2022 Seed Grant Winners Announced

The strategic goals of the ITTC-JB are to train and develop future leaders, advance the field of digitally informed joint biomechanics and personalised orthopaedic treatment, and to facilitate the translation of knowledge and technologies through meaningful collaboration. To contribute to these three goals, a Seed Grant scheme was proposed back in July 2022 to empower the future workforce of our Centre (PhD students and Post-doctoral Fellows) to independently develop a project proposal, communicate their idea, and carry out a project.    

With a total of 15,000 AUD on offer to launch a key research project that would harness the strengths of each of our 4 program streams (Computational methods to assess shoulder function – Program 1, robot assisted testing and surgery – Program 2, Optimised tissue-engineered scaffolds, with a focus on bioengineered scaffolds to assist in the repair of rotator cuff tears – Program 3, and In vivo assessment of upper limb movements, physiology and rehabilitation – Program 4), the teams developed their project ideas, team membership, grant application writing skills and pitching skills across a series of 4 workshops. 

On November 25th 2022 at the ARC Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics’ Annual Research Symposium, four teams pitched their grant submissions to our esteemed panel of judges Mr. Massoud Shahi (Zimmer Biomet), Prof. Yi-Chin Toh (QUT (Queensland University of Technology) University of Technology), Prof. Kevin Tetsworth (MQ Health), and Prof. Peter Pivonka (QUT (Queensland University of Technology) in a short but concise 5 minutes.  

After much deliberation, we are proud to award 2 successful applications:

‘Biomechanical characteristics of the human supraspinatus tendon in vivo under physiological loading.’

Lead investigators: Dr. Bart Bolsterlee, Dr. Eleonore Bolle, and Dr. Wolbert van den Hoorn; with co-investigators Dr Freek Hollman, Miss Yilan (Olivia) Zhang, Miss Asawari P., and Miss Sepideh Shemshad. Industry mentors: Prof. Lynne Bilston (University of New South Wales) and Adj. Prof. Ken Cutbush (Ken Cutbush Clinic – Brisbane Private Hospital).

‘Toward precision tracking of the shoulder joint using ultrasound tomography.’

Lead investigator: Dr Dermot O’Rourke; with Mr Arun Jolly, Mr Ahmed Sewify, Miss Natali Uribe, Dr Roberto Pareyon, Mr Maxence Lavaill, and Mr xiaolong fan. Academic mentor: A/Prof Saulo Martelli.

We want to thank our unsuccessful teams with the following submissions: 

‘Explainable Deep Learning approach for shoulder abnormalities detection.’ 

Lead Investigator: Dr Laith Alzubaidi; with co-investigators Mr. Jinshuai Bai, Dr. Asma Salhi, and Dr. Freek Hollman. Industry mentors: Prof. Yuantong Gu (QUT), Adj. Prof. Ashish Gupta (QUASR, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Akunah), and external collaborator Prof. Amin Abbosh (University of Queensland).  

‘Non-invasive assessment of rotator cuff function’ 

Lead Investigator: Dr. Wolly van den Hoorn; co-investigators: Dr. Eleonore Bolle, Dr. Roberto Pareyon, Mr. Francois Bruyer-Monteleone, and Miss Yuyao (Amy) Ma. Industry mentors: Prof. Francois Hug from the Université Côte D’Azur, A/Prof Kylie Tucker (University of Queensland), and Adj. Prof Ashish Gupta (QUASR, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Akunah).  

 We wish the winners all the best for their multi-disciplinary projects, with further developments to come. 

2022 Research Symposium

On Friday 25th of November, the ARC Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics showcased their biomedical research and commitment to personalised patient care in their annual research symposium.

Held at the home of the IITC, the Queensland University of Technology’s Science and Engineering Centre, P Block at Garden’s Point campus our researchers students, industry (Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, Logemas, Australian Biotechnologies, ), clinical (Greenslopes Private Hospital, Adj. Prof Ashish Gupta and Adj. Prof. Ken Cutbush), and academic partners from the University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, visited the centre to review our research highlights from 2022.

For some, it was a first-time visit with members of the center team usually located in University of New South Wales and NeURA (post-doc Dr. Bart Bolsterlee, PhD student Yilan Zhang, and PhD student Mr. Hossein Ahmadi) meeting their colleagues for the first time.

