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Clinician Researcher Fellowships empower clinicians to pursue research dreams

Professor Keith Grimwood has praised the introduction of Gold Coast Health Clinician Researcher Fellowships, saying they offer the time and support young clinician researchers need to continue research beyond a PhD.

When Professor Grimwood looks back at his own distinguished career, which includes hundreds of published articles and a meaningful impact on understanding the role of infections in cystic fibrosis lung disease and bronchiectasis, it was that time, support and a strong institutional research culture that established the foundation of his work.

Now Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Medicine and Dentistry and Professor of Infectious Diseases at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services, Professor Grimwood's career has been nothing short of remarkable.

Professor Grimwood was an inspiration for establishment of the Gold Coast Health Clinician Researcher Fellowships, and he says they’re a great opportunity for talented clinician researchers to continue their work post-PhD, so they don’t need to choose between clinical and research work.

"Many bright young clinicians start their careers with dreams of conducting important research," explained Professor Grimwood. "However, the demands of clinical service can often overwhelm them, leaving them with little time or resources to pursue their research interests."

This challenge is further compounded by the rapid advancement of medical techniques and knowledge, which can leave even the most talented clinicians feeling that they are falling behind in the world of research.

"These fellowships offer a unique chance to contribute to groundbreaking research while continuing to serve patients," Professor Grimwood emphasised. "They represent a vital step in nurturing the next generation of medical innovators who can help shape the future of health care."

He says a benefit of having a guaranteed income and job as a researcher is that you have the confidence to take risks with your research and create novel ideas. “And some of the most novel ideas come from young people who aren’t fixed in their ways of doing things.”

The Gold Coast Health Clinician Researcher Fellowships seek to change this by providing dedicated clinicians with 0.4 FTE protected time for three years to engage in research activities without compromising their clinical roles. These fellowships are open to clinicians within five years post-PhD who wish to combine their clinical experience with asking crucial research questions.

“If they are successful, then they can build their own research profile, get competitive research funding,” Professor Grimwood said which may lead to other research-related career opportunities. “I’m fortunate enough to be a joint appointment across the university and hospital, which to my way of thinking marries the two worlds very nicely indeed.”

A position that many Clinician Researcher Fellowships applicants would no doubt aspire to in the future themselves. For more information about the Clinician Researcher Fellowships, visit the Gold Coast Health Research website.

Last updated 06 Oct 2023