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Tuesday 8 December 2015 10:16am

Faafetai Sopoaga image
Faumuina Associate Professor Faafetai Sopoaga

Twenty of the 36 budding Pacific health researchers funded in the Health Research Council's (HRC) latest Pacific Career Development Awards programme are based at the University of Otago.

Eighteen of the Otago awards were for Pacific summer studentships, which introduce research to Pacific students wanting to develop research skills with supervision and guidance from experienced senior researchers. These awards are valued at $5000 and involve a ten-week project over summer.

Announcing these and a suite of other Career Development Awards HRC Chief Executive Professor Kath McPherson said it was “exciting to see the big increase in the number of Pacific summer studentships awarded as these are our future Pacific health research leaders.”

Other latest Otago recipients of Pacific career development awards are Mrs Acelini Hakopa, who gained an HRC Pacific Master's scholarship, and Dr Ramona Tiatia, who received an HRC Pacific postdoctoral fellowship.

Faumuina Associate Professor Faafetai Sopoaga, who is Associate Dean (Pacific) in the University of Otago's Division of Health Sciences, says she is delighted by all the recipients' well-earned success.

“I believe this success results from the commitment of Health Science Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Crampton, Divisional leaders and supervisors to Pacific developments in the Division.

“The awardees' fantastic showing in this HRC programme is also a testament to the great work that our Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit does in coordinating the support and mentoring of Pacific health science students,” Associate Professor Sopoaga says.

She noted the important role that Dunedin School of Medicine Associate Dean (Pacific), Dr Rose Richards, played through leading the coordination of applications for the research students.

Additionally, Associate Professor Sopoaga acknowledged the “wonderful support” from the Pacific HRC manager Dr Nuhi Seve-Williams.

Otago's 2016 HRC Pacific Career Development Award recipients

HRC Pacific summer studentship ($5000 over 10 weeks)

Ms Melbournemockba Coudetalei Mauiliu
Interpreting reported lived experiences of injured Pacific women in New Zealand

Miss Damaris Dekker
Preventable illness in Pacific children and infants

Mr David Nair
Alcohol consumption and behaviours of pacific youth

Miss Kaylarina Fuatai
Rheumatic fever injection compliance rates in Samoa

Miss Hilla Fukofuka
Associations between mental wellbeing and diabetes biomarkers in Pasifika youth

Mr Ryder Fuimaono
Samoan patients' pathways to renal services – A paired case study

Mr Troy Ruhe
Pacific people's falls prevention research

Mr Zebulun Laqekoro
Pacific young people's perspective of oral health and oral health care

Miss Brogan Maoate
Patterns of nutritional behaviour among a Pacific Christchurch cohort

Mr Jonathan Feki
Spiritual care and kidney disease in New Zealand: Perspective of the patient

Miss Eirenei Tauai
Does language have a positive impact on the prevalence of mental health

Miss Tapuaki Vehikite
Anti-fibrotic effect of remote ischemic preconditioning on the diabetic heart

Ms Ulalei Aiono
Pacific people's opinions about prescription charges

Miss Theresa Fitzpatrick
Suitability of a low carb, high fat diet amongst Pasifika peoples

Mr James Devoe
Vulnerable at-risk unborn babies at Counties Manukau Health, Auckland

Miss Nina Maifea
Rethink: factors influencing student's life-work balance decision

Miss Fuakava Tanginoa
Ethical issues in sexuality education – an exploration of Pacific approaches

Mr Adaab Azam
The relationship between multimorbidity and polypharmacy

HRC Pacific Master's scholarship

Mrs Acelini Hakopa
Pacific people's experience of mental disorder and mental health services
12 months, $20,104

HRC Pacific postdoctoral fellowship

Dr Ramona Tiatia
App for Houses and Households (A4HH)
48 months, $105,900

For more information, contact:

Faumuina Associate Professor Faafetai Sopoaga
Associate Dean (Pacific)
Division of Health Sciences
University of Otago
Tel 03 479 7088

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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