The research symposium was opened by Centre Director Prof. Yuantong Gu with the official Welcome to Country where we acknowledged the Turrbal and Yugara as the First Nations owners of the lands where QUT currently stands; which was shortly followed by our 4 progam stream updates by our program leads and post-docs as follows:

Program 1
Prof Peter Pivonka – In-silico Upper Extremity Modelling & Simulation
Dr Bart Bolsterlee – Diffusion tensor imaging for assessment of muscle architecture in the shoulder

Program 2
A/Prof Saulo Martelli – Robotically assisted Joint Testing and Surgical Guidance
Dr Dermot O’Rourke – Biomechanical comparison of techniques for glenoid component implantation in shoulder arthroplasty

Program 3
Prof Justin Cooper-White & Dr. Eleonore Bolle – Tissue-engineered Scaffolds for Rotator Cuff Repair

Program 4
Prof Graham Kerr – Treatment Effectiveness – Digital & robotic technologies for upper limb movement assessment, physiology and rehabilitation
Dr Wolbert van den Hoorn – Validity of post-surgical shoulder mobility assessment tool: mymobility® App

After some refreshment, the symposium continued with the launch of our Seed Grant Scheme session and an inspirational speech by our guest Mr. Stephen Delo, Innovation Consultant expert and symposium career panellist. Mr Delo. brought his immense experience in his talk entitled ‘A Culture & Practice of Innovation,’ where he detailed insights and lessons from his extensive career in personal leadership and team management across 2 navies.

As an innovation consultant, Steve’s career has brought him to face many challenges and to tackle many career opportunities across a breadth of disciplines. He is currently acting as the Senior Advisor, Innovation, for the New Zealand Defence Force where he has established and facilitated networks and processes to assist intrapreneurial activity now leading to international engagements.  He also currently works with Black Sky Aerospace as he applies his transformative leadership to innovative start-ups.

Steve offered the following simple, yet immensely powerful advice on how to create a culture of innovation to the team, regardless of career stage or discipline:

– Innovation is a resource and a commodity you can trade. It is valuable and not to be underestimated. Self belief is one the biggest factors for success. Move forward and ask yourself, ‘What is the risk of not doing it?’

– The team is more powerful than the individual. How do you measure success. Individually or as a team?

– Innovation is a social activity. Plant the seed and pay it forward to your team so they too can have the opportunities to advance.

– The seas of life can be rough, your team is your life jacket.

Steve’s talk highlighted the importance of collaboration and team dynamics for successful innovation across companies, industries, and fields which is core to the governance structure and vision for personalised patient care for the centre.

With this introduction, we introduced our seed grant pitchers who were tasked with designing cross-program and collaborative research projects with industry, academia, and our clinical partners for the opportunity to win a seed grant to to maximum total of $15,000 AUD.

Our 4 contenders presented their pitches to our esteemed seed grant panellists: Mr. Massoud Shahi (Zimmer Biomet), Prof. Yi-Chin Toh (QUT (Queensland University of Technology) University of Technology), Prof. Kevin Tetsworth (MQ Health), and Prof. Peter Pivonka (QUT (Queensland University of Technology).

Order of Presentations:

1. ‘Explainable Deep Learning approach for shoulder abnormalities detection.’  Lead Investigator: Dr Laith Alzubaidi; with co-investigators Mr. Jinshuai Bai, Dr. Asma Salhi, and Dr. Freek Hollman. Industry mentors: Prof. Yuantong Gu (QUT), Adj. Prof. Ashish Gupta (QUASR, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Akunah), and external collaborator Prof. Amin Abbosh (University of Queensland).

2. ‘Biomechanical characteristics of the human supraspinatus tendon in vivo under physiological loading.’ Lead investigators: Dr. Bart Bolsterlee, Dr. Eleonore Bolle, and Dr. Wolbert van den Hoorn; with co-investigators Dr Freek Hollman, Miss Yilan (Olivia) Zhang, Miss Asawari P., and Miss Sepideh Shemshad. Industry mentors: Prof. Lynne Bilston (University of New South Wales) and Adj. Prof. Ken Cutbush (Ken Cutbush Clinic – Brisbane Private Hospital).

