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Research X-Factor! Seed Funding Winners

Congratulations to winners of the inaugural Research X-Factor!

SydneyConnect Video: Research X-Factor seed funding winners

Dr Brad De Vries hopes to improve outcomes for mothers and babies by reducing the use of medications to induce labour.

His pitch to make labour safer for mothers and babies took out first place in the inaugural Sydney Institute for Women, Children, and their Families (the Institute) Seed Funding Program event.

"There was a good atmosphere. It's fantastic for research," he said. "The funding means we'll be able to get our pilot study done, which is really exciting."

Grants of $20,000 were awarded by the Institute to assist innovative research projects, with Dr De Vries given a surprise boost of $10,000 on the day from Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District's Chief Executive.

"A foot in the door is what seed funding is for," she said.

Congratulations to our winners:

First place:

  • Dr Brad De Vries, Head of Obstetrics at RPA — "The EASE-Out Trial: EASing oxytocin in Early labour: OUTcomes for mothers and babies."

Second place:

  • Dr Arianne Sweeting, Staff Specialist in Endocrinology at RPA — "Low carbohydrate breakfast for improved gestational diabetes mellitus management."

Third place — a tie:

  • Dr Sarah Taki, Coordinator at the District's Population Health Research and Evaluation Hub — "Taking health literacy and cultural context into consideration in developing a web-based healthy Beginnings program for CALD communities."
  • Dr Sylvia Lim-Gibson, Staff Specialist Psychiatrist and the Director of the Parent and Baby Unit, and Acting Clinical Director of the District's Mental Health Service, and team — "Piloting an intervention to promote social connections amongst culturally diverse women with identified vulnerability in the perinatal period."

People's choice:

  • Dr Amelia Fernandes, Advanced Trainee Endocrinology at RPA — "The impact of pre-conception weight loss on ovulation, micronutrient status and time to pregnancy in women with ovulatory dysfunction, PCOS and overweight/obesity: implications for clinical practice: the PreBabe fertility study."

Hosted by Professor Andrew Baillie, the event was a great success, catering for staff from across the District and online.

"The presentations made it. We had some exceptional presentations," said the Institute's Director, Dr George Johnson. "It was incredibly hard to select the winners."

The event showcased research proposals from nine finalists who are Institute affiliates working in the District.

All participants were asked to present "the X-Factor" in their pitch.

The Institute's Co-Chairs, Professor Adrianne Gordon, a Neonatologist at RPA Women and Babies, and Professor Sue Woolfenden, the Director of Community Paediatrics plus Dr George Johnson, the Institute's Director and Acting General Manager Public Health, were on the judging panel.

The other panellists included Professor Jonathan Carter, the Institute's Clinical Executive Sponsor and the Clinical Director Women's Health, Neonatology and Paediatrics, Dianna Jagers, the General Manager of Community Health Services and Professor Sameer Bhole AM, the Clinical Director Oral Health Services.

This event was an opportunity to showcase the Institute's role in the District and the expanding research capabilities for staff and affiliates.

"It could lead to continued funding and potentially inform evidence-based outcomes and positively impact the District in time," said George.

The Institute is a central hub for research, evaluation, education and policy focused on the health and wellbeing of women, children and their families.