Early Career Researchers win CRE HiPP Group Mentoring Award

Rebecca Krispin Uncategorised

Three Early Career Researchers specialising in health in preconception and pregnancy have been successful in winning a 2022 CRE HiPP Group Mentoring Award. Together they plan to pool their resources, to both support each other and boost their careers.

The group comprises Dr Briony Hill, Dr Vanessa Shrewsbury and Dr Konsita Kuswara. They are mentored by CRE HiPP Director, Professor Helen Skouteris.

“I’m really excited to be working with such a great group of early career researchers and to have this scheduled opportunity to learn from each other, support each other and grow,” said NHMRC Early Career Fellow Dr Hill.

The award provides $12,000 in funding over 12 months. The researchers are currently in the early stages of planning how they will use the grant in a way that is mutually beneficial for their career development, and to enhance health outcomes for women and their families. 

According to Dr Hill, “By the end of it we’re planning to have two track-record boosting outputs, comprising a co-authored published paper on a HiPP-related topic that will support a collaborative grant submission.

“I love having the opportunity to collaborate in such a productive way.

“Personally, what I hope to gain from this experience is a practical output that will help me to develop my independence as a researcher and progress towards more leadership opportunities.

“And Helen’s mentoring is so valuable – she’s so generous with her time,” she said. 

Dr Vanessa Shrewsbury from The University of Newcastle said that “Even though we were all selected for different reasons, we really just clicked. We’ve decided to work on a project that will help us to progress both our common and individual goals.

“I feel very honoured to be gifted this time and investment by CRE HiPP, to work towards my career goals.

“It also links to my leadership role in the HiPPP EMR-C* in that the project benefits the bigger group as well,” she said. Dr Shrewsbury and Dr Hill both play key roles in the leadership team of this internationally-expanding researcher Collective. 

Early Career Researcher Dr Kuswara is excited about the support and skills she will build through this grant. 

“As I’m still in the early postdoctoral stage, this mentoring opportunity is really valuable because it’s helping me to work out the next steps in my research journey,” she said. 

“There’s a lot out there and it is very competitive, so finding people doing similar research and who are on the same wavelength is really helpful.” 

It’s still too early to talk about the topic of their planned paper.

“We’ve got a few ideas,” said Dr Kuswara. “The three of us are trying to draw on the research that we are doing, and looking at ideas that we can pull off together which are of interest to all of us. We’re trying to harness our different expertise into one bigger project.” 

There are certainly many areas of overlap in the research interests of this talented team.

Dr Hill specialises in weight stigma, lifestyle, behaviour change and psychosocial wellbeing in preconception women. 

Dr Shrewsbury is a dietitian and researcher specialising in the epidemiology, prevention and management of child, adolescent and parental overweight and obesity.

Dr Kuswara has a background in dietetics and primary health care, and her research focuses on the early prevention of childhood obesity among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Australia.

Congratulations to the three awardees. We can’t wait to see what their collaboration brings to the CRE HiPP arena!

*HiPPP EMR-C is the Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Collective. Click here for more information and to join this collective.