NHMRC honour for top ranked female researcher

Professor Rebecca Ivers (left) accepted her award from Professor Kathryn North of Murdoch Children's Research Institute [Photo supplied by NHMRC – photographer Irene Dowdy]


Professor Rebecca Ivers, Director of the Injury Division at The George Institute, has been honoured with a major award from Australia’s peak medical research funding body, the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Prof Ivers was awarded the NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship Public Health Award, which is given to the country’s top ranked female public health fellowship applicant. The award is in recognition of her work in reducing the burden of injury and improving trauma care, with a focus on addressing inequities in low income settings and in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her work covers road injury, burns, drowning, falls, and more, including a major program of work to address drowning in Bangladesh.

“Injuries are a global public health issue, and a leading cause of death in Australia for people aged one to 44.  There are substantial inequalities in the injury burden, both for serious injury and death, by socioeconomic status,” said Prof Ivers.

“The biggest health challenge I see is how we manage these rising inequities in health in our communities. This will require a sophisticated public health approach that addresses the social determinants of health.

“It is a tremendous honour to be given this award, and I am exceptionally proud of the team I have built and of the partnerships and collaborations, both local and global, that enable my research. I also feel privileged to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to design and evaluate programs to address injury, and mentor the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research leaders.”

Prof Ivers received the award at the annual NHMRC Research Excellence Awards Dinner in Canberra on 27 June 2018. She is one of three awardees of the Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, which were first given out in 2011 with the aim of recognising and supporting female researchers in their careers. In 2007 Prof Ivers received the inaugural NHMRC Achievement Award acknowledging her significant contribution towards young drivers and road safety.