3.  ‘Non-invasive assessment of rotator cuff function.’ Lead Investigator: Dr. Wolly van den Hoorn; co-investigators: Dr. Eleonore Bolle, Dr. Roberto Pareyon, Mr. Francois Bruyer-Monteleone, and Miss Yuyao (Amy) Ma. Industry mentors: Prof. Francois Hug from the Université Côte D’Azur, A/Prof Kylie Tucker (University of Queensland), and Adj. Prof Ashish Gupta (QUASR, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Akunah).

4. ‘Toward precision tracking of the shoulder joint using ultrasound tomography.’ Lead investigator: Dr Dermot O’Rourke; with Mr Arun Jolly, Mr Ahmed Sewify, Miss Natali Uribe, Dr Roberto Pareyon, Mr Maxence Lavaill, and Mr xiaolong fan. Academic mentor: A/Prof Saulo Martelli.

After an exciting back and forth between the presenters, judges, and audience with some tricky questions, we welcomed our career panellists A/Prof Kylie Tucker (The University of Queensland), Mr Alex Muir (Logemas), Ms Jenna Lyon (Stryker), and Mr. Stephen Delo MBE, FCPHR to share their unique insights into collaboration, teamwork, and what it takes to succeed in the world of collaborative research and as part our our panel ‘Innovation Culture and Your Career.’ Moderated by our clinical lead Adj. Prof. Ashish Gupta (QUASR, Greenslopes Private Hospital), Akunah, the panel shared a few gems with the audience regarding the elements for successfully building a career and creating opportunities for yourself and others:

1. Mr Stephen Delo MBE, FCPHR: It is important for each member for the team to be who they are. Everyone brings a superpower, and that’s what people look for when building a team. The trick is to ensure joint vision so individuality doesn’t cost the team goal. Everyone must pull in the same direction.

2. Ms Jenna Lyon: Recruiters acknowledge the balance between technical ability and team fit. Attitude and self-motivation can make someone stand out more than their technical ability.

3. Mr Alex Muir: Values are important in collaborative team work and recruitment – ensure you research the company’s values and get clear on how you align before approaching them.

4. Mr Stephen Delo MBE, FCPHR : Mindset is a switch – it can be turned on and off. be mindful of self-talk and how you perceive others to foster motivation.

With thanks to our panellists and gifts of appreciation, at 5:00pm we moved to our last segment of the day with our poster display and networking event in the Cube. It was fantastic to see the students sharing their research methodology and results with the industry partners, and the great interest taken in particular by our early PhD students in the center to Mr. Delo’s work regarding collaborative culture and career coaching.

At 5:30pm we celebrated one last substantial achievement, with the announcement of our seed grant winners:  Team 1 ‘Explainable Deep Learning approach for shoulder abnormalities detection.’  Lead Investigator: Dr Laith Alzubaidi, and Team 4 ‘Toward precision tracking of the shoulder joint using ultrasound tomography.’ Lead investigator: Dr Dermot O’Rourke.

Thank-you again to our key partners and our industry partners from our Industry Advisory Committee (IAC). Left to Right: Adj. Prof.  (QUASRGreenslopes Private Hospitalakunah), Prof. Peter Pivonka ( & Centre Deputy Director), Mr Alex Muir (Logemas), Ms Jenna Lyon (Stryker), Mr David Brezzo (Zimmer Biomet), Ms Monica Russell (Materialise), and Prof. Yuantong Gu (QUT (Queensland University of Technology), Centre Director).

We can’t wait to showcase our research developments and growth with you all at the next Research Symposium.

Australian and New Zealand Society of Biomechanics – ABC 13 Conference

Thank-you to everyone at the  Australian New Zealand Society of Biomechanics (ANZSB) and everyone involved in the organisation of the 13th Australasian Biomechanics Conference (ABC13).

The 13th Australasian Biomechanics Conference (ABC13) was held in Brisbane and what a fantastic opportunity it was for the team to come together with their biomechanical colleagues and showcase their research highlights from the last 12 months. 

With three full exciting days of lectures, workshops and innovation from Nov 27th to Nov 29th, we wish to congratulate the team on the following achievements: 

Presentations:

  

Mr. xiaolong fan addressed the complication rates from mechanical implant failure of the humeral component in reverse total shoulder arthroplasty by presenting a novel time-elapsed microstructural imaging protocol for observing the volumetric deformation of a humerus implanted with a common shoulder reverse implant in his talk ‘Time-elapsed microstructural imaging of failure of a reverse shoulder implant.’

