Diversity and Inclusion Grants

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences has awarded grants to two new diversity and inclusion projects.

two sets of hands face down on a table

The Faculty supports collaborative research between academics, members of community organisations, health care professionals and people with lived experiences which helps build a more inclusive and supportive culture.

Launched in 2021, the Diversity and Inclusion Grants scheme supports MDHS researchers to develop scholarly-based work that contributes to our Faculty’s culture of equity, diversity and inclusion.

We are delighted to announce two projects have been awarded Diversity and Inclusion Grants this year, with each receiving $25,000 each. The funding enables researchers to develop projects that are inclusive in their design, delivery and outcome.

The 2022/23 Diversity and Inclusion Grant recipients are:

Capturing transgender people in research: Guidelines for researchers 

Associate Professor Ada Cheung and the Trans Health Research Team
Department of Medicine - Austin Health, Melbourne Medical School

The Trans Health Research team will develop guidelines for including trans people in research projects.  Transgender and gender diverse (trans) people often face significant socio-economic and health inequities. Associated with these challenges and experiences of exclusion are extremely high rates of poor mental health. The exclusion of trans people often extends to research where trans experiences are rarely accurately reflected in data collection. Asking the right questions and using the correct language is critical to reducing discrimination and collecting accurate data about trans people. However, there is little to no guidance for researchers on best practice for including trans people in research. Using a co-designed approach involving trans health care experts, trans researchers and community members, this project aims to develop a video and written best-practice guidelines for including transgender people in research.

Creating safe spaces for physiotherapy student learning of physical examination

Ms Jessica Lees, Dr Rachel Toovey, A/Prof Catherine Granger, Dr Megan Sharp, Dr Selina Parry, Dr Kath Sellick, Em Clayton, Kate Johnson, Dr Kim Alison, Free Clouston
Department of Physiotherapy and Department of Social Work, Melbourne School of Health Sciences

Physical examination is a key component of professional physiotherapy practice, and proficiency is fundamental to quality patient care. Peer physical examination is core to physiotherapy education programs and involves one student practicing the examination as a ‘therapist’, while another student acts as a ‘patient’.  Student feedback indicates that while consent is currently included, students may feel pressured to participate despite discomfort and embarrassment. This feedback also indicates that students from diverse backgrounds may experience higher risk and personal history of trauma has been under-recognised.  This project will develop a trauma-informed approach to peer physical examination that is inclusive of all experiences. The primary aim is to create safer spaces for students when learning physical examination, and in turn, advance the practice of our graduates to improve patient safety.