Small Grants Scheme

Increasing opportunities for radiation oncology professionals to contribute to evidence by conducting research projects

RESEARCH PROJECT GRANTS

INTRODUCTION

To increase opportunities for Radiation oncology professionals to participate in and conduct research projects, radiation oncology professionals working in Western Australia were invited to apply for research project grants up to the value of $20,000 and actively participate in advancing the knowledge of their specialty. Radiation oncology is a rapidly developing field and research is the essential force behind its advancement. Research mentors were suggested for those applicants who had not previously led and/or conducted a research project.

OBJECTIVES

The primary objective of the Radiation Oncology Small Grants Scheme was to provide seed funding for:

  • Demonstration projects where significant research findings can be translated into radiation oncology practice and/or policy; and
  • Pilot studies that improve success in obtaining research support from national and international funding agencies and industry.

Successful applicants could expect to gain experience in conducting research, continual professional development and publishing opportunities.

ELIGIBILITY

Radiation oncology professionals who were new to leading and conducting research projects were encouraged to apply. The grants were open to all Radiation Oncology professionals such as radiation therapists, radiation oncologists including radiation oncology registrars, radiation oncology medical physicists (ROMPs) including ROMP registrars, and other health professionals working in radiation oncology in Western Australia.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

  • Extent that the proposed project was collaborative between radiation oncology providers and multidisciplinary between radiation oncology professionals (and other allied health professionals).
  • Nomination of a suitable research mentor.
  • Project quality and feasibility to complete the project within timeframe.
  • Projects in the following areas were prioritised: demonstrated radiation oncology patient benefit; Improvement to health service delivery in radiation oncology; community focused; and radiation oncology workforce development.
  • Likelihood of research findings being presented at a conference and/or published in a peer reviewed journal.
  • Likelihood of research findings being translated into clinical practice.
  • Projects involving consumer representatives.

OUTCOMES

Six projects were awarded funding (total of $105,000) and five projects were completed by the end of the funding period. Investigators of four projects presented their findings at the conference ‘Radiation Oncology Workforce WA 2014: Better Research - Better Education - Better Access’ on Saturday 1 November 2014. All grant recipients prepared a draft manuscript as part of their final report and are being encouraged to prepare their manuscript for publication.

COMPLETED PROJECTS

  • Compare and assess the use of the BodyFIX system with and without the vacuum wrap against the current immobilization device for Thoracic and Abdominal Cancers, to determine which is most suitable for use with Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) patients

Miss Catherine Hubie, Mr Jonathan Lane, Miss Elizabeth Golden, Megan Aplin, Miss Maddison Shaw, Miss Gemma Waters, Dr Sean Bydder and Mr Matthew Price. Mentor: Mrs Rachael Kearvall.

  • WA Radiation Oncology: Strategic Data Management

Mrs Aylin Yahya, Dr Mary-Anne Kedda, Mr Val Antoff, Mr Ian Li, and Mr Ray Budge. Mentor: Dr Mary-Anne Kedda.

  • Prostate localisation using 3D ultrasound: Assessment and evaluation of an in-house developed Clarity┬« training package

Mr Leigh Camilleri, Mrs Clare Herbert, Mr Jonny Lane. Mentor: Senior Lecturer Louise Deshon.

  • Survey of high dose rate prostate brachytherapy practice in Australia and New Zealand, 2012-2013

Ms Jane Van Nieuwenhuysen, Professor Sean Bydder, and Dr David Waterhouse. Mentor: Dr Georgia Halkett.

  • A comparison between automated and manual segmentation techniques with an emphasis on ABAS

Ms Ciara Mac Nally, Ms Susan Edwards, and Mr Marcel Simms. Mentor: Professor Martin Ebert.