Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Richard Lee

Main Campus
City West

Applications Close
30 Jan 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:
All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. International students who receive a stipend are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$29,863 p.a. available to domestic and international applicants

About this project

Explore the concept of co-creation in the aged-care sector

If you’re interested in the services industry and keen to develop community-impacting research in aged care, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a practical project-based PhD within the UniSA Business Unit, in partnership with Calvary Aged Care Services.

Originally applied to the manufacturing industry, the concept of co-creation now extends to the services industry. For the tourism industry, for example, tourists co-create itineraries with tour operators. 

The concept could also be applied to the aged-care sector but there is little research into this area. There is merit in investigating how feasible and beneficial it would be to undertake co-creation with elderly aged-care residents. There are nuanced challenges in the aged-care domain that would need to be considered. For example, aged-care residents often suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments, as well physical mobility and other health issues. 

This project aims to understand which functional areas (e.g., dining, lifestyle, healthcare treatments) in aged-care homes would benefit from co-creation, what factors moderate the success of co-creation in these areas, and what theoretical framework can explain the co-creation outcomes.

Successful co-creation of services in aged-care may make it more likely that residents engage in a given service. For example, co-creating a meal plan may lead to residents eating more, thereby tackling malnutrition. Co-created services could help to stimulate residents’ cognitive and physical functions, give them a sense of ownership and pride, and enhance their self-esteem – a common psychological problem with elderly residents. 

Your research will help address pressing and important social issues, and your skills and experience in the aged-care sector will be highly sought after in this growing industry.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will work with the staff and management of Calvary Aged Care Services to develop the co-creation framework. You will need to travel to metropolitan Adelaide aged-care homes to conduct data collection via surveys or interviews. 

Through your studies, you will develop research skills and both theoretical and practical knowledge about service delivery and its outcomes on consumer behaviour. You will gain domain-specific knowledge and expertise in the aged-care industry and develop a strong industry network.

There are opportunities to attend conferences and to publish in academic or industry journals.

Where you’ll be based

You’ll be based at UniSA Business. We develop career-ready graduates, and positively affect communities and environments locally, nationally, and globally. We offer a suite of innovative programs in disciplines including business, accounting and finance, marketing, management, tourism and events, and property, as well as our Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive Education programs. UniSA Business is the only business school in South Australia accredited by both AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EFMD (EQUIS).

Our researchers are thought leaders who engage in world-class research and share their insights with students, industry and government partners. Our findings translate directly into results that transform businesses and affect communities for the better.  
Our reach extends beyond the classroom. We offer advice in taxation and marketing at our free clinics, giving students valuable opportunities to apply their skills and make an impact in their community.  

People, technology and the global marketplace are all changing rapidly. UniSA Business is for strategists, disruptors and entrepreneurs who are ready to lead from the front.  

Supervisory Team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $29,863 per annum is available to eligible applicants. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information for domestic students or international students.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from both domestic and international applicants. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. 

All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our City West campus in the heart of Adelaide.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer. Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close Monday 30 January 2023. 

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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