Sue Brett: CPD Scholarship Outcome Report

In 2023, a CSANZ New Zealand Cardiovascular Allied Health CPD Scholarship enabled me to complete a postgraduate diploma in Clinical Research (PGDipClinRes) taught by Victoria University of Wellington. The six papers were delivered over two years through teleconferences that involved travel to Wellington each semester for a weekend seminar.

My career as a Cardiac Physiologist started at Greenlane Hospital in 1987, where I qualified by gaining a New Zealand Certificate in Science (NZCS) at Auckland Technical Institute. I currently work full-time across two positions at Auckland City Hospital as a Cardiac Physiologist and a Data Specialist for the Paediatric Congenital Cardiac Service.

The two health roles have given me opportunities to work on three projects, with two resulting in poster presentations and one resulting in an oral presentation at the 2019 local CSANZ conference. These projects laid the groundwork for an interest to further my career in the research field and the desire to formalise these skills with a relevant postgraduate qualification.

The 2-year PGDipClinRes covered an extensive range of topics in research (qualitative and quantitative), ethics, biostatistics and clinical research design, management, and analysis. The course culminated in drafting a full research grant application and delivering a poster and oral presentation of our chosen research topic, bringing together all the skills gained from the earlier papers. Much of the course content was new knowledge and I saw my academic writing skills improve throughout the course. I can honestly say the past two years were extremely informative and through consistent hard work I have obtained a PGDipClinRes with pleasing results. I was humbled to receive the John Miller Award for high academic achievement from Victoria University. 

The CSANZ scholarship reduced the financial burden of further education and I am incredibly grateful to have been a recipient. I want to encourage other members to take advantage of the many opportunities available to create new career possibilities. 

Attendance at graduation has allowed me to achieve a milestone and contemplate the next step. Next month, I’ll be heading to the CSANZ conference in Christchurch. I am looking forward to the Heart Health Forum to explore opportunities in research for Allied Health professionals.