04 March 2024

RACGP offers research grants for practice financial sustainability and GP wellbeing

GP wellbeing, non-pharmacological interventions, and general practice financial sustainability are three of the research areas funded through the latest Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) Foundation grants.   

In total, over $700,000 in funding from the RACGP Foundation and partners is available for projects by teams led by GP researchers and registrars.

This includes $250,000 from nib foundation, a charitable trust established by nib health funds in pursuit of its purpose of better health and wellbeing. Other major partners include HCF Research Foundation, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, Diabetes Australia, and BOQ Specialist.

The nib foundation/RACGP Foundation Healthcare Systems & Sustainability Grant will fund up to two general practice research projects focused on one or both of the following themes:

  • The financial sustainability of general practice and the potential role of private health insurers. 
  • Collaborative approaches to non-pharmacological interventions within the broader health ecosystem, including the potential role of private health insurers. Interventions may include social prescribing, health promotion, and/or illness prevention. 

The inaugural GP Wellbeing Grant, generously funded by an anonymous donation from an esteemed RACGP member, will support research with potential to improve mental health, resilience, and general wellbeing among general practitioners and practice teams.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said GP research provides essential evidence for the profession.

“General practice research provides a vital evidence base for both issues facing the profession and for improving whole of person care,” she said.

“Research that’s led by GPs is really important for our general practices and our patients. We are the first and main contact between patients and the health system, so it’s critical that there’s an impactful body of research that specifically addresses general practice and our emphasis on comprehensive, continuous, whole-of-person healthcare. GPs are the most appropriate medical professionals to lead this research.

“These grants are aligned with what GPs said in our recent member census. GPs have also told us we need to increase research capacity in general practice research to inform clinical decisions. The RACGP Foundation grants are key to building that capacity.

“We’re also pleased that there is strong support from our partners and donors to fund research that can provide solutions to these critical issues. The College is committed to using the findings from this research to help shape a more robust and sustainable general practice and a healthy profession.”

nib foundation Executive Officer Amy Tribe said GPs play a pivotal role in Australia’s healthcare system and are our frontline defence in the early detection and management of chronic diseases.

“The nib foundation exists to support people and communities to live healthier lives, and we are delighted to be partnering with RACGP Foundation to fund GP led research projects that explore solutions to systemic issues in the healthcare system,” she said.

“GPs understand the health needs of their local communities and play an important role in addressing Australia’s complex healthcare challenges and achieving better patient outcomes.”

nib foundation is the philanthropic arm of nib. A Private Ancillary Fund established in 2008 by nib health funds in pursuit of its purpose of better health and wellbeing, nib foundation has provided over $31 million in funding to nearly 200 community health and wellbeing initiatives. 

RACGP Foundation grants are open for applications and expressions of interest, which close on 2 April 2024.

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