Mr. Maxence Lavaill then provided a professional presentation on the #Latarjet procedure (a surgical technique used to stabilise the #glenohumeral joint (GHJ) after recurrent anterior dislocations due to anterior genoid bone defect, and his project to quantify the change in muscle forces and joints following surgery using computational musculoskeletal (MSK) models. His talk was entitled ‘ Muscle coordination after Latarjet increases joint stability: A musculoskeletal study.’ 

Spine Biomechanics:

Our affiliate PhD student, Miss Natalia Mühl Castoldi, presented her work on spinal bulk growth models in the framework of generalized continuum mechanics to better understand the mechanisms linked to spinal growth.

Shape Modelling in Biomechanics

Centre post-doc Dr. Dermot O’Rourke detailed his research into knee bone geometries passive tibiofemoral motion variation using partial least square regression (PLSR). 

#Clinical Biomechanics and Imaging:

Miss Yilan (Olivia) Zhang, Prof. Lynne Bilston, Prof. Robert Herbert & Dr. Bart Bolsterlee ‘ Three dimensional architecture of human rotator cuff muscles in vivo.’ 

Prof. Lynne Bilston & Dr. Bart Bolsterlee ‘in vivo compressive shear properties of adipose tissue (fat).’

Conference Posters

Affiliate PhD student Mr. Corey Miller ‘A multiscale, mechanobiological model of cortical bone adaption due to Pth and mechanical loading.’ 

Dr. Wolbert van den Hoorn & Prof. Graham Kerr ‘Mapping magnetic field disturbances in motion capture labs.’ 

Affiliate PhD student Miss Laura Maszaros ‘Differences in load-sharing using a generic and subject specific neuro-musculoskeletal model of the spine.’ 

With culmination in the final dinner held at Felons Brewery, the team had a wonderful time connecting over all things biomechanical!

A huge thank-you to the major sponsor Logemas and to Materialise for their fantastic workshop ‘MIS Workshop- Beginners Session.’ 

We look forward to attending ABC14 in 2023! 

Workshop – Spreading the Word: Speaking and Presenting

On November 24th 2022, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr Dr Shari Walsh from Resilient Researcher who presented her workshop ‘Spreading the word (presenting & networking).’

Our phd students and post-docs learned tips on how to overcome the all-too-common anxiety that comes with presenting and networking, as well as body language skills to both present confidently and to read networking situations to assert ourselves and make valuable connections.

Some useful tips were:

*Ground yourself before presentations. Carry a stone or favourite object in your pocket to centre yourself. Consider harnessing #deepbreathingand power poses to boost your performance.

*Try to read networking situations and whether groups are open or closed to determine if it is acceptable to make an approach.

*When attending a networking event, try to get access to the guest list and pre-prepare some questions. Asking ‘What made you decide to attend today’s conference?’, or ‘What is your favourite presentation of the symposium thus far?’ are more than acceptable ice-breaking questions.

*Don’t be afraid to approach well-known individuals. Believe in your value as a potential connection and harness their curiosity about your research to make relevant but engaging conversation.

*Following up with people you meet at networking events: A friendly reminder about where you met and what you were conversing about may be enough for them to remember you, even if they don’t remember your face. It’s acceptable to politely follow-up every few months and to share interesting research in your field or upcoming events to keep your connection alive.

As an Australian Research Council funded Industrial Transformation Training Centre, we are always looking to develop the skills of our team to ensure their research make real-world impacts, and to strengthen their career readiness. What a great way to prepare for our 2022 Research Symposium #ITTC2022ResSym, which kicks off tomorrow.

REDI Fellowship Success: Dr Laith Alzubaidi

The centre is proud to announce that centre post-doctoral fellow Dr Laith Alzubaidi has been awarded a REDI Fellowship under MTPConnect’s REDI (Researcher Exchange & Development in Industry) Program.

Laith will spend 8 months working with Brisbane-based med-tech company Akunah to help surgeons decide on the best treatment plan for a patient using his expertise in machine and deep learning. Laith will then return to complete his post-doc position with the Centre, brining newly acquired skills and knowledge in industry-based research and development.

