Researcher Profile: Dr Jaimon Kelly

14 Dec 2023

I always believed that I would pursue a clinical profession and imagined myself having daily interactions with patients. While studying dietetics, and as I started working clinically, many of my patients had questions which seemed to be due to gaps in existing research. I realised I could help answer these questions and this motivated me to pursue a research career alongside working my passion of clinical practice. 

My work now is in UQ’s Centre for Online Health, part of the Centre for Health Services Research. I study digital nutrition, telehealth and chronic disease management, with a focus on improving digital health trust, confidence and literacy, in both the health workforce and patients with chronic conditions. 

Japan TNT Graduation 

I have a variety of research interests, but my latest project aims to understand how to improve telehealth interpreter services in the hospital for people from Culturally and Linguistic Diverse Backgrounds. I hope that in the next few years I can contribute to the translation of resources and infrastructure which enables a digital health care system which is truly equitable, accessible and easy to navigate for all Australians - regardless of their cultural, socio-economic or geographical background.

UQ has an outstanding reputation in my field of study and I love being part of this research community. The Centre for Online Health is home to diverse clinical experiences and projects, providing me with all the knowledge and motivation to continue to learn and pass on that knowledge to others. 

I’ve moved institutions several times already in my early career which has challenged my ability to adapt to different cultures, personalities and priorities. But it’s also offered valuable experiences, allowing me to broaden my horizons and forge career-defining collaborations. 

Jaimon celebrating his PhD Graduation
Jaimon celebrating his PhD Graduation 

One challenge I wasn’t expecting from a career in research is the ongoing need to secure funding for projects and sustain my team. But, with dedication and resourcefulness, we've managed to maintain project momentum. Handling rejection has also been an inherent part of this path. It can be a sobering experience but it's also a catalyst for growth, teaching me resilience and making the successes all the sweeter.

Outside of work I’m a proud dad of 2 boys. I love to spend time with them and enjoy watching them grow and explore the world. I also like to read, mostly comics and novels, although these days I tend to only have time to listen to the audio version! 

My advice to someone starting out in a research career would be to always be eager to learn and explore new ideas and have the courage to change and pivot if you need to. Let your research be guided by the people that it will impact: what matters to them, how are you addressing their needs and priorities? If you can do this, you know that you are doing important work.