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MCEC Announces Seventh Annual Club Melbourne Fellowship Recipients

By Sarah Burt|

The Annual Club Melbourne Fellowship program has been announced, with Melbourne researchers Dr. Gemma Sharp and Dr Shoujin Wang named this year’s recipients.

Launched to support the next generation of Melbourne’s research leaders, the Fellowship was created to recognise excellence in research and leadership by mid-career Melburnian researchers.

The Club Melbourne Fellowship will provide research funding of $2,500 to support international conference attendance that enables new research opportunities.

The fellowship was launched at the 10th anniversary (2015) of the Club Melbourne Program and delivers community benefits through education, networking, and collaboration, with access to the prestigious Club Melbourne network through attendance at annual program events.

The winners were chosen based on their impact of their research and how it will benefit the Victorian economy.

MCEC acting CEO, Helen Fairclough said the Club Melbourne Program, owned by MCEC is a valuable tool to expanding Melbourne’s important place in research and leadership.

“Having hosted 156 events since inception and delivered $1.01 billion in economic impact, the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program has developed many important initiatives, like the Fellowship to give talented people an opportunity to share their invaluable knowledge with the rest of the world.”

Dr Gemma Sharp – Biography

Dr Sharp is currently an NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre where she established and leads the Body Image Research Unit. Her areas of research expertise are body image and eating disorders.

With more than a third of young people in Australia experiencing poor body image, linked with mental health issues including eating disorders, anxiety, depression and suicidality, Dr Sharp’s project will be using smartphone sensors to allow personalised mental health interventions, adapted to the user’s current mental health state.

She led a pilot program with a ‘chatbot’ to simulate human-like conversations, the pilot chatbot was highly successful with more than 20,000 users in less than a year and plans to expand on this program.

Manager, Department of Psychiatry Central, Anthony de Castella said “we are extremely grateful to Club Melbourne and delighted to have our Research Fellow - Dr Gemma Sharp supported by this Fellowship, which will support her vital work in the area of body image research and interventions that have the capacity to improve the lives of the many people living with these conditions."

Dr. Shoujin Wang - Biography

Shoujin Wang is a Research Fellow at the School of Computing Technologies, RMIT University, obtaining his PhD in data science from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2019. His research interests include data mining, machine learning and recommender systems. He has published more than 30 high-quality research papers in these areas at prestigious data science and artificial intelligence conferences and journals.

His research being supported by the Club Melbourne Fellowship program is in Artificial Intelligence Enabled Trustworthy Recommender Systems. This project will provide a solution to address cyber security issues in various online consumption domains, effectively reduce online shopping scams and cyber fraud, and helping reduce the amount of money lost by Australians by more than $4 million annually.