The Ovary
Vol. 22 No 1 | Autumn 2020
RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation: 2020 Research Scholarships, Fellowships and Travel Grants
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

This article is 4 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

The RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation aims to foster clinical and scientific research in women’s health, support global health projects, and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori women’s health initiatives.

Under the oversight of the Research Grants Committee, the College supports promising early-career researchers across Australia and New Zealand by annually awarding research fellowships, scholarships and travel grants to those practising in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology. The assessment process was once again very competitive this year, with 32 eligible applications received across Australia and New Zealand.

Recipients of RANZCOG Honours and 2020 RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Scholarships.

RANZCOG President, Dr Vijay Roach, at the November 2019 Presentation Ceremony with recipients of RANZCOG Honours and 2020 RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Scholarships.

The RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation is pleased to advise that the following applicants have been offered scholarships and fellowships for research and travel in 2020:

Arthur Wilson Memorial Scholarship, 2020–2021

Recipient: Dr Claire Henry
Institution: University of Otago, Wellington
Project: Molecular profile of Endometrial Cancer in New Zealand women

Dr Claire Henry is a research fellow at the University of Otago, Wellington, with an interest in the molecular biology of gynaecological cancers. Dr Henry’s project is a pilot study to investigate the molecular profile of endometrial cancer in NZ women, focusing on the impact on outcomes and feasibility in routine clinical practice.

Fotheringham Research Scholarship, 2020–2021

Recipient: Dr Tristan Hardy
Institution: SA Pathology
Project: Pregnancy Loss to Preimplantation Genetic Testing: improving the pathway for couples affected by stillbirth, congenital abnormality or neonatal death

Dr Tristan Hardy is a RANZCOG Fellow, currently completing a Fellowship in genetic pathology with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. He aims to be the first dual-qualified specialist O&G
and genetic pathologist in Australia and New Zealand. Dr Hardy’s project aims to help couples transition from pregnancy loss to IVF and embryo genetic testing, using information from tests performed in their first pregnancy.

Norman Beischer Clinical Research Scholarship, 2020–2021

Recipient: Dr Manarangi De Silva
Institution: University of Melbourne
Project: Improving maternal health in the Asia-Pacific region

Dr Manarangi De Silva is a RANZCOG Advanced Trainee and a previous recipient of the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Miriam O’Connor Travelling Scholarship. Dr De Silva is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. Her project aims to investigate the main factors that contribute to poor maternal outcomes in the Solomon Islands, as well as the effect of betel nut consumption.

RANZCOG NSW Regional Committee Fellow Research Grant, 2020

Recipient: Dr Monica Zen
Institution: Westmead Hospital/Charles Perkins Centre
Project: Childhood health consequences and cognitive outcomes in children exposed to preeclampsia in utero

Dr Monica Zen is a RANZCOG Fellow and a previous recipient of the RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Norman Beischer Clinical Research Scholarship. Dr Zen’s project aims to analyse data obtained from birth records, hospital admissions and education for all infants born in NSW from 2001 to determine whether preeclampsia has an independent effect on the health and school performance of exposed children.

RANZCOG NSW Regional Committee Trainee Research Grant, 2020 (Three awarded)

Recipient: Dr Kelly McNamara
Institution: University of Sydney
Project: Pregnancy Intention, Contraception and Obstetric Outcomes in Women Who Use Alcohol and Other Drugs in Pregnancy

Dr Kelly McNamara is a RANZCOG Advanced Trainee and a PhD candidate. Dr McNamara’s PhD aims to design an evidence-based process to reduce unplanned pregnancy in women who use alcohol and other drugs. This project forms part of her PhD and focuses on women with substance use in pregnancy. It will examine unplanned pregnancy and its association with pregnancy, birth and neonatal outcomes, contraception use and barriers that limit access to contraception.

Recipient: Dr Madeleine Sheppard
Institution: Kolling Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital
Project: Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Pregnancy

Dr Madeleine Sheppard is a RANZCOG Core Trainee, working as an O&G Registrar at Royal North Shore Hospital. Dr Sheppard’s study aims to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic urinary colonisation in the second and third trimesters, which may be implicated in some cases of stillbirth, preterm labour and premature rupture of membranes.

Recipient: Dr Katherine Whitton
Institution: Royal Hospital for Women
Project: Can markers in serum and follicular fluid be used to predict the outcome of in-vitro oocyte maturation?

Dr Katherine Whitton is a fourth year RANZCOG Trainee, who is also undertaking a Master of Reproductive Medicine at the University of New South Wales. Dr Whitton’s project aims to determine if you can predict the outcome of in-vitro maturation by measuring certain factors in a woman’s blood and the fluid surrounding the collected follicles.

