The ideal program for your early career research
Applications for the Avant Early Career Research Program grants and skills development course close on 7 June 2023.
For more information download the Info Pack 2023 and for full eligibility criteria - please download the full Terms and Conditions
The Avant Early Career Research Program builds on ten years of the Doctor in Training Research Scholarship Program that has funded over $4.3 million in support of over 176 projects.
Research is a significant part of training for an early career doctor, yet finding and following the right research pathway is often challenging, complex and stressful. The Avant Early Career Research Program is more than just financial support - it's a partnership across every stage of the early career research journey.
Grants, Coaching and Skills Development
The Avant Early Career Research Program provides funding for full-time, part-time, short-term and microgrant projects. Microgrant recipients receive coaching from an experienced research leader and are guided through their research challenges.
Our research skills development program features access to Stanford’s Medical Statistics Program, a Stanford School of Medicine educational program offered via Stanford Online. The online, self-paced program consists of three courses taught by Stanford faculty that introduce statistical concepts and techniques commonly used in medical research, empowering early career doctors with the confidence and capability to undertake their research journey successfully.
To apply you must:
- hold (at the time of application and throughout the period of the Award) a professional indemnity insurance policy with Avant Insurance Limited under the Intern, Resident Medical Officer or Doctor in Training category of practice;
- be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia; and
- be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.
For more information - please download our Info Pack 2023
For full eligibility criteria - please download the full Terms and Conditions
- Applications open: 1 March 2023
- Applications close: 7 June 2023
- Review of applications: June – September 2023
- Applicants notified of outcomes: August – September 2023
The Avant Early Career Research Program has selection criteria that include:
- personal details
- previous work experience
- past research
- research project
- research team and supervisor
- adherence to specific project evaluation criteria.
See what a past recipient has achieved in the video below
With the support of the Avant Early Career Research Program, early career researchers have made important contributions to improving the future of Australian medical practice. Their innovative studies have advanced the fields of surgery, rehabilitation, anaesthetics, medical administration and general practice.
Watch Video: Dr Al Rahim Habib - DrumBeat.ai: Artificial Intelligence to Triage Rural and Remote Paediatric Indigenous Ear Disease
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in rural and remote Australia have the highest rates of ear disease in the world. Childhood ear disease can cause long-term hearing loss, speech and language problems, poor school performance and fewer employment opportunities in the future. Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists are difficult to access in rural and remote areas. Most ear exams are performed by local community health workers. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise this condition, as computers can be trained to classify eardrum images to support local community healthcare workers triage children at risk for long-term hearing loss. This application Dr Habib and his colleagues have developed, DrumBeat.ai, has the potential to allow health workers with limited experience, who might be working remotely, to instantly recognise ear disease with an accuracy comparable to experts and contribute to faster triage and early treatment. The funding from the Avant Early Career Research Program grant that he received in 2021, went towards equipment purchase, data entry and gave Dr Habib the opportunity to focus on his research while growing his clinical experience and ultimately, publish his results in peer-reviewed internationally recognised journals. He was also awarded an Early Career Research Program grant for continuation of this work in 2022.
On a practical level, it delivers a sample size of suitable power for my research questions and simultaneously moves my project on to bigger and better things.
Dr Mina Kang | 2021 Recipient
Dr Sarah Scheuer I 2018 Recipient
NSW - Cardiothoracic Registrar, full-time scholarship recipient | Scholarship amount: $50,000
Originally interested in paediatrics, it was a Tetralogy of Fallot repair Dr Scheuer witnessed during her elective observing a cardiac surgery mission in Kenya that sparked her interest in cardiothoracic surgery. Later she joined the Cardiothoracic Department at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, as an intern, and was well and truly hooked. “I had an absolute blast in the cardiothoracic unit at Vinnies and now can’t fathom doing anything else”.
That was in 2013. Since then, Dr Scheuer completed her internship and residency, and is currently working as a surgical registrar and cardiothoracic research fellow. Passionate about what’s happening at the cutting-edge of medicine, Scheuer has embarked on a PhD, under the supervision of Professor Peter Macdonald. She will investigate the cardio-protective effects on donor hearts of a novel peptide extracted from spider venom, particularly those retrieved via a donation after circulatory death (DCD) pathway. Read the full story.
