CHSR colleagues share value of student engagement in health economics on personal and professional development

L to R - Martin Vu and Dr Koen Degeling

The Victorian and Tasmania Student Chapter of the Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) has been awarded Outstanding New Student Chapter and Best Chapter Collaboration by the global ISPOR Student Network.

The ISPOR VIC-TAS Student Chapter aims to engage students across all disciplines in health economics and related disciplines by forging a network of students with professional academic and industry leaders. Over 100 students have actively engaged with the student chapter either by attending webinars or participating in various sub-committees over the last year.

“These awards recognise the achievements of the student chapter particularly with our work in engaging health economics and outcomes research across Victoria and Tasmania to develop future leaders within this discipline,” said Martin Vu, current President of ISPOR VIC-TAS Student Chapter.

In our inaugural year, we arranged several educational and career webinars that were aimed to provide students the opportunity to learn from leading national and international experts in the field.

“We also worked closely with the University of Maryland (US) to collaborate on strategies on how to build strong local student networks and connect students with members of health-related organisations.”

One of the major highlights for the student chapter was the Virtual Student Symposium held in May 2021, which was a one-day research event that focussed on showcasing emerging trends in economic methods for health research as well as celebrating student research excellence.

The student chapter was initiated by Dr Koen Degeling (ISPOR Student Network Chair 2018-2019) and Prof Nancy Devlin (ISPOR President 2019-2020) to promote the resources and development opportunities that the international society has to offer to Australian students.

“My involvement with the student network has brought me unique opportunities for professional development, as well as some wonderful memories. It has been great to see how Martin and his colleagues have taken ownership of their chapter and, especially, that they are enjoying it as much as I did”, said Koen.

The student chapter is a collaboration between The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University, and the University of Tasmania. “Such a multi-institutional collaboration is quite unique in the ISPOR Student Network, but it has sparked exciting interaction between students from different institutes, which would have unlikely occurred otherwise”, said Koen.

Martin said, “Working with other students has been an incredibly valuable experience since it has allowed me to become more immerse in the health economics discipline and to gain skills which I hope to implement throughout my PhD studies.”

Martin, who served as Secretary during the inaugural year of the chapter, will service as Chapter President for the 2021-2022 term. Koen will continue to serve as Faculty Advisor to the chapter together with his colleagues from the other universities.