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Workplace health and wellbeing project recognised for its significant cultural contribution

Posted on 3 November 2023

EMPOWER, an international research project on which Professor Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis is the UK lead, has been awarded the 2023 Malaspina Award for organisations by the Spanish Embassy in Canberra, Australia.

The EMPOWER Consortium is a collaboration between researchers from nine different countries including the UK and aims to reduce the impact of mental health problems in the workplace. Other partner countries involved with the project are Australia, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland and the project is partly funded by the European Union HORIZON programme.

The Malaspina Awards are honours bestowed by the Spanish Embassy in Canberra and the Association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific to individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to the scientific and cultural relationship between Spain and Australia.

Speaking about the award, Professor Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis, Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at HYMS and the Department of Health Sciences, said: “The Malaspina award the EMPOWER project received is a prime example of the role of the Horizon Europe programme as a key enabler of international collaboration.

The collaboration with the Canberra team shows how well EMPOWER functions to improve international collaboration. It will help report on the impact of the new intervention app at the individual and social level. My team is very proud to be part of this.”

As a part of the project, Christina and her team designed a digital intervention app that aims to help improve employees' well-being by supporting employees, managers, and employers to reduce work-related stress.

The app has been developed and tested with research teams from Spain, Finland, Poland and the UK. These four countries have recruited individuals to test and evaluate the effects of the app in a cluster randomised trial in which more than 800 people will participate. EMPOWER expects to report the findings in June 2024.