Dr. Alzubaidi with Adj. Prof and Dr Ashish Gupta, orthopaedic shoulder sub-specialist from Akunah

Akunah is committed to same vision of personalised patient care through improved use of developing Technologies and provides complex and revision surgical case planning to provide better outcomes pre, post and intraoperatively.

The Redi Fellowship program is strongly aligned with our Training Centre & the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program – aiming to connect researchers, clinicians, and sector professionals with industry to drive greater collaboration between industry and research and enable growth of Australia’s medical products sector.

From the ARC Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics congratulations to our Post-doc Dr Laith Alzubaidi and Dr Edmund Pickering from the Centre for Biomedical Technologies (CBT) and affiliate centre researcher who will undertake his fellowship with Stryker R&D Lab in Brisbane.

We thank MTPConnect, one of our key government partners for recognizing their substantial research contributions to the fields of deep learning and biomedical engineering.

CBT Conference

From November 10- 11 2022, a delegation of centre students and CIs attended the annual Centre for Biotechnologies (CBT) conference at the Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove campus.

Following the welcome to country presented by our elder-in-residence, Gregory Egert (Uncle Cheg), the conference was officially welcomed by D/Prof. Christopher Barner-Kowollik, the QUT Senior deputy vice-chancellor and vice president of research and Centre Director, Prof. Travis Klein who is also a chef Investigator within our ARC Industrial Transformative Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics.

As CBT are one of our main collaborators when it comes to providing biomedical technology seminars, events, and workshops; we were delighted to be invited to highlight the achievements of the centre from the last 12 months.

On day 1 Centre post-doc Dr. Laith Alzubaidi presented their scientific talk on ‘Deep Transfer Learning for Shoulder Abnormality Detection Using X-ray Images.’ Dr. Alzubaidi provided insight into the application of deep learning ai as a powerful technique to diagnose medical images for faster and more accurate detection of soft tissue and skeletal abnormalities. One of the biggest hurdles to using deep learning algorithms in the field of medical imaging diagnosis is the requirement to use hundreds of thousands of images as training data to ensure accuracy of the algorithm. Dr Alzubaidi demonstrated an increase in accuracy of 99.2% with model training and removal of algorithm biases, a fantastic result showing much promise towards the development of using AI for quicker, more accurate diagnosis.

We also enjoyed seeing the contributions of our affiliate PhD students Mr Alexander Lee-Medland, and Miss Natalia Mühl Castoldi, with their successful poster displays.

On day 2, our Deputy Director Prof Peter Pivonka and postdoctoral fellow Dr Wolbert van den Hoorn presented our research achievements during the ‘ARC Training Centres Session’ as chaired by Prof. Klein. Wolly delved into one of our fascinating projects conducted together with UQ and investigating how the central nervous system controls shoulder muscle function. And Peter highlighted the broad range of scientific fields that come together through our Centre to work together on collectively solving some of the major challenges currently facing industry and clinicians in treating shoulder conditions.

We were in great company presenting alongside fellow Australian Research Council ITTCs ARC Training Centre for M3D Innovation, CTET: Cell & Tissue Engineering Technologies ARC Centre and Australian Cobotics Centre.

Nothing puts a smile on our faces like seeing the team networking and sharing their expertise with colleagues, industry and the wider QUT (Queensland University of Technology) research community. On behalf of the ITTC-JB team, thank-you to the conference organisers for a wonderful event.

(L to R) Miss Laura Meszaros, Ms Maddie McIntyre (Centre Manager), Dr Edmund Pickering Pickering, Mr Alex Lee-Medland, Miss Natalia Mühl Castoldi, Mr Maxence Lavaill, Miss Rosalee Armitage, Mr Corey Miller, and Dr Wolbert van den Hoorn engaging with the Centre for Biomedical Technologies grant winner, HDR, and early career researcher sessions.

Election to National Biomedical College Board (Engineers Australia)

Congratulations to our centre Director, Prof. Yuantong Gu on his election to the national Biomedical College Board – Engineers Australia!

The Biomedical College is the peak representative body for biomedical engineering professionals in Australia, and sets standards of practice within biomedical engineering and provide mechanisms to help attain these standards.

The board comprised of 10 leaders, often CEOs or Managing Directors, from industry in the biomedical, mechanical, electrical, chemical and materials engineering fields.

Prof. Gu’s 2023 election marks a fantastic achievement for the QUT (Queensland University of Technology) and for #engineering.

