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The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is inviting researchers worldwide to submit proposals to its research fund, with the aim of developing new evidence to inform health and safety policies and practice.
The institution's annual call for research proposals is this year focused around four main themes -- health and wellbeing, organisational change and occupational safety and health (OSH) performance, occupational health and safety performance reporting, and learning and training methodologies and OSH.
This year's topics were informed by IOSH members, as well as being key areas of interest for the body.
Mary Ogungbeje, research and development coordinator at IOSH, said: "This year we are inviting researchers to submit proposals for high quality research that will support us, and our stakeholders, in providing an evidence base for effective occupational safety and health policy and practice.
"IOSH particularly welcomes that our research outputs, where appropriate, should also lead to practical resources such as guidance, tools and case studies that are useful to the workplace. We will consider any proposal that supports this year's themes and are keen to receive bids from researchers that intend to engage safety and health practitioners, or other working professionals, as part of their field work."
IOSH is encouraging researchers who have a proven track record in high-quality research to submit a funding application.
Applicants do not need to have a background in occupational safety and health research but should be able to demonstrate how their experience will bring fresh-thinking to the development of occupational safety and health policy and practice.
They should also have the research and project management skills to lead a successful proposal to completion.
Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, successfully applied for research funding from IOSH in 2015.
It is being invested into a three-year study that Julian is conducting with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Turku University of Applied Sciences into the exposure of healthcare workers to patients infected with different viruses.
He said: "It is an occupational health issue that has really arisen since the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, as well as more recently when health professionals have become ill while treating patients with the Ebola virus.
"Our project is looking at how healthcare workers can be exposed to infection doing normal clinical meetings, such as ward rounds. We will use a mock ward and 'human-like' manikins to test exposure levels to an attenuated live vaccine influenza virus strain.
"We want to pin down and quantify the risks to healthcare professionals so we can improve interventions. We hope the research, once finished, can go on to be used to design hospitals that take healthcare worker hospital-acquired infection risks into consideration, and/or to come up with new guidance for protecting healthcare workers."
He added: "Any researcher is always nervous when applying for funding but I found IOSH to be very open to discussion. They listened to my proposal, why it was worthwhile and why I thought the institution was suitable to fund it."
The closing date for this year's applications -- which should be written in English only -- is midnight on Tuesday 15 March (GMT).
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