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Tom Penrose Community Service Grant


ESSA congratulates the 2017 Tom Penrose Community Service Grant winner

This year, the Tom Penrose Community Service Grant was extremely competitive, with many very high quality applications submitted. ESSA wishes to congratulate the winner of the 2017 Tom Penrose Community Service Grant, Itamar Levinger. 


Details of Itamar’s winning application:

Investigator: Itamar Levinger 

Topic: Uncovering the Interaction between Circulating Osteoprogenitor (COP) Cells and Osteocalcin in Older-Adults with Sarcopenia: Effects of Exercise

Associate investigators: Prof. Gustavo Duque, Miss Cassandra Smith, A/Prof. Christopher Neil

Administering Organisation: Victoria University


Congratulations to Itamar and his team.



About the Grant

This grant is offered by ESSA in memory of Tom Penrose, to honour his outstanding contribution as a pioneer in exercise and sports science, his contributions to associates and trainees in teaching, and his valuable contribution to his local community.

The aim of the grant is three-fold and the recipient will focus on one or more of the following areas:

  1. Support or develop programs in the exercise science or clinical exercise physiology profession, particularly in regional or remote Australia.
  2. Support the development of a community focused project within the field of physical activity, exercise science and related fields, and health.
  3. Encourage advancement in the field of exercise science and clinical exercise physiology that will encourage participation in physical activity and sport and lead to better community health outcomes.

Applications of up to $16,000 (AUD) will be considered, based on merit, and funded with consideration of the proposed budget. Proposals may include cooperative projects, local community interventions or acquisition of expertise in a particular technique or techniques. The focus of the project should result in service to the exercise and sports science community.   It is expected that the project would begin by early 2018 and be completed in early 2019.
To be eligible for the grant, the principal investigator of the research team must have been a financial member for the past two years.  ESSA National Board members, ESSA Research Committee members, ESSA staff and student members are not eligible to apply. 



Tom Penrose Research and Community Service Grant 2016 Winner - Dr Tina Skinner 

Title: Peer support: the key to exercise maintenance in Cancer survivors? A pilot study. 

Summary of Project:  Whilst starting exercise is not easy, maintaining regular participation in exercise is the real challenge. This study will confirm whether peer support might be the key to improving exercise maintenance and the subsequent physical and psychological health of cancer survivors. 

Principal Investigator: Dr Tina Skinner 

Associate Investigators:

Associate Prof David Jenkins
Dr Sjaan Gomersall
Dr Kate Bolam
Ms Kirsten Adlard
Prof Joanne Aitken
Prof Suzanne Chambers
Prof Jeff Dunn 

Administering Organisation:  University of Queensland


Tom Penrose Research and Community Service Grant 2015 Winner - Dr Shelley Keating

Principal Investigator: Dr Shelley Keating 

Title: ‘High intensity exercise for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis – is it safe, effective, and feasible in practice?’

Summary: We are investigating whether high intensity interval training is safe and effective for reducing the health consequences of advanced liver disease. As there is no existing evidence, we aim to inform guidelines for exercise training, and identify factors which will promote adherence to regular exercise, in patients with liver disease. 

Associate Investigators:

Professor Jeff Coombes
Associate Professor Graeme Macdonald
Dr. Ingrid Hickman
Professor Wendy Brown 

Administering Organisation: University of Queensland



Tom Penrose Research and Community Service Grant 2014 Winner - Lisa Spencer

Project title – Providing one-on-one virtual exercise care via video consultations: a feasibility study in pregnancy.

Principal investigator – Lisa Spencer

Associate investigators – Professor Clare Collins, Dr Megan Rollo, Dr Melinda Hutchesson

Administering organisation – University of Newcastle

Description – This project will evaluate an online exercise program for pregnant women consisting of video consultations with an exercise physiologist. Findings from this study will provide much needed evidence regarding the remote delivery of exercise care that will have direct applications to variety of clinical populations.



Tom Penrose Research and Community Service Grant 2013 Winner


Kassia Weston and Jeff Coombes. Effects of high intensity interval training on exercise capacity, mitochondrial function and muscle atrophy in patients with chronic kidney disease. University of Queensland.

This project will investigate the effects of high intensity interval training compared to moderate intensity continuous training on the reduced exercise capacity in CKD patients. This study will answer a number of mechanistic questions relating to the effects of high intensity interval training on muscle wasting and cardiovascular risk factors.

The following three awards were “Commended”

Adrian Gray, Kelly Clanchy and Jim McFarlane. Antenatal Mediators of Postnatal Depression and Physical Activity: A Prospective Cohort Study, University of New England

This project aims to investigate the mediators and predictors of postpartum depression and their relationship to physical activity in women living in the New England region for the purposes of improved screening and prevention of postpartum depression.

Melissa Skein, Rob Duffield and Frank Marino. Does sleep deprivation and consecutive days of play affect performance and recovery in team-sport athletes? Charles Sturt University.

Many competitive athletes are sleep deprived, often due to extensive travel commitments and this has a direct effect on exercise performance, and the recovery process. This research will examine the effect of sleep deprivation and consecutive days of play on exercise performance and physiological recovery in team sport athletes.

Esme Soan, Andrew Hills, Steven Street, Ben Desbrow and Shelley Wilkinson. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) Care – Value of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist – A Pilot Study. Griffith University and Mater Research Institute.

Pregnancy is a unique period where being physically active can influence the health of both mother and baby. This project is the first of a series of studies that aim to provide exercise physiology services (exercise classes and health education) to antenatal patients to improve health during pregnancy, birth and post-partum.