Robert Wrigley Pain Research Scholarship, 2020–2021

Recipient: Dr Karen Chan
Institution: Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia
Details: Randomised double-blinded crossover trial assessing the efficacy of topical amitriptyline combined with oestriol in the treatment of women with pudendal neuralgia or vulvodynia

Dr Karen Chan is a RANZCOG Advanced Trainee undertaking additional training in pain management through the Faculty of Pain Medicine. Dr Chan’s project aims to add to the body of evidence in the management of women with pudendal neuralgia and vulvodynia by determining whether topical amitriptyline 0.5%/oestriol 0.03% in Organogel results in an improvement to quality of life.

Taylor-Hammond Research Scholarship, 2020

Recipient: Dr Charlotte Reddington
Institution: Royal Women’s Hospital
Project: The impact of age and parity on the experience of relief and regret in women who have undergone hysterectomy for benign disease

Dr Charlotte Reddington is a RANZCOG Fellow in her second year of the AGES Fellowship training program. Dr Reddington’s project aims to describe what factors (such as age, pregnancy history and medical conditions) affect the experience of relief and/or regret after hysterectomy for benign conditions. She is inviting all women who had a hysterectomy for benign disease at the Royal Women’s Hospital, aged less than 51 during an eight-year time period, to take part.

RANZCOG NSW Regional Committee Travelling Scholarship, 2020

Recipient: Dr Galabadage Jayasinghe
Institution: Westmead Hospital Network
Details: For her visit to Port Moresby General Hospital, Papua New Guinea

Dr Galabadage Jayasinghe is a RANZCOG Core Trainee from Westmead Hospital. Her placement at Port Moresby Hospital will provide her with exposure to the challenges faced by clinicians working in the Pacific Region. In addition to providing a beneficial service to the community, she will be able to further develop her clinical obstetric, operative and diagnostic skills in a resource-limited environment.

Beresford Buttery Travel Grant, 2020

Recipient: Dr Jennifer Pontré
Institution: King Edward Memorial Hospital
Details: For her visit to the University of Sao Paulo Medical School and Digimagem Diagnosticos Medicos, Sao Paulo

Dr Jennifer Pontré is a RANZCOG Fellow and a Consultant O&G, who has completed her AGES Fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery. The objective of Dr Pontré’s visit is to undertake a one-week training program with Profs Mauricio Abrao and Manoel Goncalves at the University of Sao Paolo, undergoing intensive training in transvaginal ultrasound for deeply infiltrating endometriosis.

Brown Craig Travelling Fellowship, 2020

Recipient: Dr Jerome Melon
Institution: McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Details: For his attendance at the International Urogynecological Association / American Urogynecologic Society (IUGA/AUGS) Joint Scientific Meeting in Nashville, USA

Dr Jerome Melon is a RANZCOG Fellow and urogynaecology subspecialty trainee, currently completing a 12-month Fellowship in Montreal, Canada. Dr Melon attended the IUGA/AUGS Joint Scientific Meeting in late-September 2019, where two of his research papers were accepted for oral presentation.

Scholarships/Fellowships continuing in 2020

Ella Macknight Memorial Scholarship, 2019–2020

Recipient: Dr Monika Skubisz
Institution: South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
Project: A randomised controlled trial to investigate the necessity of prenatal folic acid supplementation beyond 12 weeks gestation

Glyn White Research Fellowship, 2019–2020

Recipient: Dr Roxanne Hastie
Institution: University of Melbourne/Mercy Hospital for Women
Project: Improved Characterisation of Eclampsia (ICE study)

Mary Elizabeth Courier Research Scholarship, 2019–2020

Recipient: Dr Daniella Susic
Institution: Royal Hospital for Women, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Project: The uterine microbiome in obesity-related endometrial cancer: identifying its composition and relationship with clinicopathological features and local and systemic biomarkers

Norman Beischer Clinical Research Scholarship, 2019–2020

Recipient: Dr Carole-Anne Whigham
Institution: University of Melbourne/Mercy Hospital for Women
Project: Detecting Circulating Maternal Biomarkers to Predict Fetal Size: FLAG 2 (Fetal Longitudinal Assessment of Growth)

Support the Foundation

The RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation is very grateful to all those who have so generously supported its philanthropic work in the past year.

RANZCOG members can support the Foundation via the payments section of the my.RANZCOG members portal. To login and donate, please go to

For donation enquiries, please contact Ms Leigh Craig, RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Coordinator on [email protected] or +61 3 9412 2993.

2021 RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation Scholarship applications open late-April and close 30 June 2020.

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