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: Suicide is largely preventable and we can do better. How do we improve service-wide clinical care and save Western Australian lives?

Because suicide is connected to local, historical, and relational contexts, effective strategies must balance evidence-based practices with the unique needs of diverse communities.  
Broadly, practices in WA do not reflect effective approaches to care. In EMHS reviews, systemic issues around knowledge, culture, and adherence to internal policy have been identified as systemic factors inhibiting efforts to improve consumer care.  
By auditing practices, engaging with community stakeholders, accessing the expertise of consumers, carers, and clinicians, and measuring culture this project will develop a co-designed framework to drive urgently needed systemic improvements to the assessment and care of suicidal consumers. 


  • Systematically review change to suicide care in other health settings. 
  • Audit records to baseline clinical practice. 
  • Evaluate EMHS suicide-related education. 
  • Explore internal reviews related to mental health patient care. 
  • Qualitative exploration of the culture of suicide care, accessing the knowledge and experiences of clinicians, consumers, carers and key stakeholders with a focus on factors which may promote or impede improvements. 
  • Synthesize the assembled data to develop, implement, and evaluate a co-designed practice reform program to promote improved care.


From Jan-Nov 2022, RPH ED had 1224 suicide-related attendances; 165 patients attended more than once, and the 8 individuals who attended most often accounted for 72 presentations.  
An example of a simple, proven intervention in ED settings is safety planning - which resulted in a 60% reduction in suicide behaviour over the subsequent six months.  
Effective suicide prevention strategies are widely regarded as cost-effective as they promote recovery and reduce mortality. By measuring local factors which will drive or inhibit change, we can identify how to embed a range of effective practices which will promote consumer recovery across EMHS. 

Expected outcomes: 

  • A co-designed implementation framework for EMHS to drive systemic improvements to care of suicidal people, promoting recovery and reducing costs. 
  • A clear picture of culture, clinical practices, and clinician knowledge within EMHS MHD to inform strategic decision-making. Cultural concerns have previously been identified but not clearly documented or explored. 
  • Promotion of a much needed research and innovation culture within EMHS MHD through this project's multidisciplinary collaboration and partnership with academia, key stakeholders, and consumers. 
  • Recommendations for further opportunities for research to improve mental health outcomes outside the scope of this project, including community partnerships.

    • 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 allied health, Emergency Medicine 

    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:

  • Professor Penelope Hasking, Faculty of Health Sciences,  or
  • Dr Vinesh Gupta, Medical Co-Director Royal Perth Bentley Group 

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