Optimising osteoarthritis management

Improving the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis in Tasmania

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

10 October 2022

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

About the research project

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent, painful, disabling, and costly condition that affects over 2.2 million Australians. It is the main reason for joint replacement surgery, with over 115,000 knee and hip replacement procedures performed in Australian hospitals annually, costing ~$2.9 billion/year. The burden of OA is particularly high in Tasmania, which has the longest wait times (1-2 years) in the country for joint replacement surgery. Despite this burden, current management is often fragmented and inappropriate. There is underuse of clinical guideline-recommended first-line non-surgical options, including exercise, and overuse of invasive, expensive, and sometimes harmful and ineffective surgical procedures.

This PhD project aims to enhance our knowledge about how osteoarthritis is currently managed in Tasmania. In collaboration with health service providers and utilising national datasets, the aim is to map osteoarthritis management care pathways in Tasmania and evaluate changes over time. The project will evaluate the effectiveness of the current models of care for osteoarthritis treatment in Tasmania and work with policymakers to implement newer, more efficient models of care.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated student to join our research team and conduct this work. Techniques used in this project include: partner engagement, data management, quantitative data analysis, qualitative data analysis including reviewing interview transcripts, coding and interpreting the data, and advanced writing. Analysis supervision and training will be provided. Students from a number of backgrounds are welcome, including medical and health sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, allied health, and public health. Strong writing, communication skills and previous research experience are desirable.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Saliu Balogun

Funding

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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.

Eligibility

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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Background in clinical or health-related sciences

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Quantitative analytical skills, including experience in analysing linked data
  • Publication of scientific research in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Strong communication and writing skills

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Saliu Balogun to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 2 x 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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