Management styles and self-development tools were key themes of the 2021 Emerging Leaders Program conducted by the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI).

It’s the first time the Perron Institute has participated in this program and contributes to the Institute’s strategy to provide development and leadership opportunities for researchers, particularly those in the early to mid career stages.

Dr Jane Cross, Manager of Laboratory Operations, Perron Institute, and Dr May Aung-Htut, co-head of Molecular Therapies Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University, were among the participants.

As part of their 12-month development course, Dr Cross and Dr Aung-Htut led a project with researchers from TKI called ‘Methods to Improve Translation and Dissemination of Research Findings’. A core focus was knowledge translation – bridging the gap between science and practice.

Consumer involvement has become an integral part of conducting high-quality research and obtaining research funding, along with the need for effective communication of research processes and outcomes to the consumer.

To gain insight into the gaps and opportunities, team members held a focus group with the Perron Institute Marketing, Fundraising and Communications team. They also conducted interviews with key stakeholders, and distributed two surveys – one for researchers and one for consumers.

Survey and interview findings highlighted the importance of using lay language and to regularly share key developments and achievements with people in the community. Results also indicated that consumers and researchers prefer to receive information digitally – via webinars/seminars, social media and websites.

In response to the question: ‘When it comes to finding out results from research groups/projects, what would you like to see?’ A consumer said: “I’d like to know when something happens that the researchers are excited about and explain why the finding will make a difference.”

To celebrate the completion of the course, a graduation dinner was held at The University Club of Western Australia. Perron Institute CEO Steve Arnott gave an inspiring presentation, and all participants were presented with an award and certificate of completion.

Last week at the Perron Institute Drs Cross and Aung-Htut presented their key learnings and project findings.

Congratulations to Dr Cross, Dr Aung-Htut and all involved.