Dr Emily Fitzpatrick | 2016 Recipient
NSW - Paediatric Registrar, Quality in Medicine – Part-time | Scholarship amount: $25,000
There is little research into improving community engagement processes and seeking consent for research with Indigenous people. In response, Dr Emily Fitzpatrick, together with senior Aboriginal leaders of the Fitzroy Valley communities, initiated The Picture Talk Project. The project investigates how researchers can communicate in a more culturally appropriate and comprehensive way when seeking consent for research.
Having previously been involved with the Lililwan Project, Dr Fitzpatrick wanted to support Aboriginal children, trying to fill the huge gap in their health and wellbeing. The Picture Talk Project tackles an important health problem that was threatening the oral traditions affecting the children of the community.
With funding from Avant, Dr Fitzpatrick can continue her collaboration with community leaders in this project. The support also gives her a flexible timeline to ensure it is culturally respectful and ethically sound.
“This very unique research has enabled me to demonstrate to national and international medical audiences how research with Aboriginal communities can be conducted in a way that is empowering and equitable. I am very hopeful the work we did will have an impact on current NHMRC policies and protocols, as well as with other indigenous communities around the globe,” Dr Fitzpatrick said.
“I am exceptionally proud to be a recipient of the Avant Doctor in Training Scholarship. It is a great honour and privilege to be acknowledged for all the time, effort, passion, patience and persistence spent in ensuring the success of The Picture Talk Project.”
Dedicated to paediatric issues for low socioeconomic communities, Dr Fitzpatrick presently works in Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals.
Her research project is still in progress.
Dr Felix Ng | 2016 Recipient
VIC – Neurology | Scholarship amount: $12,500
One in six Australians will have a stroke in their lifetime, with stroke killing more Australians than breast and prostate cancer. The faster effective treatments are given, the higher the chance of a complete recovery.
Dr Felix Ng’s project aims to develop a new evaluation method to help hospitals detect and analyse problems in their systems of care that may delay stroke treatment.
Using this method, any hospital in the world can self-evaluate their system and improve the quality and speed of their care.
With a Masters of Public Health from James Cook University, Dr Ng has focused on public health, seeking to improve healthcare and the various models of its delivery.
He has been involved in the Rural Inter-Professional Project at the University of Melbourne, designed to improve quality in healthcare, including community oncology care in regional and rural areas of Victoria.
Dr Jonathan Kaufman | 2015 Recipient
VIC – Paediatrics | Scholarship amount: $25,000
Urinary tract infections are common in young children. Untreated, they can lead to permanent renal scarring, meningitis and severe sepsis. Urine samples are required to diagnose or exclude infections, but collecting samples from pre-continent children can be difficult.
Dr Jonathan Kaufman’s research demonstrated that a simple cutaneous stimulation method, dubbed ‘Quick-Wee’, increased the rate of infant voiding for clean catch urine within five minutes. The process should help clinicians collect urine samples quickly, to guide immediate clinical decision-making for faster treatment. It may ultimately inform Australian and international guidelines for investigation of urinary tract infections in young children in the future.
Dr Kaufman says he is humbled and grateful to Avant for the support of the Doctor in Training Research scholarship. “Particularly for junior doctors who are combining part-time research and clinical training like myself, it’s a unique opportunity because most of the research scholarships available are for full-time research only,” he said. “Scholarships like this allow you to bring your research to a higher standard and really opens the door to future opportunities to collaborate with senior researchers, and then over time develop more independent research and then hopefully a career which combines clinical work and academic research.”
Dr Kaufmann presented his study at the Australasian Society of Emergency Medicine National Conference. He was awarded the Best Trainee Paper prize and Paediatric Trainee Research award for excellence at the Victorian RACP Trainee Research Awards. He has published several papers has presented at international conferences. His research is pivotal in diagnosing urinary tract infections in young children, particularly those under 2 years.
A full list of our recipients since 2012 can be found here: past recipients.