New Avant program offers more support to early career researchers

14 June 2022 | Avant Media

The new Avant Early Career Research Program (ECRP) builds on 10 years of the Doctor in Training Research Scholarship, providing funding and support for doctors at a time when it can be difficult to combine research with a career in medicine.

This was the situation for Dr Mina Kang, who started an independent research project on vascular dermatology during the final year of her undergraduate degree.

“I was immediately captivated by the novelty of scientific research and have been working on various other vascular dermatology projects ever since,” Dr Kang explains.

This led to her publishing at least eight journal articles (four first-author publications) since 2019 and co-authoring three international consensus documents and co-authored four textbook chapters on congenital vascular malformations as a primary author.

After being notified about the Doctor in Training Research Scholarship in Avant’s member newsletter, Dr Kang applied and received the grant she is currently using for her Master of Science by Research program at UNSW.

“Being able to exercise flexibility in terms of time commitments and scheduling of patients for recruitment has been key,” Dr Kang says. “Without the financial support from Avant to free me from other work commitments, this would have been very stressful.”

Research that advances medicine

As a resident medical officer at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Dr Kang is passionate about an area of dermatology that is under-researched.

Known as reticulate eruptions, these skin conditions commonly manifest due to an underlying subdermal vascular plexus pathology and can be a significant burden on patients, potentially signalling the progression of other diseases.

Reticulate eruptions are often one of the preliminary signs before more progressive diseases develop such as vessel inflammation and occlusion. Deeper understanding of the different characteristics between the subtypes of reticulate eruptions can facilitate early disease detection.

Starting your early career research journey

Research is a significant part of training for an early career doctor, yet finding and following the right research pathway is often challenging, complex and stressful. In response to these challenges and as part of its commitment to help early career doctors get through training, the 2022 Avant ECRP offers more than just financial support with the addition of research coaching and a skills development program.

Key program enhancements help build research capabilities

  • New $5,000 microgrants with dedicated research coaching from the grant and scholarship alumni.
  • A new research skills development program, providing access to the Stanford Online Medical Statistics Program.
  • Two new scholarship fields: social research in medicine and technology in medicine.

The 2022 program will provide up to $450,000 in funding across 29 research grants for full-time, part-time, short-term and microgrant projects, with microgrants supported by dedicated research coaching.

Applications now open

Applications for the 2022 Avant Early Career Research Program are open. The microgrant and skills development applications close on 2 August 2022, and the full-time, part-time and short-term grant applications close on 2 August 2022.

Terms and conditions apply

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