PhD Scholarship Top-up student profile: Janet Long

Network structure and the role of key players in a translational research network

Award:  Janet is a recipient of a final-year PhD Scholarship Top-up

Supervisor: Prof Jeffrey Braithwaite, Director Institute of Health Innovation, UNSW

The aim of this study is to describe the structure of a new translational research network in Australia and explore the role of key players within the network: their actions and the opportunities and constraints they face in maximising collaborative effort and planned outcomes.

This study uses a mixed method, longitudinal design using social network analysis, interviews and review of documents. Of particular interest are the attitudes and perceptions of clinicians compared to those of academics.  Two ‘whole network’ surveys will be administered 12 months apart. Key players will be identified and interviewed to understand the specific activities, barriers and enablers they face.


How will your research inform improvements in supportive structures for translational cancer research?

The social network approach examines the relationships between network members rather than their individual attributes (such as expertise or skill sets). It examines how the structure of a network and players who hold important positions within it, influence its function. This information can be used to guide the management of translational research networks and optimize their operations.


“Some TCRN members have already been very open and generous in their willingness to participate in surveys and interviews. I hope this relationship can continue and extend as the network grows and that the data I generate can be useful in informing network management.”

Janet completed her PhD studies at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, UNSW in 2014.

Further details of her research can be found in the following publication:
Long JC, Cunningham FC, Braithwaite J. Network structure and the role of key players in a translational cancer research network: a study protocol. BMJ Open 2012, 2. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001434

TCRN PhD Scholarship Top-up awardee Janet Long 


TCRN PhD Scholarship Top-up awardee Janet Long