27 September 2016

Training boost for WA researchers

Western Australia’s Chief Medical Officer has launched the first in a series of on-line training modules designed specifically to enhance the research skills of Western Australia’s health and medical researchers.

Professor Gary Geelhoed said the “Good Clinical Practice” modules were part of the Research Education and Training Program (RETP) announced last year that would provide the research community with comprehensive research skills training covering all aspects of the research process.

“A vibrant research culture is the cornerstone of a world-class health system and this program will help lift the already high standard of research in this State,” Professor Geelhoed said.

“With a highly-trained health research workforce we can look forward to attracting and retaining the best and brightest of researchers and building on both the quality and quantity of research undertaken in this state, ultimately leading to better health outcomes for all Western Australians.”

The RETP was announced last year as half of a $1.3 million State Government research commitment to improve the translation of health and medical research into practical outcomes.

The other half of that commitment helped establish the WA Health Translation Network (WAHTN), a consortium of the State's major hospitals, medical research institutes and five universities. The WAHTN developed – and will now deliver – the RETP.

The RETP is tailored specifically to meet the needs of Western Australia’s research community, a feature welcomed by local researcher and Director of Research at Princess Margaret Hospital, Peter Richmond.

“Until now we have relied largely on online training programs developed in the US and UK which, though insightful, are not always relevant or transferrable to the Australian or Western Australian setting,” Associate Professor Richmond said.

“This is the first local program of its kind and will enable our researchers to gain skills training that is applicable to the Western Australian health environment and its systems and ensure they are conducting research to a high standard ” he said.

Professor Richmond, a clinical researcher of 20 years’ experience and with more than 90 studies to his name, said the RETP would benefit researchers at all levels of the career spectrum – from university students and early-career researchers to high-performing research scientists and busy clinicians.

The RETP provides flexible online training that is freely available to all members of the WAHTN.

For more information about the new training program visit the RETP website (external site).

ENDS

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