What is a Research Fellowship?
The Common Good

What is a Research Fellowship?

Research is a long game, and once a question is answered it often leads to more questions that need exploration.

Those who have been awarded their PhD – or are nearing its completion – and have a strong desire to investigate their research subject further may want to apply for a fellowship.

In this blog, we explain what a research fellowship is and introduce you to our two most recent research fellowship recipients, proudly supported by The Common Good and our generous community of supporters.

What is a Research Fellowship?

Research fellowships are a sustainable way to fund significant research as they offer multi-year opportunities for dedicated and experienced researchers to conduct their own research project over a specified period.

These researchers have usually been awarded their Doctor of Philosophy or are close to completing it.  Research fellows are required to have articles peer-reviewed and published.

The specific details of a research fellowship vary depending on the funding body; however, through The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation, research fellowships are typically three years in length with an investment of around $300,000.

These fellowships are designed to support full-time researchers at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) campus or those in a significant partnership with TPCH. Fellowships also offer mentoring and career development opportunities to the applicant.

Why charities play a crucial role in funding Research Fellowships?

Many significant medical breakthroughs require years of dedicated effort. With reliable funding, researchers can commit to long-term studies without the constant fear of project discontinuation due to financial constraints.

When researchers don’t have to constantly worry about financial constraints, they can dedicate more time to designing experiments, collecting data, and analysing results.

The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation’s funding for research fellowships contributes to the acceleration of research outcomes by reducing distractions for researchers, and supporting sustained, long-term research efforts. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of making meaningful and timely advancements in the field.

Meet our recent research fellowship recipients

Ms Melanie Spratt, Cardiac Scientist and PhD Candidate

Ms Melanie Spratt is a Cardiac Scientist and PhD candidate with the Cardio-Vascular Molecular and Therapeutics Translational Research Group.

Her fellowship will focus on the rapid identification of new heart failure medicines using stem cells.

“I am beyond grateful for the support of The Common Good. I am passionate about developing new medicines for patients with heart disease, and this gives me the opportunity to take my research to the next level. Through this research fellowship, I am hopeful we will be able to identify life-saving medicines faster than ever before,” said Ms Spratt.  

Dr Kelly Chee, Senior Research Scientist, UQ Thoracic Research Centre  

Dr Chee’s fellowship will involve investigating new strategies to detect treatable lung cancer with better test accuracy and sensitivity.

The research will aim to improve the detection of lung cancer through low-risk medical procedures, such as bronchoscopy and low-risk blood tests, to better detect lung cancer progression before it reaches an incurable stage.

“This research fellowship will allow us to find new and improved ways to detect lung cancer more effectively, and to better identify patients who may be eligible for targeted therapies that will, in turn, increase the chance of surviving lung cancer.” Dr Chee said.

Applying for a Research Fellowship Through The Common Good

The Common Good, an initiative of The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation, has awarded 15 research fellowships since 2017.

Applications for research fellowships typically open in July every year.

To learn more about the requirements and process, contact Research Manager Dr Megan Grace or check out the Research Hub on our website.

Published: November 7, 2023

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