Emerging Health Researcher Award proves life changing


Dr Myles Young explains how his life has changed since winning the 2019 Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award. Submissions for the 2020 Award are now open.

Last August, Dr Myles Young’s life changed when he was named the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher of the Year for his work improving the physical and mental health of men.

Dr Young, who has developed a range of innovative online behavioural weight loss programs for men, said winning the award has opened up many doors for him over the past year.

“It was an absolute life changer, and couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The Fellowship that funded my work was coming towards the end and I was looking for a pathway into academia – which is not always an easy thing.

“Having the recognition of the Emerging Health Researcher Award not only gave me exposure in the sector, but also gave me the confidence to progress in my career,” Dr Young said.

At first, Dr Young was hesitant to apply for the Award, but his nominator, Professor Philip Morgan, saw the potential and progressed with the nomination.

“Professor Morgan could see how well my work aligned to the Award which recognises contributions of health researchers to improving the health and wellbeing of the community and I’m so glad he convinced me to accept the nomination.”

Within a few months of winning the Award, Dr Young secured a permanent academic position at the University of Newcastle, meaning he could settle in his hometown with his young family and continue to work in the field that he loves and that continues to make a difference to men’s health.

This month, Dr Young has also been named among 40 AMP Foundation “Tomorrow Makers” for 2020, receiving another grant to help further his research.

 “What I love about working in this field is that we’re really making a difference. This year, people have been stuck at home and we’ve found many aren’t doing as much physical exercise and aren’t eating as well as they usually would. The physical and mental health aspects are completely intertwined.

“I think online programs that are effective and engaging for men are going to be a really important area, not just during the pandemic, but even as we get back to some sense of normality. Our service offers a low intensity option, to give men a foot in the door to start improving their health,” Dr Young added.

Now, Dr Young plans to work with digital and online experts to help deliver the services at scale to men across Australia. And his words of advice for other young researchers interested in the Award?

“If you’re considering it, and you think the work you do is valuable for the health of Australians – you have to go for it. Talk to someone who might be interested in nominating you and get started. Don’t be concerned if you’ve missed out on previous grants – this might just be the right fit for you.”

Bupa Health Foundation’s Emerging Researcher of the Year Award submissions now open:

Submissions for the Bupa Health Foundation’s Emerging Researcher of the Year Award are now open until 9am Wednesday 11 November. Select finalists will receive a prize of $5,000 while the winner will be awarded a total of $25,000 to further their career in research.