Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza, PhD


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    Personal profile

    Research Biography

    Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza is a scientist committed to facilitating healthy living and better public health services through knowledge translation and health research. She is a Research Fellow at Flinders University and the National Health and Medical Research Council, Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing. Her studies focus on designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions regarding behaviour change, high-tech solutions, and partnering with end-users to ensure better access, care, equity, safety, and quality services to improve health outcomes and well-being.

    In 2020-22, Dr Pinero de Plaza investigations were accepted/published in these Q1 journals:

    • Health Promotion International
    • Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
    • The International Journal of Qualitative Methods
    • The Journal of Clinical Nursing
    • PLOS ONE
    • BMJ Open
    • Nursing Philosophy
    • Telemedicine and e-Health

    Dr Pinero de Plaza won the Vice-President & Executive Dean's Awards 2021, "for a FEARLESS embodiment of the University values in Research", and the 2021 Consumer Health Forum video competition: 'Big Ideas' to improve the Australian health care system. She has secured prestigious awards, attracting more than $AUD1,495,221 worth of grant funding as Associate Investigator (AI) and Chief Investigator (CI):

    • NHMRC Partnership Grant (AI),
    • Caring Futures Institute COVID-19 grant (CI),
    • Caring Futures Institute, Two Accelerator Schemes (CI and AI),
    • The Hospital Research Foundation (AI),
    • Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant (CI)

    Dr Pinero de Plaza brings a multidisciplinary background in health promotion, behaviour, and health. Her PhD investigated mapping out healthy and unhealthy dietary patterns for global but targeted health interventions. She has also studied computerised methods of evaluating consumer behaviours and memory accuracy concerning brand recognition and product design in marketing science.

    Currently, 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 marginalisation 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 (2019-2021); 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).

    Licentiate, degree similar to master's degree in Mass Communication (Social Communication, Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising) Andrés Bello Catholic University (1993-1998).

    Honours, awards and grants


    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 MRFF Rapid Grants 2019, PLOS ONE, and the Journal of Public Health. She is:

    Education/Academic qualification

    Graduate Certificate, 200h Master Yoga Teaching Certification - Peak Physique / Yoga Alliance


    Award Date: 6 May 2019

    PhD, Deakin University

    Award Date: 14 Feb 2017

    Master, UniSA upgraded to PhD at Deakin University, Funded: Australian Postgraduate Award.


    Award Date: 11 Feb 2013

    Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC). Advanced Studies Centre (CEA).


    Award Date: 30 Dec 2006

    Master, Andrés Bello Catholic University


    Award Date: 11 Dec 1998

    External positions

    JBI Cardiovascular Expert Reference Group, JBI Global

    5 Apr 2022 → …

    Member as Early Career Researcher, Australian Association of Gerontology


    JBI Adjunct Staff, Centre for Remote Health. Global reach - collaborator | Joanna Briggs Institute

    2021 → …

    Knowledge Translation and Research Advisor to the Board, ME Group Australia


    Member, Patient Reported Measures Research Collaborative - The Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health (CEIH) and Health Translation SA (HTSA)


    Member of The Health Consumer Advocacy Network of South Australia , Health CAN SA - the Network

    2019 → …

    Research Fellow , National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence: Frailty and Healthy Ageing

    2019 → …

    Community & Consumer Engagement Advisor -Community & Consumer Engagement Committee, Adelaide BioMed City Partner

    2018 → …

    Community & Consumer Engagement Advisor -Expert Reference Group, NHMRC CRE APPRISE

    2018 → …


    • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
    • Health Promotion
    • Digital Health
    • Habitual behaviour
    • Conditioning
    • knowledge translation
    • HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
    • Behaviour
    • Equity
    • Inclusion
    • Marginalisation
    • knowledge translation
    • H Social Sciences (General)
    • knowledge translation


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