Professor Billie Bonevski

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Personal profile

Research Biography

Qualifications: Professor Billie Bonevski is a health behaviour scientist and Professor of Public Health at Flinders University, Adelaide. Professor Bonevski was appointed to this role in 2021. Prior to this, Billie was Professor and Inauguaral Women in STEMM Chair at the University of Newcastle (2019-2021). She is a past NHMRC Career Development Fellow (CDF Level 2: 2014-2018) and Cancer Institute NSW Career Development Fellow (2011-2014). She completed a scholarship-supported PhD at the University of Newcastle, after gaining a Psychology Honours degree (1st Class with WH Ward Prize for Best Applied Thesis). Immediately following her PhD she completed a World Health Organisation-sponsored postdoctoral travel fellowship with Cancer Research UK and the Cochrane Collaboration’s Tobacco Addiction Review Group, both based at Oxford University.

Research Support: Billie has been Chief Investigator (CI) on almost $30M of funding consisting of $19M in Category 1 grants, $6M in Category 2-4 grants and $3.7M in University research centre and commissioned research funding. She is CI on 19 NHMRC grants, CIA on 9 of those, representing continuous NHMRC funding over the last 10 years. In 2020 she was part of an international consortia awarded a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Achieving Tobacco Endgame (CIB and Deputy Director, 2020-2025).

Research outputs and citations According to bibliometric performance platform SciVal, Billie Bonevski is ranked #3 in Australia for smoking cessation publications and #1 in the world for smoking cessation and homelessness publications, and according to Expertscape, in the top 0.1% of 35,653 Pubmed authors worldwide on the topic of Tobacco Smoking Cessation. She has published 198 peer reviewed papers, 71% of which are in SJR quartile 1 journals (top 25%) and is first or senior author on 72%. According to Scopus, her papers have been cited 3618 times by 159 institutions in 94 countries. Over 20% of papers have involved international collaborators.

International recognition: Billie Bonevski is a frequently invited speaker, given 17 keynotes, plenaries and other invited presentations in the last 5 years (SRNT, Oceania Tobacco Control, World Cancer Congress). She has also been invited to contribute editorials to discipline leading journals: Addiction, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, and a Comment in Lancet. She and her team have received a number of awards and prizes including the 2016 Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand’s President’s Prize for tobacco control.

Translation/impact: Billie Bonevski’s research is highly translational. Her research for the landmark Cancer Council NSW Supportive Care Needs Project has been cited over 900 times and led to the introduction of routine distress screening in oncology treatment centres, financial assistance for carers and improved chemotherapy waiting rooms. The Supportive Care Needs survey that Billie developed and validated has been translated into 11 languages for use globally. More recently, Billie led the research program accompanying the Cancer Council’s Tackling Tobacco Program to reduce smoking among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, the biggest cancer prevention investment made by the Cancer Council NSW in its history. The research led to implementation of Tackling Tobacco Program in >200 community social services in NSW, and now in Victoria, WA and Queensland, reaching >28,000 service clients (featured in 2017/18 CCNSW Annual Report). Her systematic review led to a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (USA) recommendation for online smoking cessation programs, and her research into reactions of high-risk groups to plain cigarette packs was cited in UK and German parliamentary bids for plain packaging.

Professional Leadership: Billie is an elected board member of the international Society for Research in Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) as Member Delegate (2020-2023) for Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America (AAOLA), having previously served as the founding President of the SRNT Oceania Chapter (2017-2020).  She is inaugural University of Newcastle Women in Science Chair (2019-present); current Academic Lead of the Athena SWAN Working Group; Founding Chair of the Faculty of Health and Medicine’s Gender Equity Committee (2015-2018; current member); lead researcher for establishment of Smoke-free UON Campus; School of Medicine and Public Health representative on Faculty Board (2017-2020), Hunter Medical Research Institute (Hunter Medical Research Institute) Research Council Member (2015-), School of Medicine and Public Health Research Management Committee member (2016-2019), Executive member of Stroke and Brain Injury Priority Research Centre (2018-). Honorary Research and Innovation Conjoint, Hunter New England Local Health District (2019-) and Co-Chair and representative for NSW Regional Health Partners on the MRFF/NHMRC Australian Health Research Alliance, Consumer and Community Involvement committee (2017-2019).


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