We here at The ARC ITTC for Joint Biomechanics cannot wait to see your contributions towards Australia’s biomedical engineering future with further #mentoring, benchmarking of high standards for professional practice, aid delivery, and further partnership development as part of the board’s remit.

For further information on the #biomedical college please visit:

https://lnkd.in/ghUW-rZP
https://lnkd.in/g5tbvziX

Stryker R & D Lab Visit

Yesterday our PhD students, Postdocs, and program leads visited the newly opened Stryker R&D Lab at the Herston Health Precinct.

Stryker is one of a valued industry partners, with the new R&D lab a unique facility for Stryker globally being located at the ‘point of care’ on the Metro North campus. The lab is a collaboration between The Queensland University of Technology (QUT), The University of Queensland (UQ), Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Health and Stryker.

The R&D  lab will focus on 4 areas of research: Digital Health (managed by Mark Luhovy, MD), Enabling technologies (managed by Jenna Lyon, Robotics (managed by Tom Williamson), and Additive Manufacturing (managed by Conor Kelleher). After a warm and informative welcome from each research manager, our program leads presented their projects and discussed further research pathways with the Stryker team.

Stryker collaborates with the ARC Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics across a range of projects, namely our computer modelling used as the basis for surgical planning software, tools for guidance and navigation in orthopaedic surgery, and virtual reality tools. As the mission of ARC Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics is to transform and translate biomechanical education using multisector collaboration and industry partnerships to empower future scientists, the R & D lab is an extraordinary partnership that will drive new developments in device technology. With the first of many visits completed, the centre is looking to promote further PhD student placements and visits to ensure our work remains deeply embedded and at the forefront of emerging advancements in biotechnologies.

Attending members of the centre (Prof. Peter Pivonka (QUT), Prof. Graham Kerr (QUT) Ms Maddie McIntyre (ITTC-JB Centre Manager), Prof. Justin Cooper-White (UQ), Mr Xiaolong Fan (QUT), Mr Max Lavaill (QUT), Mr Arun Jolly (QUT), Mr Ahmed Sewify (QUT), Dr Eleonore Bolle (UQ), Miss Asawari Parulekar (UQ), Miss Sepideh Shemshad (UQ), Dr Wolbert van den Hoorn (UQ), Miss Natali Uribe (UQ), and Dr Nicholas Green (Herston Biofabrication Institute – HBI)), expressed their eagerness to continue close working ties and the possibilities for future industry driven projects.

With the centre at the half-way point of its’ lifetime, further research developments will be announced with the lab, with several Stryker members remaining core to driving the direction of the centre with Ms Jenna Lyon (Enabling technologies manger) the newest addition to the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC).

Seed Grant Workshop 2: Application Skills

On Tuesday 25th October, our program leads delivered a fantastic workshop to facilitate the development of competitive and innovative seed funding grant applications for our 2022 centre scheme.

As an Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre, one of our key purposes is to provide industry specific training to prepare the future workforce in the fields of joint biomechanics and orthopaedic surgery. The seed grant scheme was formulated to support the development of our researchers and to provide future research opportunities for them to apply for large grants, as well as to foster collaboration between our 4 program streams to harness our well-established network of investigators and partners across industry, academic, and the clinical orthopaedic setting. Our leadership team delivered the following advice to all grant applicants, whether they might be a PhD student, ECR, or mid-career researcher:

Prof. Lynne Bilston highlighted the importance of not limiting yourself to what you do, but to formulate the best project idea to attract the right team to get the job done. She provided the following tips:

1.Get your message across at the start

Define what problem you are trying to solve and provide an executive summary on the first page of the application. Describe why the problem, gap, or limitation is significant, and describe what your project will do to address it. Ensure you provide adequate aims and key methods, as well as to highlight the innovative or niche aspects of the project and why your team is the best to do the work.

2. Directly address the selection criteria 

3. Use the best possible study design and methods 

Justify your choice of methods and include a statistical analysis or plan. Include pilot data to prove feasibility and ensure aims are consistent with the research plan and outcome measures. DO NOT oversimplify, ignore potential problems or confounders (say how you will manage them), or exaggerate.

4. Clearly state the outcome and significance

Define what your project will achieve such as new knowledge, new methods, the project outcomes and the overall benefit to society.

