ANZCA Foundation update - October 2023

13 October 2023

New grant awards; donor-named awards recognised; PPRN webinar success; and foundation supporter evening.

Wellbeing of anaesthetists study secures twin grant funding

The ANZCA Research Committee has awarded the inaugural ANZCA Professional Practice Research Grant - as well as ANZCA’s prestigious Harry Daly Award for the most highly-ranked project grant - to a study into the mental wellbeing of anaesthetists.
The twin honours were attributed at the Research Committee’s annual grants assessment meeting in September to the study: ‘Beyond burnout in anaesthetists: Prevalence and assessment of current strategies and supports for mental wellbeing’.
The study will be led by Dr Neil Paterson from the University of Queensland and his team, which includes Dr Laura Ferris, Associate Professors Paul Lee-Archer and Niklas Steffens, Dr Mark Trembath, Dr Marie Avanis and Dr Maryann Turner. 
The investigators noted the absence of recent assessments of the prevalence of wellbeing, psychological distress, burnout, and other indicators of the mental health anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand, and a lack of evidence on the acceptability and uptake of wellbeing supports and interventions.  Their multi-centre study will assess wellbeing and mental health in anaesthetists and trainees, and examine factors that facilitate or undermine access to existing support programs, with potential to improve outcomes for anaesthetists, patients, and health organisations.

Inaugural innovation and technology award

The inaugural ANZCA Innovation and Technology Research Award, the establishment of which the foundation recently announced had been made possible by the generosity of Foundation Governor Patron Dr Stan Tay, has now been awarded for 2024.
The Research Committee has bestowed the very first of these important annual awards to Dr Rachel Bourke of Gold Coast Hospital, and her team, for the study ‘Machine learning to predict postoperative hypotension in a tertiary Australian hospital’.
Dr Bourke’s team of investigators includes Dr Halia O'Shea, Dr David Evans, Professor Steven Stern, Associate Professor Paulina Stehlik, Dr Sankalp Khanna, and Dr Aida Brankovic. 

Importance of named grants and awards

Several ANZCA Foundation named research awards and grants are conferred each year, almost all of which have been made possible by the vision and financial support of foundation supporters, through major gifts or bequests. Very often, these gifts are made into the foundation’s endowment fund to generate funding to support grants, awards, and scholarships long into the future.

In September, the foundation received a communication from Professor Andrew Davidson, Chair of the ANZCA Clinical Trials Network Executive, in which he emphasised the importance of these ANZCA Foundation named research awards and grants, not only for the careers of principal investigators, but for all members of their research study teams.

“It is worth reinforcing that named grants and awards are of high value. They are an important element on a researcher’s CV, as they stand out as a sign of excellence within an investigator’s record of achievement. It is also worth understanding that these awards are for the grant and not only the principal investigator. The ANZCA Research Committee ranks grants on the science and the team – not just the ‘Chief Investigator A’. This is an important distinction, as increasingly, these studies are truly team efforts in which the team is emphasised rather than big names. Named awards and grants provide important recognition of the efforts of all members of the investigation team”, said Professor Davidson.

Professional Practice Research webinar

The foundation and Professional Practice Research Network (PPRN) held a successful webinar on ‘Leadership and High-Performance Teams’ on Wednesday, 20 September, with 70 guests registered.
PPRN Executive Chair Professor Kirsty Forrest discussed the importance of research to support clinicians and teams as they pursue ways of working together to deliver better outcomes.  
Guest speaker Professor Victoria Brazil, Director of Simulation at Bond University on the Gold Coast, who also leads the Bond University Translational Simulation Collaborative, shared insights from her research and expertise in education and simulation for healthcare improvement and high-performance teamwork. Interesting questions and positive feedback were received from may attendees.
The foundation is very grateful to Professor Brazil, for generously sharing her extensive expertise.

ANZCA Foundation Supporter Evening - October

An ANZCA Foundation Supporter Evening is being held on Wednesday 18 October, at ANZCA House in Melbourne.  Around 40 guests have accepted to attend to hear inspiring talks from two of our exciting emerging research investigator fellows and foundation grant recipients:  frailty and persistent critical illness researcher, Associate Professor Jai Darvall from Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Monash-based investigator Dr Katrina Pirie, who is undertaking a PhD on optimising recovery after major abdominal surgery.
The foundation hopes to organise similar events in other selected centres.

Research grants for 2024 and 2025

All applicants for ANZCA Foundation research grants in 2024 have now been advised of the outcomes of their applications. Forty-three applications were assessed and the grant success rate of just over 50% was the highest yet experienced for ANZCA grants.

The foundation and the Research Committee congratulate all successful applicants and encourage unsuccessful applicants to consider modifying and resubmitting their applications in the next grant round, which opens for applications on 1 December 2023, and closes on 1 April 2024. 

We again thank all our committed regular donors without whom we could not maintain our current level of funding for high-quality internationally published and influential medical research.

Contact and support

To donate, please use the 2024 subscriptions form OR search ‘GiftOptions – ANZCA’ in your browser.

For general queries, please contact:

For our research grants program, please contact:

For the ANZCA Clinical Trials Network, please contact:

Last updated 13:26 13.10.2023