With medical practice today becoming increasingly complex, the Avant Foundation seeks to support initiatives that improve quality, safety and professionalism in practice. We believe this will lead to an improved culture of medicine, reduced medico-legal risk and better patient outcomes.

Established in 2017, the Foundation’s vision is to provide strong leadership within the medical profession, focused on continuous improvement in safety and reducing risk for both doctors and patients.


The Avant Foundation Grants 2021 program provides funding to support research, quality improvement projects, education and leadership programs designed to make a real difference to how medicine is practised – in particular, the systems and processes. We believe this is key to creating sustainable changes, enhancing patient care and reducing clinical and medico-legal risks. In this way, Avant and its members can have a meaningful impact on the future of medical practice.


Focus areas for 2021

  • Initiatives that develop and support leadership capability, especially those focused on quality improvement in medicine.
  • Academic research in the domains of quality and professionalism that drive towards a reduction in medico-legal and clinical risk.
  • Quality improvement initiatives in the clinical setting.
  • Education initiatives focusing on quality, safety and professionalism.


To find out more download our information pack and the Foundation flyer.

The Foundation may provide funding to:

  1. Entities in healthcare such as research institutes, hospitals, LHDs and colleges
  2. Medical practices that hold an Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Policy
  3. Medical practitioners who hold an indemnity policy with Avant

For complete details, download the full terms and conditions

  • Expressions of interest: 1 October 2020 - 31 January 2021 
  • Detailed applications: 15 March 2021 - 16 April 2021

Stage one criteria include:

  • Relevance of the project  to the Foundation’s objectives
  • The project type (e.g. research, education)
  • The project topic area (e.g. domains of quality improvement, professionalism)
  • The leadership experience of the project team
  • The design of the project


Download detailed evaluation criteria

Avant Foundation Grants 2019 recipients:

  • Flinders Adelaide Indigenous Medical Mentoring and Australian Indigenous Doctors Association – Dr Helen Sage
  • Murray City Country Coast GP Training – Dr Gerard Ingham
  • University of Adelaide – Professor Guy Maddern
  • Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney – Associate Professor Louise Nash
  • Associate Professor Rhea Liang

Read more about the 2019 grant recipients.

If this grant hadn’t come along, it would have been just another good idea that we never had time to get around to.
Professor Leslie Burnett
2018 grant recipient
Focus on: previous recipients

Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney I 2019 recipient

An evaluation of peer review groups in psychiatry | Project lead – Associate Professor, Louise Nash

The Avant Foundation grant supports research to evaluate psychiatrists’ peer review groups and explore participants’ perception of the role the peer review group has on their practice, professionalism and wellbeing.


Associate Professor Nash and her team aim to explore how psychiatrists experience peer review groups.


The study will collect the perceptions of psychiatrist members of peer review groups through qualitative and quantitative methods including online surveys, interviews and focus groups.


A/Prof Nash believes a well-running peer review group provides educational and collegial support for practitioners, which in turn may improve clinical practice, professionalism and personal wellbeing.


Read the full story.

Flinders Adelaide Indigenous Medical Mentoring/Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association I 2019/2018 recipient

To finance an Indigenous medical student through the challenging first years of study | Project lead – Dr Helen Sage/ AIDA Australian Indigenous Doctors Association

Australia’s first independent mentoring program for Indigenous medical students, Flinders Adelaide Indigenous Medical Mentoring (FAIMM), was set up in 2008 in response to the high number of drop-outs of Indigenous students from medicine, particularly in their first year.


The program has also grown to include dentistry students.


The Avant Foundation grant will support an Indigenous student through their first two years of medical school, with mentees regularly meeting one-on-one with their mentor and as a group, once a term. In 2019, funding was extended to enable FAIMM to continue its work.


Read the full story.

Associate Professor Rhea Liang I 2019/2018 recipient

Intersectionality and surgical identity development

The Avant Foundation grant supports Associate Professor Rhea Liang in exploring questions raised in her master’s research project, ‘Why do women leave surgical training? A qualitative and feminist study.’


Her research will delve deeper into the factors contributing to the low proportion of women and other under-represented groups in surgery, and ways to address it.


Associate Professor Liang believes surgery needs to improve institutional environments to support diversity in the profession. Funding was extended in 2019 to support the next phase of her research.


Read the full story.

Australian Orthopaedic Association Research Foundation I 2018 recipient

Development of tool to assess skills in obtaining informed consent | Project lead – Dr Ian Incoll

Dr Ian Incoll and his co-author, Jodie Atkin, are piloting a new formative assessment tool, in which trainees are observed performing informed consent in the workplace.


The Informed Consent Observation Tool is currently being validated and will be trialled with doctors in training. The tool will help identify any deficiencies and prompt the provision of targeted feedback on areas for improvement.


The Avant Foundation grant is delivering a funding boost to this pilot project. The team hopes this study will produce a reliable and valid tool that can be used to assess informed consent skills in surgical trainees and consultant surgeons.


Read the full story.

University of Melbourne I 2018 recipient

Study to improve accuracy of pneumonia diagnosis in ED | Project lead - Professor Kumar Visvanathan

While treating patients in the emergency department (ED), Professor Kumar Visvanathan noticed more patients were being incorrectly diagnosed for pneumonia than he expected and got the idea for this study, which received an Avant Foundation grant.


Professor Visvanathan and his team of five researchers, who each represent a link in the chain of pneumonia diagnosis, are investigating the accuracy of pneumonia diagnosis in the ED.


The results of the analysis will help inform the development of strategies to improve diagnostic accuracy and effect real change and rapid improvement in a common area of diagnostic error.


Read the full story.

University of Technology Sydney I 2018 recipient

Advancing knowledge of drivers of defensive practice in Australia | Project lead - Associate Professor Nola Ries

Defensive practice drives low-value care, with harm to patients and health systems. Yet, little work has been done in Australia to explore what is driving this behaviour or how change can be instigated at the doctor-patient relationship level.


Associate Professor Ries, a researcher with the Law, Health, Justice Research Centre at the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney, alongside colleagues in behavioural science, received an Avant Foundation grant to investigate what drives low-value care.


This will eventually deliver online CPD-training resources to educate clinicians and ultimately reduce low-value, defensive practices.


Read the full story.

The Avant Foundation (ABN 27 179 743 817) is administered by its trustee, Avant Foundation Limited (ACN 618 393 847). The Avant Foundation is a Public Ancillary Fund, endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient.