New Burnet scholarship for PNG health professionals dedicated to TB research

Burnet Institute

23 March, 2022

New scholarship honours the late Professor Evelyn Lavu

A new travel scholarship honouring the late Professor Evelyn Lavu has been created to encourage tuberculosis (TB) researchers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to expand their skillset at Burnet Institute.

The Evelyn Lavu Travel Scholarship is offering AUD $5,000 for a PNG national who is a healthcare worker, researcher or scientist to travel to Australia and participate in research, training or mentoring in the field of tuberculosis.

Women are particularly encouraged to apply for the scholarship.

Offered by Burnet Institute in partnership with the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control (TB-CRE), the scholarship honours Professor Lavu, a leader in the field of genetics and diagnostics who made a vital contribution to tuberculosis research in PNG and at Burnet institute.

Burnet researcher and international paediatric health expert Professor Steve Graham said the scholarship provides an important opportunity for a dedicated health professional to continue Professor Lavu’s legacy.

“Evelyn was inspirational and impressive as a leader for women in PNG to engage in academia and science, and it was her vision to strengthen laboratory diagnostics for TB and multi-drug resistant TB in PNG. That was the focus of her PhD and is a focus of this scholarship,” Professor Graham said.

“Evelyn would be immensely proud of such a legacy to provide an opportunity for young researchers from PNG to strengthen their skills to fight TB.”

Current statistics show that 1.5 million people die from TB each year while another nine million people including many children struggle to overcome the debilitating effects of the disease, with a huge global burden in the Asia-Pacific region.

Professor Graham said Professor Lavu was passionate about improving the health of Papua New Guineans not only in her village but across the entire country and that “she recognised this would require improving services for tuberculosis detection, treatment and prevention”.

The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with the Eliminate TB program. The scholarship will be offered each year until 2026.

Applications for the Evelyn Lavu Travel Scholarship are open until 30 April 2022.

In partnership with the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control (TB-CRE)

TB-CRE logo

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Steve Graham

Senior Principal Research Fellow


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