She may have been the lead organiser for the Bayside Research Showcase, but Dr Libby McCourt, Academic Research Manager for Bayside Health Service, normally spends her time building research capability on the floor at Redland Hospital.
“I meet with at least a couple of clinicians each day to chat about research or how they’re going with their plan. I read papers and provide feedback, and roll out education and training programs. Every day is different, and I am so thankful I get to work with everyone across the hospital,” Dr McCourt said.
Dr McCourt said she was already seeing the fruits of her labour of love, with the number of Research Support Scheme grant applications increasing from zero in 2019 to six in 2020.
“I am really impressed with the six grants we submitted – and they were really good applications. It was a real honour to work with the applicants and I hope this will result in some successful applications,” she said.
Dr McCourt said that no matter the outcome of the grant applications, the process has demystified the grant process for the Bayside staff – who she thinks have so much potential in research.
“Yes, it is a bit of work, but it’s not that hard to apply, especially with the support of the right people behind you.
“I can’t tell you the number of people who have knocked on my door and say – ‘you’re going to say this is a silly idea but…’ - and the idea they pitch to me is amazing!
“If you have an idea, come have a chat with me. As excited as you are about your idea – I’ll be doubly as excited.”
As a pharmacist by trade, Dr McCourt knows it’s can be challenging for clinicians to find time for research when they are already so busy.
“My role is to remove as many barriers as I can. I can’t do the whole project, but I can be there to support you and connect you with others who can help.
“I also find that many projects link together in some way; people don’t always know that someone else is working on something similar. I love being able to connect people together,” Dr McCourt said.