Sustaining Health Service Improvements

Creating conditions to sustain and spread: Are we heading in the right direction? An evaluation of health service redesign projects in the NSW health system

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Sustaining health service improvement is a key challenge in delivering high quality healthcare, given increasing demand for services and fiscal constraints. The Centre for Healthcare Redesign at the Agency for Clinical Innovation (NSW Health), in partnership with the University of Tasmania, offers a work-integrated learning Graduate Certificate program in healthcare redesign, within which students undertake a health service improvement project of their choice. A total of 114 health service improvement projects were completed during the period 2017-19 by teams of students in the program. Therefore, there exists a unique opportunity to identify contextual and project factors that influence the sustainability of improvements and successful scale and spread of project outputs within the NSW health system. Findings from this research will be used to improve future student learning but may also benefit patients and the healthcare system through greater understanding of how to sustain and spread positive change.

The aim of this project is to understand if and how changes implemented by projects conducted through the Healthcare Redesign Graduate Certificate Program have been sustained, and to identify contextual factors that facilitate the spreading of improvement outcomes to benefit the broader health system. We want to investigate the following types of questions:

  • What influences sustainable and embedded positive change in NSW Health?
  • What are the conditions that enable spread and scale of healthcare redesign projects?
  • What factors influenced project outcomes – personal, organisational, economic, educational?
  • How did capability building within service staff influence ongoing service improvement?
  • How has participation in the Graduate Certificate influenced project implementation over time?

The project will employ a mixed-methods study design (case study synthesis, surveys and qualitative approaches). The successful applicant will work with the supervision team to refine the scope of the project, make decisions about study design, and select an appropriate theoretical framework.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Phoebe Griffin


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend co-funded by the Agency for Clinical Innovation of $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

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:

  • The applicant must have completed a postgraduate level course with a significant research component, and be working in a public healthcare organisation in New South Wales

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Phoebe Griffin to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the 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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