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Foundation grants: Laying a foundation

Who would have thought a small rock tossed into a pond would cause such a big ripple for a recipient of an RACGP Foundation grant?

When Dr Gillian Gould, a GP and tobacco treatment specialist in NSW, received a relatively small $2500 research grant from the RACGP back in 2008, it set her on the path to developing her skills. Years later, she was awarded almost three-quarters of a million dollars in funding from the Department of Health and Ageing’s Indigenous Tobacco Control initiative, as well as a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Heart Foundation scholarship.

Humble beginnings

Gould became involved in academic medicine in 2002 when she started working for the University of New South Wales’ Rural Clinical School in Coffs Harbour. She was soon offered the opportunity to manage a smoking cessation program through the Mid North Coast Division of General Practice (now North Coast Medicare Local) and began running Quit groups across the mid-north coast for the next decade. Smoking cessation quickly became the driving force in Gould’s career.