Press Release – Gravida
Gravida announces new grant recipients
Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development has awarded almost $3 million in its latest round of research funding grants for 19 short-term research projects, 21 PhD scholarships, including two joint PhD Scholarships with the Riddet Institute and the inaugural jointly-funded Heart Foundation-Gravida Postdoctoral Fellowship.Over 85 applications for funding from Gravida members were received. These were then subject to peer-review by Gravida’s extensive international network of experts.
As a government-funded Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), Gravida supports collaboration between scientists throughout New Zealand and internationally, across a range of themes and disciplines to investigate how conditions encountered in early-life affect the health and way an individual grows and develops throughout life.
In the 2013 round, Gravida researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Otago, Canterbury, Massey and AgResearch received grants for cutting-edge, exploratory projects that seek to answer science questions such as cell signalling, physiological questions surrounding the growth of the placenta, in utero process modelling, through to clinical trials aimed at helping premature and very low birth-weight babies survive and flourish. A number of these projects will investigate the detrimental effect poor diet and obesity have on children and adults – a problem that has widespread social and economic implications for New Zealand and many other countries.
This year’s investment in 21 PhD scholarships is Gravida’s largest group of student grants in its 10- year history, and represents a strategic focus on post-graduate training.
“The PhD scholarships are essential for building the critical mass of committed researchers in this crucial area of science,” says Gravida director Professor Phil Baker. “Every student is mentored and overseen by an experienced researcher, including members of Gravida’s International College of experts. This provides our students with exposure to international thought leaders and networks – an exceptional opportunity for career development.”
Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development is a government-funded Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE ) that connects leading biomedical, clinical and animal scientists throughout New Zealand and globally. Gravida-funded researchers focus on how conditions encountered in the womb and in early life affect the health of an individual and how they grow and develop.
Gravida promotes the use of this research in the clinical, public policy and education sectors to benefit the economic and social wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
The Riddet Institute is CoRE that carries out research on food and nutrition.