MSHS Early and Mid-Career Academic Team Secure Inaugural MDHS Diversity and Inclusion Grant

A research team who work across all five of the School’s departments have been awarded $25,000 from the inaugural round of the Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) faculty’s Diversity and Inclusion grant program. The team will identify and prioritise challenges faced by early and mid-career academics to inform the development of the MDHS’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

The team is comprised entirely of early and mid-career academics (EMCAs) – including Dr Marianne Coleman, Dr Flora Hui, A/Prof Kristin Diemer, Dr Gemma McKibbin, Dr Michelle Hall, Dr Belinda Lawford, Dr Kate Hayward, Dr Rebecca Jarden and Dr Elaina Kefalianos. They are all members or co-chairs of the School’s Early and Mid-Career Academics Association.

‘The team is obviously ecstatic to have been awarded the grant. EMCAs represent a significant proportion of the academic workforce in the faculty, and we really want to make sure that their voices are heard in developing the new Action Plan’, said Dr Marianne Coleman.

‘I think the project being designed and led by EMCAs will benefit the research, allowing us to adopt a really systematic and participatory approach’ she said.

Headshot of Dr Marianne Coleman

Pictured: Dr Marianne Coleman

The team will design and undertake a survey and prioritisation workshop involving EMCAs from across the MDHS faculty, with the aim of uncovering the diversity and inclusion issues needing the most attention. Previous faculty and University-level initiatives will also be evaluated during this process.

‘There are many areas and issues to explore, particularly given the impact that the pandemic has had on academic activities’ said Dr Coleman.

It is hoped the research will be published in a peer-review journal, and that the findings can be used to address issues beyond the faculty.

‘Much of the previous research on this topic in Australia has investigated broader academic sectors such as STEMM’, Dr Coleman said.

‘However, we know that diversity and inclusion issues can differ for clinical disciplines. We’re hoping to provide some more insight on this topic by focusing specifically on the Schools within MDHS, with the hope that it may also inform practices beyond the University’.

The School congratulates the team on this fantastic achievement, and looks forward to promoting the chance to take part in this research to EMCAs. To join the School of Health Sciences Early and Mid-Career Academics Association, simply email