Applying scientific skills to volunteering: partnering with CRC for Mental Health

Last month Volunteering Victoria took part in an innovative pilot program in collaboration with science PhD students. The Publico Program, designed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, partners PhD students with not-for-profits to give students the chance to apply their research skills to real-world problems.

“PhD students have an incredible amount of experience in grant preparation, research design, and critical evaluation of evidence. These projects gave students the ability to apply their skills to the volunteering sector, producing grant writing checklists and evidence-based strategies for volunteer recruitment and retention. The tools and information they have developed is a valuable resource that we hope to share with members of the volunteering sector and incorporate in our learning and development program.” said Kerryn Wong, Professional Development & Events Manager.

PhD student Cassandra Wannan said the project provided a valuable opportunity to create a positive impact in a not-for-profit organisation. “Science is an increasingly competitive job market and this project gave me the opportunity to apply my skills in a new way. I enjoyed being able to help the not-for-profit sector while also gaining experience that I could discuss with future employers.”

Volunteering Victoria encourage greater collaboration and cross-sector involvement, and would like to thank Melanie Carew, Head of Corporate Affairs, Partnerships and Education, and Company Secretary at the CRC for Mental Health, and the dedicated team of PhD students for their time and contribution towards these projects.

For more information contact:

Melanie Carew, CRC for Mental Health melanie.carew@mentalhealthcrc.com

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