Equity Fellowships benefit the University and community

8 November 2012

(L-R) Equity Fellowship recipients Dr Lenka Munoz, Dr Corinne Caillaud, Dr Sarah Mansfield, Associate Professor Parisa Aslani, Dr Natalie Munro, Dr Suncica Lah and (front) Dr Marina Robinson.
(L-R) Equity Fellowship recipients Dr Lenka Munoz, Dr Corinne Caillaud, Dr Sarah Mansfield, Associate Professor Parisa Aslani, Dr Natalie Munro, Dr Suncica Lah and (front) Dr Marina Robinson.

Obesity, memory, neuroplasticity, development banks and children's language are among the research areas to benefit from this year's University of Sydney Equity Fellowships.

Nine academics have been awarded Brown, Thompson and Laffan Fellowships, which provide academic staff with relief from routine teaching and administrative responsibilities to concentrate on research.

Recipients this year are from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Faculty of Pharmacy and Sydney Medical School.

A joint initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Staff and Student Equal Opportunity Unit, each Fellow will receive $60,000 over two semesters.

"These programs support talented researchers who have encountered various obstacles to developing their ideas and careers," said Professor Jill Trewhella, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

"I have seen the opportunities these programs have given past fellows and I feel confident this year's recipients will similarly flourish.

"It is of course also a wonderful benefit to the University and the wider community that these talented researchers are able extend their contributions to their fields."

The University this year awarded five Thompson Fellowships, designed to enhance the careers of academic women and remedy the under-representation of women in senior academic positions.

A Thompson Fellowship will allow Dr Corinne Caillaud, from the Faculty of Health Sciences, to pursue her research on the role the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) could have on treating obesity.

"Recent research completed with my colleagues has shown that EPO has potential as a fat-burning drug because it promotes fat oxidation and weight loss," Dr Caillaud said.

"I'm very excited about this fellowship as it will be a fantastic opportunity to pursue research with potential significant insights on a major health problem. The project will include the creation of a multidisciplinary team and the chance to strengthen both national (particularly the ANSTO-BMRI Collaborative Platform) and international networks."

The Brown Fellowships allow recipients to re-establish or enhance their academic careers after undertaking sustained primary carer duties.

One of this year's three recipients is Dr Susan Park, from the Department of Government and International Relations, who has recently devoted time to caring for her young son who has a mental disability. Dr Park is using her fellowship to investigate how multilateral development banks (MDBS), such as the World Bank, are held accountable for major development projects.

"I am doing a case study of accountability claims by people affected by the world's largest transboundary oil pipeline, which crosses Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, to assess the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms used by MDBS."

The Laffan Fellowships support researchers who have, or who have previously experienced, a significant disability, and aims to assist recipients to re-establish or enhance their academic careers. This year's recipient is Dr Marina Robinson from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, whose research interests include an evaluation of the string instrument teacher, Jan Sedivka.

The Brown and Laffan Fellowships are open to both male and female applicants.

The full list of Equity Fellows is:

Brown Fellowships

  • Dr Lenka Munoz, Sydney Medical School
  • Dr Natalie Munro, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr Susan Park, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Thompson Fellowships

  • Associate Professor Parisa Aslani, Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Dr Corinne Caillaud, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr Sarah Gleeson-White, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr Sarah Mansfield, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment
  • Dr Suncica Lah, Faculty of Science

Laffan Fellowship

  • Dr Marina Robinson, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

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