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News | Fourth annual ASPIRE-NIHI Research Symposium

On November 19, ASPIRE 2025 and the National Institute of Health Innovation (NIHI) partnered to co-host the fourth annual ASPIRE-NIHI Research Symposium, delivered online.  Co-organiser Professor Janet Hoek said that, while this year had presented researchers with many challenges there were successes as well. ASPIRE and NIHI wanted to create an opportunity for early- and mid- career researchers to present their work and gain feedback.

“New researchers need to develop research networks so they can share their findings, create connections with others working on similar questions, and support policy makers, advocates and community groups to make use of their work.”

Anaru Waa, also of ASPIRE, commented on the very high quality of the work presented. “As we get closer to 2025, when Aotearoa/ New Zealand aims to be smokefree, it’s encouraging to see the innovative work being undertaken by the next generation of researchers.”

Dr Raglan Maddox (Australian National University) presented a keynote speech and challenged delegates to develop strong relationships with indigenous communities and ensure their research made a difference to reducing health inequities.

Associate Professor Sarah Durkin (Principal Research Fellow, Cancer Council Victoria and honorary Associate Professor, University of Melbourne) also presented a keynote speech; she reflected on her achievements, offered advice to those beginning their research careers, and inspired all present to continue working to reduce smoking prevalence.

Professor Chris Bullen (NIHI) noted the wide reach the symposium now has: “We were delighted to see people from around the world connecting to our event and it is clear that our researchers are addressing questions that have global relevance.”

The co-organisers were delighted to present two awards:

Best Abstract

Jinsong Chen , Elsie Ho, Yannan Jiang, Robyn Whittaker, Tzinghong Yang, Chris Bullen. Mobile Social Network–Based Smoking Cessation Intervention for Chinese Male Smokers: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Best Presentation

Julia Brillinger, Bar Atmospherics and Smoking: A Qualitative Analysis of Young Adult Smokers