PhD opportunities

Expression of interest for PhD opportunities

We have the following available under our 4 themes:

Supervisors: Prof Paul Glasziou, Dr Alexandra Bannach-Brown

Several tools to automate steps in a systematic review are available, including machine learning and text-mining software, and tools that eliminate repetitive tasks. Further tools may be useful for steps in the review process but are not yet available. We would like to evaluate real-world usefulness of current tools, identify where the development of new tools may be useful, and further areas for development. This PhD would combine areas of information technology, review efficiency, data science, and workload measurement, and medical research.

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Rae Thomas, Assoc Prof Magnolia Cardona

The de-implementation of ineffective and inefficient healthcare practices to improve patient health and safeguard appropriate resource allocation is a fast-evolving field of study. There is a pressing need to understand more about the use of appropriate and potentially unique approaches to tackle low-value care in clinical practice. This PhD offers an exciting opportunity for the scholar to identify the barriers and facilitators for the de-implementing of specific low-value practices, and to advance the development and piloting of de-implementation interventions. There will be a focus on patient-mediated/led de-implementation strategies. Projects will be both quantitative and qualitative and incorporate the public and healthcare professional perspective.

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Rae Thomas, Dr Anna Mae Scott

Engaging community members in health policy decisions enhances the legitimacy and acceptability of those decisions to the public. However, methodology in this area is under-developed. This PhD will investigate existing practices for community engagement methods in health policy, develop and test quality frameworks for community engagement, and implement community engagement initiatives. These projects will involve a mix of qualitative and quantitative research designs.

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Magnolia Cardona, Dr Paulina Stehlik

Longer life expectancy as a result of public health initiatives and medical technological advances has brought up high societal expectation of immortality. There is some evidence that health services are admitting older patients and administering medical treatments, surgical interventions and intensive testing or monitoring to keep people alive when they have no chance of benefiting from these procedures. In some cases these practices are potentially harmful and not aligned with patients wishes, and generate unsustainable costs of care. The sub-projects in this PhD offer opportunities to develop quantitative skills in identifying, measuring and predicting who will benefit; assisting decision-making; and qualitative skills to investigate strategies that align service delivery with patient needs and preferences to reduce low-value care. The topic of the sub-projects will suit either clinicians or public health practitioners.

Supervision by CRE-MARC research team

We are seeking expressions of interest for four funded PhD positions including the following areas:

  1. Community Antimicrobial Stewardship: implementation studies in Primary Healthcare Networks and Practice-Based Research Networks
  2. Skin and soft tissue (SSTI) and urinary tract infections (UTIs): generating and synthesising evidence about benefits and harms of antimicrobials for SSTIs/UTIs, and developing interventions to improve appropriate use/prescribing of antibiotics
  3. Residential Aged Care Facilities: tackling the problem of very high antibiotic use (e.g. identifying the reasons for overuse, enablers/barriers to design interventions to decrease inappropriate use)
  4. Neglected questions in the area of antibiotic resistance: systematic reviews and primary studies to answer questions such as: which non-antimicrobial treatments are effective for SSTIs/UTIs; does the use of two antibiotics simultaneously result in lower antibiotic resistance than a single antibiotic; etc.

Please note: these positions will suit a variety of backgrounds (including: medical, allied health, health policy, public health, pharmaceutical, systematic reviewers and methodologists, etc) and involve a mix of quantitative and qualitative work (e.g. systematic reviews, before and after studies, RCTs, qualitative interviews) but laboratory work is NOT a component of this position.

If you are interested in any of these, please contact the Institute Manager on [email protected]