Unitec’s Dr Samantha Heath, Senior Lecturer and Research Leader, School of Healthcare and Social Practice, has been awarded the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship.
The Fellowship is administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi for the New Zealand Government.
Dr Heath was awarded $320,000 for her research project “Fit for the future: Reimagining nurse preparation for practice in New Zealand’s changing demography.” Unitec is the only ITP among the 30 Fellowships awarded.
She says the Fellowship funding will enable her to continue work on the undergraduate nursing curriculum to support students to meet the healthcare needs of older adults as expected demographic changes in New Zealand’s population unfold.
“I would like to thank MBIE for their vision and commitment to funding early career researchers to continue their work and I am delighted to have been awarded an MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship,” she says.
“The funding will support me to work with health providers and our community to find out what knowledge, skills and attitudes will be needed by nurses to support our growing older population. I would like the outcome of the work to contribute to ensuring that nurses are fit for the future because they are ideally placed to support healthy aging, to detect health deterioration and to deliver healthcare across all communities in New Zealand.”
Marcus Williams, Director of Research and Enterprise at Unitec says: “As a new Research Leader in the School of Healthcare, Samantha has turned the Bachelor of Nursing research productivity around in an extraordinarily short period of time, helping the staff to meet their potential as individuals and most importantly, as a team and thus, onwards to significantly to exceed the NZQA research expectations.
She conceives of research that is fundamentally relevant to nursing education and to our external health sector professionals, then she builds teams, designs the research projects and leads them through to publication, bringing many along with her. She is simply incapable of non-collaborative research activities and clearly the Royal Society could see this in her application. There is no doubt that many will benefit from this award.”