Dr Esther Davis

IHMRI Palliative care researcher shares her gratitude for career boost.

Dr Esther Davis from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and UOW’s School of Psychology was the 2019 winner of the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Research/Clinical Excellence Award.

The award recognises a female researcher who has demonstrated high impact in their respective field. It was presented by IHMRI’s Patron, the renowned scientist Dame Bridget Ogilvie at the annual luncheon in her honour.

The event brings together a range of researchers to support positive change in the progression of women through their research careers.

Dr Davis is a Clinical Psychology Registrar and research officer within the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health at UOW. Her research has had a significant impact on palliative care.

Dr Davis says the Dame Bridget award afforded her the opportunity to travel to New York to attend the Center for Research End-Of-Life Care (CRELC) and build on networking opportunities.

“My research interest is carers and prolonged grief disorder. Improving end of life for patients and their families was very much the focus of my visit to the center in New York,” said Dr Davis.

Dr Davis has developed a novel self-help intervention for the carers of patients in palliative care. The results have been used in the planning of Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) palliative care bereavement services, and to support a government commissioned report.

“I was able to spend two weeks at the center and was invited to present our latest research program on distress from breathlessness. The topic is a common area of interest at CRELC, including our IHMRI funded project examining routine practice in management of distress from breathlessness in ISLHD palliative care,” said Esther.

“The travel was a really important opportunity for an early career researcher like myself. It’s really hard to find stable positions and be recognised for your qualifications in this field of research,” Esther went on to say.

“In New York, I received so much support and feedback about fellowship ideas and I hope to apply for one at the NSW Cancer Institute. One day I hope to run my own research program.”

Esther says she would encourage all early career researchers to apply for the 2020 Dame Bridget Ogilvie Awards.

“To receive acknowledgement and recognition for my research was invaluable. Sometimes it can be really easy to underestimate the value of your work. Recognition from peers and mentors is really important,” said Esther.

“It was a fantastic trip and I am incredibly grateful for the experience, thank you again for the opportunity.”

“My advice to applicants this year is to be strategic about how you use the funding. For me it was an opportunity for networking and laying the foundations for future collaborations.”

“But don’t forget to take a break too and enjoy the city sights,” she added.

Applications for the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Awards are now open

Celebrating women researchers at Lunch with Dame Bridget Ogilvie

Media contact

Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator

t: 4221 4702

m: 0417 044 867

e: louisenegline@ihmri.org.au

Top Photo: Supplied

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