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Scientia Fellowship takes research to the next level

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29 October 2019
Simon Rosenbaum

Dr Simon Rosenbaum, School of Psychiatry, reflects on how his research goals will improve mental health.

Dr Simon Rosenbaum, and recently promoted Associate Professor, works in the School of Psychiatry and as an honorary fellow at the Black Dog Institute. His research focuses on the role of exercise in the prevention and management of various mental health disorders with a specific focus on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is a National Director of Exercise and Sports Science Australia, Vice President of the Australasian Society of Traumatic Stress Studies and is among the most experienced exercise physiologists dedicated to mental health in Australia. In his own words, Simon shares some thoughts about his experience as a Scientia Fellow.

What’s your current role and what are your major research interests?

I am a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychiatry, funded by a NHMRC fellowship and the Scientia Fellowship Program. My major research interests are in the role of exercise in the treatment and prevention of mental illness. I have a strong interest in psychological trauma and the role of sport in helping the most vulnerable people improve physical and mental health.

I will be spending the next six months in Bangladesh exploring how we can use sport as a psychosocial strategy to improve health for the nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees living in Southern Bangladesh.

Why did you apply for a Scientia Fellowship?

The aims of the Program around facilitating research impact resonated with my goals and aspirations, and my desire to conduct meaningful and translational research. The scheme also provides both financial and career development support that is critical for early career academics.

What have you been able to do/achieve as a Scientia Fellow?

The Scientia Fellowship has literally changed my life. Among other things, it gave me the flexibility and resources that allowed me to pursue my work in Bangladesh, which directly led to me gaining a position with the UN Migration Agency. It’s allowed me to pursue ideas, support students, advance my research and develop my own skills around academic leadership.

What do you see yourself doing in 5/10 years’ time?

Just as exercise is increasingly being seen as routine part of treatment for people experiencing poor mental health, our work is now focused on ensuring sport and exercise programs are available for the most disadvantaged members of society. The Scientia Fellowship has given me my dream job and I hope to be here for many years to come.

Would you recommend the Scientia Fellowship Program to your academic colleagues?

Absolutely, the Fellowship is the perfect opportunity to pursue meaningful research, in a supportive, world-class environment. I can’t recommend the program or the Scientia team enough. I am thankful for all of their support – it’s allowed me to take my research to the next level.
 
UNSW Medicine is recruiting for the 2020 Scientia Fellow cohort and accepting applications until November 17.

A flagship program for UNSW, Scientia Fellowships are available for early to midcareer researchers and provide an opportunity for career development, tenure-track appointment and generous professional development opportunities. For the 2020 Fellow cohort, the Program will change its recruitment strategy to focus on encouraging quality applications for specific Faculty advertised positions.    

“The Program encourages our emerging researchers to be leaders in their Schools and Faculties by engaging with the three pillars of social engagement, global impact and academic excellence,” explained Professor Ana Deletic, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, who is now leading the Program. “I encourage those who are looking to take the next step in their career and meet the Program’s criteria to consider applying.” 

The distinctive features of the Scientia Fellowship Program include a tenure track position with a career pathway commitment that has incredible flexibility. Scientia Fellows have access to a range of development opportunities relevant to their career stage across research, teaching and leadership, with a significant support and collaboration package.  

Open to UNSW staff and external candidates, the Program is now recruiting its fourth intake of Fellows, with many successful stories, like Simon’s, emerging from the previous cohorts. The 101 Scientia Fellows appointed from 2017 to 2019 are a diverse group representing every Faculty across UNSW: 

  • 58 internal appointments 
  • 57 women have been appointed, 41 of whom are women in STEMM 
  • 7 Indigenous researchers 

Find out more about Scientia Fellowship ProgramUNSW Medicine is taking applications until 17 November.