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New PhD scholarship to support next generation of excellence in public health policy

The School of Public Health today launches The Neville Derrington Hicks PhD Scholarship in Public Health Policy.

Established with funds generously donated by Dr Neville Derrington Hicks and initiated as per his wishes with the kind assistance of Dr Hicks’ daughter and partner, the scholarship will support the education of future scholars in public health policy development.

Dr Hicks was a member of academic staff at the University of Adelaide from 1976 – 2005, and a key player in the development of public health teaching and research at the University.

From 2019 the scholarship will be offered each year in perpetuity (subject to available funding) to eligible applicants undertaking transformative and influential public health policy research at the University of Adelaide.

A once-off payment of $5,000 to eligible applicants will assist with project-related expenses such as living, professional development, conference, travel or publication costs.

Donations such as Neville’s in establishing scholarships, travel grants and other funding support, provides our students with opportunities that they might not otherwise have,” says Professor Caroline Laurence, Health of School of the School of Public Health.

“They are an extremely important part of attracting high calibre students to the University of Adelaide, and for this the School of Public Health is extremely grateful to Neville, his family, his partner and colleagues.”

More information about the scholarship and eligibility requirements will be available on the postgraduate research scholarships website.

Dr Neville Derrington Hicks

Dr Neville Derrington Hicks was a member of the academic staff at the University of Adelaide from 1976 to 2005. An historian and demographer, Dr Hicks was an Honours Bachelor of Arts graduate in history and politics of the University of Adelaide and a PhD graduate of the Australian National University (ANU). His doctoral thesis explored the decline of the birthrate in Australia 1891-1911 (later published by the ANU Press as ‘This Sin and Scandal’: Australia’s Population Debate 1891-1911). He was the ANU Post-doctoral Travelling Fellow in 1972-73, reading sociology at the University of Essex, after which he returned to South Australia as Research Officer to the Committee of Enquiry into Health Services in South Australia. He then taught social theory at Flinders University, but for most of his career he worked within the multi-disciplinary area of Public Health at the University of Adelaide.

Dr Hicks played a key role in the development of public health teaching and research in the Department of Community Medicine, which eventually evolved into the School of Public Health. Dr Hicks’s particular interest has been in policy development, and his radical and original thinking about how to promote healthy societies has challenged and inspired many cohorts of students. He was a ‘big picture’ person, committed to the public good and ends beyond his own, and he generously encouraged a similar vision in his students and colleagues. Dr Hicks was promoted to the rank of Reader in Public Health in 1991 and was a recipient of the Stephen Cole the Elder Prize for Excellence in University Teaching in 1996.

In addition to his work within the University, Dr Hicks provided expert advice to the South Australian Health Commission and to numerous state and national committees in areas of health policy, health education and health ethics. He extended an understanding of public health to the wider community as founding editor of the journal Community Health Studies, in his regular broadcasts on the ABC, and his many articles and presentations in the public domain. He was Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington DC and at The Hastings Centre, New York and was invited annually as facilitator and lecturer at the Imperial College, London intensive course in Medical Ethics.    

It was always Neville Hicks’s plan to make a financial contribution to the education of future scholars in public health policy development. Alzheimer’s disease has unfortunately prevented him from taking personal action. The Neville Derrington Hicks Scholarship in Public Health Policy has therefore been initiated by Dr Hicks’s daughter, Alison Greenslade, and his partner, Pamela Ball, with guidance from his colleagues Dr Judith Raftery, Dr Jane Harford and Dr Chris Reynolds.

Tagged in scholarships, Public Health, Research

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