HDR Scholarship - Better healthcare closer to home

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Better healthcare closer to home'.

Project Supervisor


Melbourne Burwood or Geelong Campus

Research topic

Australians living in rural, regional, and remote communities face unique challenges due to their geographic location. They frequently experience higher rates of hospitalisation and death, with poorer access to healthcare services. Older people often have more complex health needs including frailty, multi-morbidity, and cognitive impairment, resulting in a higher need for care, and reduced capacity to access care, compounded in rural settings by large travel distances, variable infrastructure, and reduced availability of specialist care.

DELIVER is a Commonwealth funded (Medical Research Future Fund) research program under the Rapid Applied Research Translation grant scheme led by the Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre.

The Program will be conducted in partnership with healthcare consumers (older people and their carers), regional and rural health services in the Barwon South West region and Grampians region, universities (Deakin, Federation, Monash and University of Melbourne) and primary healthcare providers across western Victoria.

Potential PhD topics may include:

  • Mentoring for research translation capability building in rural and regional health practitioners
  • Building research translation capacity and capability in rural health practitioner-researchers: A realist evaluation
  • Assessing the scalability of healthcare Interventions: A framework for prioritisation and implementation
  • Understanding the dynamics of change in health services: A multilevel analysis of engagement strategies and factors influencing implementation
  • Understanding the consumer perspective of home-based healthcare, including satisfaction with services, perceived benefits, barriers to access, and preferences for care delivery
  • Investigating the preferences, attitudes, and experiences of consumers regarding the use of digital tools in the context of home-based healthcare

Project aim

The DELIVER Program has two primary aims:

  1. to support increased, sustained, health service research capability across the region.
  2. to improve healthcare at home or closer to home for older people in regional and rural areas using rapid research translation, digital tools and co-design.

Possible methods and skills developed (not all apply to all projects)

  • Mixed methods - quantitative / qualitative research
  • Participatory research
  • Health service research skills (implementation, interviewing, focus group facilitation, survey design, qualitative and quantitative data analysis)
  • Engagement of consumers
  • Industry experience
  • Network building

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Tuesday 31 October 2023


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.
  • hold a Bachelor degree with Honours or Master’s degree with a substantial interdisciplinary research component in fields of social and /or health sciences.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • demonstrated experience conducting quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies, ideally experimenting with innovative research methods that are engaging for participants
  • evidence of publication or reports in written form
  • ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment
  • strong background in healthcare (either within a health service or health related area)
  • high level of organisation and accurate record keeping
  • experience in consumer engagement
  • experience in preparing written research documents and oral presentations on research activities and outcomes
  • preparing and submitting publications from research activities to peer-reviewed journals and conferences
  • analytical and numerical analyses
  • team attitude through participation in group development and research activities and contribute to other projects within the DELIVER program

How to apply

Please email your expression of interest (EOI) to A/Prof Kate Huggines. The EOI should include official academic transcripts (including grading scale and evidence of completion), CV (including names and contact details of at least two referees) and a one to two page cover letter outlining your skills, experience, research topics of interest and why this PhD. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof Kate Huggins

A/Prof Kate Huggins
Email A/Prof Kate Huggins
+61 3 5227 3970