Clinician Researcher Training (CRT) Program

Updated: 2 months ago

Status: Open

Applications open: 10/03/2023
Applications close: 31/03/2023

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About this scholarship

Project Title: Optimising systems and approaches to support patient and carer involvement in escalation of care for clinical deterioration in the acute adult hospital setting.

To optimise patient and carer activated escalation of care process in the acute adult hospital setting, using an implementation science approach to identify and address barriers and facilitators, including those related to cultural diversity and low healthcare literacy groups.


  • Identify opportunities and challenges by determining the current situation, on a local, national and international level (literature review and benchmarking). 
  • Examine implementation and impact of current process on patient outcomes, including barriers and facilitators to patient/carer participation, from both nursing and patient/carer perspectives (retrospective data review and survey). 
  • Identify the impact low health literacy and diversity has on patient/carer participation in escalation of care (retrospective data review and survey). 
  • Develop and test a targeted intervention based on barrier/facilitator findings, for optimisation of patient and carer involvement in escalation of care (Implementation science-based co-design and evaluation).
  • Significance:

    Delays or failures in staff response to clinical deterioration continue, despite integration of rapid response systems. Because of these delays to recognise and respond to clinical deterioration, patient/carer activated escalation systems have emerged as a strategy to initiate early response. National consensus statement and healthcare standards support engaging patient/carer participation in early recognition and escalation of care. It remains unknown how successful or to what extent implementation has occurred. We are yet to fully understand or address barriers and facilitators, such as healthcare hierarchies, cultural boundaries and communication failures. Optimising this process will promote patient safety and quality of care.

    Expected outcomes: 

  • Improved understanding of patient and carer’s awareness and knowledge of recognising patient clinical deterioration and participation in escalation of care. 
  • Improved understanding of barriers and facilitators to implementation of patient/carer activated escalation of care. 
  • Multifaceted, targeted intervention strategy that informs patient and carer activated escalation of care policy implementation and evaluation, to achieve dynamic sustainability within the local adult inpatient healthcare context. 
  • Intervention strategy to include targeted support strategies for vulnerable groups, including low health care literacy and culturally diverse groups. 
  • Improved nurse-patient communication and reduction in delays to escalation of care.

    • Future Students

    • Faculty of Health Sciences

    • Higher Degree by Research

    • Australian Citizen
    • Australian Permanent Resident
    • New Zealand Citizen
    • Permanent Humanitarian Visa

    • Merit Based

    This scholarship provides a living stipend of up to $315,000 over 3 to 6 years


    Full time scholarships will be paid the total stipend over a maximum period of 2 years (if Masters) or 3 years (if PhD); and part-time scholarships will be the total stipend over a maximum period of 4 years (if Masters) or 6 years (if PhD).


    For detailed information, applicants are encouraged to refer to page 6 of the CRT guidelines and conditions 

    Scholarship Details


    PhD applicants seeking to study nursing

    Applicants must:

    • be employed at the HSP/PPPP at time of application in a clinical discipline eg pre-consultant (medical), allied health or nursing and midwifery), and once enrolled in the program be maintained in HSP/PPPP# employment at a maximum of 0.5FTE (part time) or 0.2FTE (full time study) in a position undertaking clinical duties* Adjustments to these requirements are possible for applicants with caring responsibilities.

    • meet the host university’s admission requirements for the PhD, including prior research experience

    • be able to commence the scholarship within one year of execution of the funding agreement.

    The following high-level selection principles are applicable to all applicants:

    • Appropriate educational/research/career background within the field of the HDR project including technical skills and research-related knowledge.

    • Demonstrated commitment and expertise for a clinical career.

    • Demonstrated commitment, expertise and motivation for a clinical research career.

    • Demonstrated commitment to and suitability for the HDR Project.

    • Appropriate organisational skills and personal attributes.

    • After assessment of merit, consideration of capacity to contribute diversity to the clinical research environment.

    International candidates are eligible to apply but should contact the potential host university and HSP/PPPP to determine if their application can be supported within relevant university international scholarship caps and eligibility and visa limitations.

    * Clinical duties are activities directly related to individual patient care, as distinguished from administrative, research or academic activities.

    # HSPs include Child and Adolescent Health Service, East Metropolitan Health Service, North Metropolitan Health Service, PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, South Metropolitan Health Service & WA Country Health Service. PPPPs include Ramsay Health Care (covering Joondalup Health Campus & Peel Health Campus) & St John of God (Midland Public Hospital).

    Application process

    Process and timeline:

  • Submit the completed CRT candidate application form no later than 31 March to GRS via
  • The GRS team will email the applicant the how to apply for Curtin HDR admission details.

  • Enrolment Requirements

    Recipients will be required to meet established university milestones in line with university policy and procedures. An annual progress report confirming that the student is making satisfactory progress against milestones must be provided to the Office of Medical Research and Innovation (OMRI) with any relevant reports or publications attached.

    For detailed information, applicants are encouraged to refer to the CRT guidelines and conditions 


    For further information about this opportunity, please contact:

  • Associate Professor Fenella Gill, Acute Paediatrics, PCH Nursing Research & Curtin School of Nursing or
  • Gavin Leslie, Nurse Director, Research, Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit, SMHS

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