CURTIN University has opened a new $2.5 million research facility dedicated to postgraduate research students in the health sciences faculty.
Included in the new development are 127 workstations for full-time and part-time students, a wireless network spanning the length of the building, interview rooms and seminar rooms.
Professor Garry Allison says he hopes the new facility will allow the health sciences faculty to focus more on the specific health needs of patients and ensuring they are given the best care.
“We’re recognising that we really need to be more person-centered or patient-centered, in translating our research findings into clinical practice,” Professor Allison said.
The new area forms part of the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute’s (CHIRI) vision to have a unique research area where everything is available in the one location.
One of the unique features of the facility is that it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure students with part-time jobs and tight schedules can come in whenever they want.
“These days, students don’t work the 9-to-5 times; what they do is they work when they can because a lot of them have part-time jobs and a lot of the people who are studying in health sciences may be working part-time shifts and during the day”, Professor Allison said.
There are also hopes that the new hub will bring occupational therapy and social work students closer together, allowing for more cohesion between the two areas of study.
“We’re not going to cluster the students into groups of OT’s and social workers. We’re actually spreading them around so they’ll start talking to each other and hopefully with these young, bright minds they’ll start finding solutions that go across professional boundaries,” Professor Allison said.
The Curtin health sciences faculty has approximately 10,000 students enrolled in 2011 and has increased its annual intake by more than 500 students every year for the past 5 years.