veski inspiring women: Dr Robyn Brown

Recognised on Ada Lovelace Day, Robyn Brown (Dept of Biochemistry and Pharmacology) receives a veski career recovery grant.

Robyn is a Senior Research Fellow and the Head of the all female Behavioural Neuropharmacology Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, School of Biomedical Sciences. With a focus on addiction neuroscience, her research team is seeking to understand the drivers of compulsive overeating and what junk food does to the brain - which will lead to improved therapeutics for people with obesity.

Today, on Ada Lovelace Day - an international celebration of women in STEM – veski announced Robyn as one of seven recipients of an inspiring women career recovery grant in 2021. The Vic Gov initiative recognizes Robyn for her leadership, will support her research and help restore pre-pandemic competitiveness.

This veski grant provides a lifeline of support at a time when it is most needed – it will not only support me but allow me to support other women in STEM to realize their potential.

- Robyn Brown

“Thank you both to both veski and the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology - the grant will provide salary support for a talented and hard-working PhD student in my team who became a single mother during 2020,” says Robyn.

COVID-19 has deepened pre-existing gender inequality as a result of reduced work hours and work disruptions due to home and caring responsibilities which have overally affected women.

“2020 was an incredibly tough year for everyone but particularly for carers of small children. My husband works in bushfire recovery so I was left with caring responsibilities for 3 year old twins and home-schooling for a 5 year old. Balancing these responsibilities, progressing my group’s research and managing the well-being of my team has meant that research output suffered enormously and my ability to apply for funding for my team was profoundly impacted,” Robyn says.

veski career recovery grants

The veski inspiring women recovery grants provide 12 months funding of up to $50,000 to boost research outputs and increase competitiveness when applying for future funding from major funding bodies.

The grants were designed for female mid-career leaders, or emerging leaders in STEM, affected by COVID-19 who experienced disproportionate increases in caring responsibilities during the pandemic which severely affected their research outputs.

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Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of celebration on 12 October helping people to learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new female role models.

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