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Griffith University’s Indigenous Program showcasing the researchers of the future

Griffith University’s Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Program is offering new pathways to upskill undergraduate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and prepare them for PhD study, through their innovative research initiative.

The Kungullanji Program, created by Indigenous PhD student Jennifer-Leigh Campbell, offers eligible undergraduate students a scholarship to develop their own research project. She developed this program from her desire to further her own and other Indigenous students’ educational opportunities.

“I graduated as the only Aboriginal person in my undergraduate engineering degree, and I knew then that there should be more opportunities for Indigenous students to progress their studies further,” Ms Campbell said.

“I am very proud of this program as not only does it offer a training program and a higher education pathway for Indigenous students, it also encourages the sharing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and perspectives in research.”

The Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Program provides opportunities for research in a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, ecology, environmental science, nursing, psychology and public health.

In the program, students get to grow their skills through interning with an academic supervisor to create a research development program that includes research training, workshops and cultural support sessions.

Estin Hunter, Bachelor of Exercise Science student and research scholarship recipient has had the chance to play a part in studying how chronic neck pain can be alleviated by altering the perception of the body in space, through virtual reality-based treatment.

From the success of this research, there are now plans to create a treatment regime to use in clinical trials to see if it can have a long-term effect on those suffering chronic neck pain or whiplash injury.

Estin is excited about the opportunity to continue to work with the Recover Injury Research Centre to further develop the positive results of the study.

“Taking part in this program is such a great opportunity, and has made me consider the possibility of a future career in research,” Mr Hunter said.

“Research is what leads the world to new discoveries, and I am really looking forward to continuing my work with the Recover Injury Research Centre.”

Estin Hunter researching new pathways for chronic pain management.

The Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Program and Symposium, now in its second year, partners with Griffith Sciences, Griffith Health, the GUMURRII Student Support Unit and the Indigenous Research Unit at Griffith University, with a goal of expanding to include more universities and research organisations.

The team also hope to gain sponsors for the 2016 summer program so they can continue to offer Indigenous students the chance to extend their skills outside of their course, as well as provide more opportunities for undergraduate students to navigate pathways to PhD research.

Griffith University’s Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Program team.

Further information

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
18 July, 2017

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