Dr Alejandra Pinero de Plaza


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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza works as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in a joint position with Flinders University and The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) - Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing. She researches Knowledge Translation (KT) and Fundamentals of Care (FoC) concerning participatory and technological studies and their evaluation. Her research topics involve frailty and healthy ageing, consumer behaviour and engagement, digital technologies and social network analysis, research implementation and impact (e.g. policies, health systems changes, care, education, health communication and interventions’ effects).

She brings a multidisciplinary background in health promotion, behaviour, and health. Her PhD investigated ways of mapping out healthy and unhealthy dietary patterns for global but targeted health interventions. In the field of marketing science, she investigated computerised ways of evaluating consumers' behaviours and their memory accuracy concerning brand recognition and product design. Dr Pinero holds a 5-year Licentiate degree plus 22 years’ experience in Mass Communication and Science Communication and has been awarded different types of recognitions and grants for her research and science communication work.

The academic insights that Dr Pinero de Plaza has developed now support the understanding of how shoppers make buying choices (around the world). She won an Australian Postgraduate Award and a Mars Inc. top-up scholarship grant for her consumer behaviour study in the packaging and the human decision-making field.

As an Associate Investigator, she was recently awarded an NHMRC Partnership Grant $1.2 million, in which she is contributing to the end user's engagements and KT aspects of RAPIDX AI. As a Chief Investigator, she has been awarded 2 Grants: 1. Concerning the marginalization of Frail, Homebound and Bedridden people in Australia; 2. About COVID-19 and the use of Digital Technologies within inpatients settings to improve the patient-clinician relationship.

Recently, she has been co-creating a new Arts in Health certification and an Alliance across Colleges.


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Adelaide/ Flinders University (2019-current); NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence.

Doctor of Philosophy, Field of Research 111712 –Health Promotion; SEO: 920401- Behaviour and Health. Funded: Australian Postgraduate Award. Deakin University (2013-2017).

Master of Marketing Science, upgraded to PhD, Funded: Australian Postgraduate Award. University of South Australia (2010-2013).

Postgraduate training: Social Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Religion and Ecology. Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC). Advanced Studies Centre (2004-2006).

BD/ Master/ Licentiate in Mass Communication (Social Communication, Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising) Andrés Bello Catholic University (1993-1998).

Honours, awards and grants
  • NHMRC Partnership Grant, AU.2020
  • Caring Futures Institute’s Collaborative Grant Scheme, Flinders University, AU. 2020
  • Caring Futures Institute’s Accelerator Grant Scheme, Flinders University, AU. 2019
  • International & local government/tourism research conference bids / ISPCAN; AU 2018-2020
  • Australian Postgraduate Award, Deakin University, AU. 2013-2014
  • HDR Conference Grant, Deakin University, AU. 2013
  • HDR Support Grant, Deakin University, AU. 2013
  • MARS research top-up scholarship, University of South Australia. 2010-2012
  • HDR Conference Grant, UniSA, AU. 2010
  • Australian Postgraduate Award, University of South AU. 2010-2012
  • Medal of Honour - Scientific Journalism / IVIC. Vzla. 2006
  • Excellence Communications Award: Dr Humberto Fernandez Moran. Vzla. 2006
  • Scientific popularization recognition at a national level. QUIMBIOTEC, Vzla. 2005
  • Scientific Journalism Award: ‘Aristides Bastidas’; IVIC, Vzla.2004
  • Friskies advertising billboard campaign, McCann Erickson, Vzla. 2001


Other responsibilities

Dr Pinero has been exploring and impacting the consumer engagement processes with health research. E.g. nationally, co-creating the Consumer Engagement Framework and Consumer Register of SAHMRI; and, being part of the Expert Reference Group of the NHMRC CRE APPRISE and others. She has reviewed for MRFF Rapid Grants 2019 and the Journal of Public Health. She is:

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Deakin University

Award Date: 14 Feb 2017


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