Identifying consumer priorities for health research by asking consumers

Project Code: 10464329

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dr Nike Franke (nfra967)

Principal investigator: Ms Jen Rogers (jrog039)

Application open date: 05 Apr 2021

Application deadline:

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


Most new treatments for pregnant women and newborn babies are tested in clinical trials, which commonly focus on short-term outcomes. However, treatments before and around the time of birth may have important effects on life-long health and development for both mother and baby.  Evaluating these effects requires follow-up some years after the initial trial.

Despite the thousands of women, babies and children who are involved in follow-up studies each year, there is almost no information about what long-term outcomes families/whānau consider to be important. Additionally, little is known about what families/whānau think researchers should be measuring when assessing their child’s health and wellbeing nor how child health studies can be better designed to improve consumer experience and participation in research, particularly amongst Māori.

This is a mixed-methods research project. It includes focus groups, semi-structured interviews and  small whānau discussions and the circulation of surveys to wider consumer groups including clinical stakeholders and other communities of interest.

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

Background in a health, education or social science-related discipline and relevant experience, preferably in Māori or Pacific health or culture. Examples include (but are not limited to) sociology, psychology, public health, obstetrics, midwifery, paediatrics, nursing.

Scholarships and awards are available to support Honours, Masters and PhD students at the Liggins Institute, including a Liggins Institute 'Start Up' Doctoral Scholarship for your first year's fees. Find out more.


The aim of the Whānau Engagement Study is to:

  1. consult with a range of consumer groups to evaluate what outcomes they consider important and how these should be measured.
  2. better understand the enablers and barriers to participation in follow-up, and
  3. explore ways to utilise this learning to inform study design and improve access to participation.
Other information

The Liggins Institute is a world-leading centre of research excellence in the fields of fetal and child health, nutrition, development, epigenetics and implementation science.  The Institute is home to a number of nationally and internationally-renowned researchers committed to promoting ‘a healthy start for a healthy life’ for all New Zealanders.

Here are links to the supervisors' biographies: