Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Associate Professor Tracey Laba

Main Campus
City East

Applications Close
27 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.

About This Project 

Help prevent medicine harm in older Australians

If you are seeking to advance your career in pharmacy, medicines and health economics and are interested in improving the lives of older Australians, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD with community impact within our UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences Unit, in partnership with Healthy Care Services.

Harm from medicines is the most frequent but preventable harm in the health system, especially for older Australians. Pharmacists play an important role in averting medicine-related harm and the Australian government has prioritised funding to support the use of pharmacy services to improve medicine safety in aged care. 

Most research and funding targets residential aged-care services (i.e., nursing homes). While important, this approach ignores the many individuals ageing at home or in retirement villages who have high healthcare and medicine needs and would otherwise qualify for residential aged-care services if they were available. 

This project directly tackles this problem. Working closely with end-users (pharmacists, residents, carers, health care and retirement village providers), this cross-disciplinary project will develop an evidence-based model for quality use of medicine (QUM) services for people with complex health care needs living in retirement villages.

You will be co-located within the UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences Unit and the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre (QUMPRC) which specialises in pharmacy-led academic research and consultancy. Both the Unit and the Centre have a vibrant and supportive PhD culture and you will have access to world-class researchers and thought leaders.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake mixed methods research activities that involve interaction with aged-care residents, pharmacists and other end-users (e.g., retirement village providers, policymakers). This is likely to require travel to retirement villages within Adelaide.

You will be guided in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including health economics, and undertake literature reviews and write scientific articles and ethics applications.

There will be opportunities for you to attend and present at internal and external conferences and meetings, which will help you to start building a robust, collaborative research network. Working directly with our end-user advisor will help you to also establish meaningful links with industry.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences Unit. We address critical and emerging health needs while improving the quality of patient care. We are at the forefront of clinical discovery through our research into causes and cures of disease. Every day, our researchers investigate the best ways to help improve patient outcomes and create positive change in the health industry.  

We present our insights to the people who need it most, through our collaborations and partnerships with local industry and community, government and research institutions worldwide.  Our clinical and health science programs encompass pharmacy, nursing and midwifery, laboratory medicine, biomedical sciences, and nutrition and food sciences.  

UniSA’s world-class facilities provide a seamless transition from study to career, with our specialist clinics providing hands-on experience to students while serving the local community. UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences is a community of ideas and innovation. We produce versatile graduates, generate new knowledge that contributes to a healthier society, and translate our research into successful healthcare strategies.

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 application from both domestic and international applicants.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally, applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:
  • An undergraduate degree, post-graduate qualifications or experience in pharmacy or health-related discipline, public health or health economics
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 East 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 on Friday, 27 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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