Dietary patterns and diet quality in population health: developing the evidence-base for public health nutrition.
Dr Jenny Veitch – NHFA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Influences of the neighbourhood physical and social environment on children’s physical activity, sedentary behaviour and overweight on obesity.
“I think this result highlights the trajectory we are on at Deakin,” Professor Crawford said.
“I guess 10 years ago winning one of these fellowships would have been a great outcome.
“Our expectation as a group now is that we will do as least as well at the national average in these schemes.
“With this particular group I would have been very disappointed if we didn’t get at least four of the five and I was very chuffed when we picked up the fifth of the five.
“It just tells me the University is going places, that our reputation on the national and indeed international stage has grown in recent years.
“We’ve been working away at this for about 10 years and we’ve had a lot of success in the past.
“The success we have had up until now has been really good but this outcome is really outstanding.
“This is the benchmark for us, this is what we are aiming for all the time.
“When we go in for grants like this, we plan to be successful.
“We work very strategically, we know what our core business is and we get on with it.”
For previous newsletter stories on Dr Verity Cleland visit: www.gsdm.com.au/newsletters/deakin/aug08/verity.html
For previous newsletter stories on Dr Jenny Veitch visit: www.gsdm.com.au/newsletters/deakin/Nov08/veitch.html
For previous newsletter stories on Dr Clare Hume visit: www.gsdm.com.au/newsletters/deakin/Apr08/Research%20coup.html