Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza

Research Fellow

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

place Sturt North (N218-4)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr. Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza, Ph.D., is a scientist facilitating healthy living and better public health services. Dr. Pinero de Plaza strengthens researchers, clinicians, industry, and consumers' abilities to design, measure, and accomplish different health and social impacts. Her experience in mix-methods, experimental design, and evaluation helps her identify and demonstrate how interventions, healthcare services, and technology can provide better choice, inclusion, voice, justice, health, and wellbeing. She engages stakeholders as co-researchers because she believes they are fundamental for developing and implementing transdisciplinary evidence-based solutions to address complex and adaptive health and care problems. She is passionate about care and social networks, technology, and methods influencing behavioral change.

Over the last two years and the emerging, Dr. Pinero de Plaza has been:

  • Publishing and contributing to knowledge via 54 research outputs, more than 17 Research articles, and publications, several of them within Q1 Journals and/or prestigious knowledge outlets like:
    • BMJ open,
    • PLOS ONE,
    • European Heart Journal - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes,
    • The International Journal of Qualitative Methods,
    • Health Research Policy and Systems,
    • Frontiers,
    • The Journal of Clinical Nursing,
    • JBI evidence synthesis,
    • Nursing Philosophy,
    • Telemedicine and e-Health,
    • Health Promotion International, and others.
  • Attracting resources: more than AUD 1,720,102.3 from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Grant (Associate Investigator, AI), Caring Futures Institute (CFI) COVID-19 grant (Chief Investigator, CI), 2 CFI accelerator grants (one as CI and other as AI), The Hospital Research Foundation (AI), and Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant (CI); and she is waiting to hear from other NHMRC applications.

Currently, Research Fellow. Caring Futures Institute, College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Flinders University.

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 Ph.D., Funded: Australian Postgraduate Award and a top-up scholarship from MARS/UNISA. 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, a degree equivalent in Australian standards to a master's in Mass Communication as it includes 1-year research thesis embedded into a 5-year coursework degree, which is one step below a doctorate - under European standards - (Social Communication, Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising) Andrés Bello Catholic University (1993-1998).

Honours, awards and grants
Key responsibilities

Dr. Pinero de Plaza has been impacting the consumer engagement processes with health research. She:

  • Was a co-creator of the Consumer Engagement Framework and Consumer Register of SAHMRI.
  • Is part of the Expert Reference Group of the NHMRC CRE APPRISE, advising their engagement with the community.
  • Is listed as a Community & Consumer Engagement Advisor for the Adelaide BioMed City Partners.
  • Works closely with Health Translation South Australia (HTSA).
  • Is a foundational member of the Health Consumer Advisory Network of South Australia:

The Health Consumer Advisory/Advocacy Network of South Australia (Health CAN SA - the Network) is a group of health consumers who believe the people who pay for, fund, and use health services in South Australia should be able to inform and influence how those services are designed and delivered. The Network recognizes and promotes the strong body of evidence that partnering with health consumers ensures greater access and equity, and safety and quality health care, and improves health outcomes.

  • Is the Knowledge Translation and research advisor to the board of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Group Australia Ltd.
  • Is designing a PAR evaluation tool with our KT team, testing it with RAPIDx AI and Health2GO.
  • Is taking part in the Patient-Reported Measures (PRMs) Research Collaborative activities activated by the Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health.
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Media expertise
  • Behaviour