Dementia Care Workforce

Enhancing dementia care workforce ability to provide high-quality care: Dementia Care Students' Translation of Education into Practice Survey (DemCare STEPS)

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

The aged care workforce is under pressure to care for clients with increasingly complex health conditions and multiple comorbidities, particularly dementia, a global public health issue.  Over half of Australian aged care home residents live with dementia. People living with dementia have high needs for care to support daily living and behaviour. It is vital that aged care staff can provide skilled, informed care to meet these complex needs, yet gaps have been found in staff dementia knowledge.  Therefore, it is important to explore workforce participation in education aiming to enhance dementia knowledge and the impact of such education on both understanding and agency to improve care quality.

This mixed methods project will use as a case study the Wicking Centre’s online Dementia Care Program, undertaken by students across Australia who are typically working in residential, home or community care. It will collect data on the impact of studying the Diploma and Bachelor of Dementia Care on students’ dementia knowledge, attitudes, care practices and career pathways. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected via online surveys administered at multiple time points. A subgroup of participants will be interviewed to obtain in-depth qualitative data on the impact of education on care practices, aged care leadership, and career pathways. This project will look at the role education can play in translation of dementia knowledge into practice in aged care. This includes how information is used to change current care practices, to advocate for broader care improvements, and the opportunity provided by education to move into different roles and career pathways. In this way, the project will explore some of the contributing factors that will need to be addressed by the aged care sector if they are to build and reshape their workforce to be more innovative and highly skilled in care delivery.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Emma Lea


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Emma Lea, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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