Six Nepali scholars secure Professional Development Grants
Posted: 7 October 2020
Through Professional Development Grants, Australia Awards – South and West Asia strengthens its commitment to provide opportunities that allow scholars to have positive, educational, engaging and leadership-enhancing experiences in Australia, creating valuable personal and professional connections.
In a highly competitive round, six Australia Awards scholars from Nepal recently secured Professional Development Grants for professional activities and internships. All the recipients are currently pursuing master’s degrees or PhD programs in Australia. The six new recipients from Nepal and their grant projects are profiled below.
Buna Bhandari Bhattarai (PhD in Public Health, the University of New South Wales) will use her activity grant to present a research paper on ‘Cultural validation and evaluation of psychometric properties of Hill Bone Medication Compliance sub-scale for patients with hypertension in Nepal’ at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting in San Francisco, USA, in October 2020. Due to COVID-19, presenters based overseas will participate virtually. The international conference brings together global public health professionals for scientific programming, networking, social events and poster sessions.
“I am thrilled to receive this grant, through which I will be able to connect with global researchers and open doors for new collaborative work,” Buna says.
She also looks forward to participating in Continuing Medical Education courses from APHA, specifically those on epidemiology and building research and data skills.
Also using an activity grant, Preeti Maharjan (Master of Public Health, the University of Adelaide) will boost her knowledge translation skills by attending a one-day online short course on design and data visualisation from the University of Melbourne’s School of Public and Global Health. Additionally, in October she will attend the virtual Australian Public Health Conference 2020, organised by the Public Health Association Australia with the theme Public Health Action: Response to bushfires, climate and coronavirus. Preeti says, “Global public health issues such as climate change and COVID-19 have especially severely affected developing countries such as Nepal. This opportunity will help me understand what has worked in other countries.”
The third recipient of an activity grant is Amit Uprety (Master of Justice and Criminology, RMIT University), who will undertake an RMIT online certificate course in design thinking. In Australia, Amit has found that design thinking, which promotes user-friendly initiatives through disruptive intervention, leads to wider acceptance of innovation programs. The course will support Amit’s future work within Nepal’s justice sector. “This opportunity has further enhanced my capacity to lead innovation programs, and I intend to further share these programs with others through workshops to promote innovation culture within the bureaucracy of Nepal,” Amit says.
Prakash Lal Das (Master of Disability Policy and Practice, Flinders University) will use his internship grant to intern with an organisation specialising in early childhood development of children with disability. “I am passionate about bringing positive change to the lives of children with disability through early childhood care and intervention,” says Prakash. “Through the internship, I will learn practical skills focused on under-six-year-old children with disability from an Australian organisation specialising in Early Childhood Early Intervention services.”
Nirupama Ghimire (Master of International Development Practice, Monash University) will intern in the non-profit sector, focusing on health and sustainable development. “I feel fortunate and encouraged to receive this internship grant,” says Nirupama. “As a student of International Development, I will learn the technicalities of the development scenario from a global perspective. This experience will enhance my professional and personal competency in the field I aspire to work in in the future.”
Rajeshwori Shrestha (Master of Laboratory Medicine, RMIT University) will intern at a hospital diagnostic facility in Melbourne to gain hands-on experience in Australia’s COVID-19 crisis management. “This internship will help my personal and professional growth, leveraging my confidence and competence to work in a team,” Rajeshwori says. “I hope to learn the Australian diagnostic system and culture so I may strengthen equitable, accessible and more reliable diagnostic facilities in Nepal.”