5. Be concise, concrete and clear 

Know your audience (assessors and panel). Keep your language simple and logical for non-specialist panel members and avoid generalisations or hype.

6. Don’t take an unsuccessful application as a failure 

As little as 10% of grant applications are successful depending on the round, so always ask for feedback and apply this for the next submission. Always seek feedback from your peers and mentors for additional insight into how to improve in the future.

Prof. Graham Kerr focused on building the best team based on diversity and the valuable contribution of each member. He shared his tips where grant titles should be in active tense and succinct. When building your team, ensure you have real expertise and real contributors, not just those added due to exceptional track records. The structure of the grant is imperative. Bear the aims in mind and focus each section to persuade the reader that this is the best idea, best team, best project, and achievable.

Prof. Justin Cooper-White emphasised openness towards new collaborations and adaptability to new ideas that inspire, even if the project scope is not what was initially envisioned. He provided the following tips:

1.Define your project (scope) 

Keep your idea radar on. Attend conferences, read widely and deeply. Connect with like-minded people. Back up your idea with a literature/gap analysis

2. Form your team 

Consider what expertise you have and don’t have. Seek recommendations and electronic introductions from advisors and mentors. Have a loose framework to present and be open to new ideas and changes that will ultimately improve your application.

3. Plan and source necessary resources 

Define your hypothesis and aim. Define your experimental objectives. Seek advice and use your network.

4. Formulate your budget 

Use guidelines always. Don’t inflate – assume budget cuts. Justify your requests with detail and a solid rationale.

5. Mange your time 

Grant writing takes time, so start your concept early. Distribute workloads across the team. Allow one person to re-write the final version.

6. Manage your expectations 

Outline at the start. Ensure everyone is aware of how funds will be spent and distributed. Make commitments and contributions and be prepared to resolve conflicts when they arise.

The centre thanks our Program Leaders for sharing their expertise with the team. We look forward to viewing the final written grant submissions on October 18, 2022.

Highschool STEM Internships – 27 September 2022

The ARC-ITTC in Joint Biomechanics welcomed 6 High school students to the centre as part of the STEM Research Internship Program under The QUT Future You STEM Summit  from September 27 to 30 at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.   

Hosted by PhD student, Mr Maxence Lavaill and Post-doc Dr Wolly can den Hoorn, students participated in several hands-on workshops and activities based on the various technologies and techniques used to analyse and investigate joint biomechanics and joint function including dry EEG methods, image processing software, robotics, ultrasound and musculoskeletal modelling used at the centre to develop personalised patient outcomes and transform the orthopaedic industry.

Students further gained valuable insight into how a research centre functions and began to develop a network of like-minded peers as part of their 4-day enrichment activities, including total immersion into the activities of the ITTC’s various research groups with attendance to internal research team meetings and visits to lab groups to engage with current in-silico models and scanners. 

The annual program is a fantastic way for grade 11 and 12 students to be exposed to the exciting and diverse world of SGTEM, and to begin the journey of discovering what their own future career might look like. As described the the QUT STEM High School Engagement Program Manager Simone Long, the summit traditionally attracts high achievers who are smart, motivated and already have interest in STEM. 

“We know from past experience that many of these students already know they want to pursue STEM courses at university. The summit gives them experiences and insights that can help them refine specific areas of study and career paths.”

The rigorous program develops student’s technical, leadership and critical thinking skills through a suite of on-campus practical learning, professional development and external assessment. As an intern, students will get the chance to undertake collaborative, group STEM research projects, led by QUT STEM experts and linked to real-world research and industry challenges. 

As one of the key aims of the ARC-ITTCs is to develop future leaders and build capacity through training, education, and mentoring of interdisciplinary research staff and students. The internship program strongly aligns with the centre;’s goals to empower future scientists, particularly in the fields of biomedical technology and personalised patient care. 

After exposure to various centre team meetings, scientific talks from current PhD student Alex Lee-Medland, Affiliate PhD student (QUASR-Herston Biofabrication Institute): “Multi-modal assessment of humeral head bone quality with implications for shoulder arthroscopy” (15′), and surgical fellow Dr Roberto Pareyon “The journey to the onlay grammot” (30′) and time spent in the various labs, the team were suitably impressed with the insight and enthusiasm shown by the students.

We wish them all the best for their future studies and chosen career pathways.