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CareWest’s President, George Blackwell and CEO Tim Curran recently launched a Human and Community Services Research Scholarship. Honours and postgraduate research students at Charles Sturt University will have the opportunity to apply for one of CareWest’s research scholarship in the coming months, with awards to be taken up in 2016.

Mr Curran said the research scholarship program is an exciting new initiative for CareWest that aims to enhance the knowledge we have about service delivery in the human and community services sector, saying it is a great way for CareWest to assist research scholars uncover and apply new knowledge.

In its first year, the scholarship program will be made available to research students attending Charles Sturt University, specifically those scholars in the human and community services fields. In future years the scholarship will be available to students studying at a broader range of institutions.

Associate Professor Oliver Burmeister, who leads Charles Sturt Universities Health Services Research Area said often research is viewed as being purely theoretical. Ïn this case, however, CareWest is actively seeking research students and assisting them to undertake studies that are closely aligned to service delivery; aged care, nursing, mental health, community development, disability care, and allied health services,” he said.

Associate Professor Rylee Dionigi of Charles Sturt University’s School of Human Movement Studies told the Central Western Daily that the University was delighted that CareWest has taken this initiative.

“Yet again, CareWest is demonstrating industry leadership by introducing the scholarship. It’s an innovative program that links research outcomes directly to the needs of our community,” Associate Professor Dionigi said.

Asked about the benefit to the students involved, Head of Research and Evaluation at CareWest, Dr Gregory Dresser said one of the challenges in undertaking research is the practical application of the new knowledge.

“Here at CareWest we’re taking students’ research interests and applying them in the real world. This provides students with higher levels of engagement and satisfaction. We’re also able to provide students with access to professionals working in the sector and a range of real life service users – a living laboratory if you will. And of course the financial support is undoubtedly useful.”

Each scholarship is valued at $5,000 a year during the period of each student’s program. CareWest hope to attract other service providers and benefactors to the program in the future to extend the research opportunities available to local community-minded scholars. Further information on the scholarship program can be obtained by contacting Dr Dresser at Greg.Dresser@cw.org.au

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