Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor David Roder

Main Campus
City West

Applications Close
29 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 patient outcomes post cancer immunotherapy treatment

Seeking to make a difference in the field of cancer survivorship and interested in developing novel insights into cancer patients’ outcomes? The University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a potentially life-changing project-based PhD in our Allied Health and Human Performance Unit, in partnership with Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.

Immunotherapy to treat cancers is showing great promise in terms of improved survival outcomes. But many patients will experience immune-related adverse effects due to over-stimulation of immune responses resulting in inflammatory toxicities. Symptoms are often broad and non-specific but can sometimes be life-threatening. Currently, we lack specific instruments that can measure patient-reported outcomes across the range of immunotherapy-related toxicities. 

This PhD project aims to develop a tool for collecting patient-reported outcomes from those who have undergone immunotherapy. The goal is to assist clinicians to monitor and manage the adverse effects of these treatments.

One of the unique aspects of this project is the involvement of cancer patients who have received immunotherapy as well as healthcare professionals managing their cancer and associated adverse effects. Engaging patients and family members to gain insight into their perceptions is integral to developing health outcome measures that are relevant to the patient’s experience. Likewise, involvement of a diverse group of healthcare professionals who manage immune-related toxicities, including rheumatologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists and oncologists, will broaden the scope and comprehensiveness of this project.

You will be located at the Cancer Epidemiology and Population Health Research group (CEPHR) in the SAHMRI building, joining a supportive cohort of fellow students and world-renowned senior researchers. CEPHR is well connected with other academic groups within SAHMRI, including Translation SA, the Health Policy Centre and other units within the Cancer Streams, giving you access to a broad range of expertise and support. 

You will also benefit from support from the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre, and clinical input will be available through our close association with the South Adelaide Local Health Network.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake mixed-methods research with a focus on translation. You will conduct systematic literature reviews and qualitative interviews, synthesise qualitative data, collect and analyse primary and/or secondary data, and conduct and analyse Delphi surveys. You will become adept at managing research projects and applying mixed methods research to develop a survey instrument for assessing patient outcome.

The project will require ongoing engagement with health care professionals across a range of disciplines, as well as data administrators, and patients. This provides you with unparalleled opportunities to develop in-demand skills and experience and develop a strong industry and community network that will enhance your future employment prospects.

Where you’ll be based

You’ll be based within Allied Health and Human Performance. We offer degrees across a range of allied health and human performance disciplines, encompassing physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry, exercise and sports science, human movement, clinical exercise physiology, speech pathology, medical radiation sciences, health science, public health and medical sonography.  

Our students learn in purpose-built interactive facilities and from industry-informed teachers and gain hands-on experience working with real patients in our community clinics.  
We deliver high-impact research in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of health issues. We partner with industry to address global health challenges and work collaboratively to solve them. Areas of research strength include pain sciences, rehabilitation, and high performance in sport. 

UniSA’s community clinics provide affordable services to members of the public while giving students valuable opportunities for practical learning. Our clinics include physiotherapy, podiatry, dietetics, and exercise physiology. 

Our graduates are tomorrow’s health workforce: resourceful, engaged, and ready to create positive change in health and wellbeing, both locally and globally.
We solve critical health challenges, build strong relationships, and produce outstanding health professionals.

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 on Sunday 29 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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