Allied Health Students get a Chance to Experience Research Projects in Regional City

Written by Bronwyn Ellis, University of South Australia

Once again in the November to February period after examinations, a scholarship scheme run by the University of South Australia’s Department of Rural Health has enabled allied health students, mostly from the metropolitan area, to live and work in Whyalla for four or eight weeks. As well as giving them a taste of research and other project work, the scheme aims to encourage students to think about working in a rural area when they finish their degree.

Out-of-town students have their accommodation provided at the on-campus student village, travel costs are met, and they all receive a stipend of $375 per week.

The latest cohort worked on a wide range of subjects, including projects relating to suicide prevention, health promotion materials for older men, a work, health and safety management system for the local men’s shed, a review of computerised therapy supports for people with cardiovascular disease, and a project to track the location of graduates.

A video to accompany a community grant application was produced, involving the learning of many new skills by one of the students, master classes covered various skills needed by researchers, and students were also encouraged to write a health promotion article for online publication by the local press.

Many positive comments were made about the whole experience, with students valuing the learning experiences as “the real prize we walked away with.”