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Practice change initiatives to improve the care of frail inpatients

Project summary

Princess Alexandra Hospital
Research area
Biomedical and clinical sciences, Health sciences

Project description

This PhD project is part of a Centre for Research Excellence that aims to improve hospital outcomes for frail patients. Frailty is prevalent in acute care settings, yet our hospitals are designed for younger, fitter patients with acute, single system problems. This results in adverse outcomes for frail patients, stress on the workforce, and high healthcare costs.

In hospitals, many frail patients are managed by clinicians with expertise in single system problems. Clinical Practice Guidelines are usually based on evidence from trials recruiting middle-aged patients at the fitter end of the health spectrum, without co-morbidities or cognitive/psychosocial problems.

This project may explore:

  • disease-specific or intervention-specific relationships between frailty and outcomes
  • process evaluation of barriers and enablers to integration of frailty information into clinical practice
  • co-creation of resources for patients and carers
  • dissemination of frailty-specific information to health professionals.

Research environment

The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to develop skills in advanced quantitative analyses, qualitative analyses of structured interviews, process evaluation and/or co-design. The candidate would be supported by internationally-recognised experts in frailty and implementation science.


This is an Earmarked scholarship project that aligns with a recently awarded Australian Government grant.

The scholarship includes:

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • your tuition fees covered
  • single overseas student health cover (OSHC).

Learn more about the Earmarked scholarship.


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis taking into account your:

  • academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A health-related qualification would be highly regarded. Otherwise, a background in or knowledge of statistics and/or consumer engagement and/or co-design and/or a working knowledge of the Australian health system, ageing and/or frailty would be beneficial. 

How to apply

This project requires candidates to commence no later than Research Quarter 4, 2025. To allow time for your application to be processed, we recommend applying no later than 30 June, 2025 30 March, 2024.

You can start in an earlier research quarter. See application dates.

Before you apply

  1. Check your eligibility for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
  2. Prepare your documentation.
  3. Contact Dr Kristiana Ludlow ( to discuss your interest and suitability.

When you apply

You apply for this scholarship when you submit an application for a PhD. You don’t need to submit a separate scholarship application.

In your application ensure that under the ‘Scholarships and collaborative study’ section you select:

  • My higher degree is not collaborative
  • I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship
  • UQ Earmarked Scholarship type.

Apply now