Hospitalisation and anticoagulant use

Hospitalisation as an opportunity to optimise anticoagulant treatment in patients with atrial fibrillation

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

In Australia, at least 250,000 medication-related hospital admissions cost AUD 1.4 billion annually. In response to this problem, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) accepted the WHO challenge: Medication without harm. At the same time, the Federal Government listed Quality Use of Medicines and Medicines Safety as the 10th National Health Priority. Inappropriate polypharmacy, high-risk medications (including oral anticoagulants), and transitions of care were the three flagship areas identified by ACSQHC to reduce medication-related harm. However, limited evidence is currently available in Australia to guide and monitor any reduction in medication-related harm. Our previous studies indicate that many community-based patients with atrial fibrillation still do not receive the recommended anticoagulant therapy (which reduces the risk of stroke by two-thirds). Patients with AF and inappropriately receiving oral anticoagulant therapy are more likely to be hospitalised. This PhD project is required: (i) to examine anticoagulant use in patients with atrial fibrillation upon admission and discharge and determine whether hospitalisation represents an opportunity to improve care; (ii) to determine factors associated with correcting inappropriate anticoagulation therapy during hospitalisation; and (iii) to determine the proportion of patients with AF discharged with either appropriate or inappropriate OAC therapy and having unplanned rehospitalisation (with cause noted) within 3 months. The findings will help inform the design of hospital-based interventions to be tested in follow-up multi-centre research that may improve stroke prevention in patients with AF.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Woldesellassie Bezabhe


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 $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.


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:

  • Sound understanding of clinical pharmacology

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Hospital pharmacy work experience

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 Woldesellassie Bezabhe 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.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience