The grants, which total $821,000, will be divided among the 35 recipients with up to $25,000 allocated per project to help the researchers ‘kickstart’ discoveries across a variety of illnesses, diseases and social issues.
Researcher Monica Cations will be using her share of the grant to work on her project which looks at developing safe and inclusive models of aged care practice for survivors of psychological trauma.
“We are pleased to have been awarded $20,000 from the Flinders Foundation for this research in collaboration with Helping Hand Aged Care,” Dr Cations says.
“We will be using this money to explore the needs and experiences of older Australian nationals who were raised in institutional care, sometimes known as Forgotten Australians or Care Leavers.
“There are around 500,000 Forgotten Australians in Australia, but little is known about them.
“Given that many were exposed to traumatic experiences during childhood, it is very important that we amend care to be sensitive and responsive to their needs.
“While they are an incredibly resilient and diverse group overall, many common aged care practices and environments (such as bathing, locked wards) might be unsafe for them. Aged care providers have historically not had the resources or skills to screen for and amend their practices to suit older survivors of psychological trauma.
“With this funding we hope that we can address this important problem by working collaboratively with Forgotten Australians and their families. We will develop guidelines for aged care providers, to guide them in their service delivery.
“It’s fantastic that the Flinders Foundation have allocated some of their funding to this vulnerable group.”
Other research projects receiving funding are looking into areas such as developing a biomarker for the earliest detection of Glioblastoma, improving management of childhood glaucoma and analysing perspectives on a sugar tax in Australia.
Flinders Foundation Executive Director Ross Verschoor says the Foundation was proud to support the abundant research talent across the Flinders medical precinct.
“The dedicated researchers at Flinders work tirelessly to improve the lives of people and their families affected by a wide range of illnesses and diseases,” he says.
“From past experiences we know these health seed grants are vital in kick-starting research discoveries which not only benefit our local community, but also advance research knowledge around the world.
“The researchers at Flinders possess the most incredible ideas which could be the catalyst for the next big breakthrough.
“Often all they need to get these ideas off the ground is funding.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint says the seed funding grants can be the catalyst for life-changing breakthroughs.
“The support of the foundation and its generous donors and supporters, is vital in supporting our talented researchers to explore and prove new treatments, or get revolutionary research projects off the ground,” Professor Saint explains.
“There is no doubt as to the effectiveness of this funding, with around 40 percent of recipients going on to win grants of a much larger scale, facilitating substantial projects and results that make a difference to people’s health and lives.”
Dr Cations’ guidelines are expected to be available in mid-2020.