Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Brenton Hordacre

Main Campus
City East

Applications Close
05 Oct 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (Domestic only)

About this project

Improving stroke rehabilitation in the community through an innovative boot camp program.

If you are passionate about advancing your career in the health industry and keen to improve recovery rates for those who have had a stroke, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within the Innovation in Implementation and Clinical Translation (IIMPACT) research concentration in partnership with the Department of Rural Health.  

Rehabilitation is the frontline therapy for stroke recovery. However, community services are limited and many stroke survivors endure persistent disability. In rural regions, this problem is further compounded by resource constraints, shortages of health professionals, and lack of ongoing training.  

Our project will seek to deliver and evaluate a new model of service delivery for stroke rehabilitation. Briefly, this co-designed program will provide an intensive burst of stroke rehabilitation. The aim is to accelerate recovery, improve health outcomes and upskill local clinicians. 

We want to build on the success thus far, of our stroke recovery boot camp - 90 hours of training over 5 weeks at our City West campus. Upscaling this innovative stroke recovery program will address real-world challenges of insufficient stroke rehabilitation.  

This work will be achieved by co-designing the next iteration of our boot camp, tailored for delivery outside of metropolitan Adelaide. Effectiveness of the boot camp will be determined by assessing the reduction of motor impairment, improved quality of life, along with measuring further benefits on social support, pain, mental health, and health service utilisation. Finally, we also want to assess the impact of the program on rural clinicians' skills and knowledge. 

You will based within IIMPACT in Health, which is a supportive clinical research environment that comprises over 100 researchers working across a range of disabilities. The concentration has expertise across a range of research methodologies and skillsets that will provide additional support for this project.  

IIMPACT in Health has a strong track record in producing high quality HDR candidates who complete on time, successfully publish, receive competitive funding and are recognised through research awards. You will have access to outstanding facilities and equipment and all the appropriate training and knowledge required. 

What you’ll do 

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake both quantitative and qualitative studies, employing a co-design methodology. You will work closely with patients, Primary Health Networks and professional bodies, and evaluate service implementation using both PARIHS and Community of Practice frameworks. 

You will also work closely with several key stakeholders, including patients, clinicians and service providers of stroke rehabilitation in rural South Australia. Consequently, you will need to travel to meet with key partners, and deliver and evaluate the program. This hands-on experience will build your communication and networking skills and give you a competitive edge post-graduation. 

You may have the opportunity to present your research to both academia and industry, helping you build a sound professional reputation and network. You may have the opportunity to contribute to papers for academic and industry journals to disseminate findings and there may be opportunities for you to attend and present at conferences. 

Where you’ll be based

You’ll be based within the IIMPACT in Health research concentration. Our vision is to enable and empower people with chronic conditions to reach their potential for recovery, independence and wellbeing. 

We will achieve this vision by impacting individuals, health service delivery, outcomes and education through strategic collaborations, bold ideas, outstanding research and exemplary communication. 

We work together with consumers and clinicians to identify real-world problems. 

We undertake qualitative, behavioural & neurophysiological experiments to find new solutions. 

We conduct clinical trials to test those solutions. 

We undertake implementation projects to optimise uptake of effective solutions and identify remaining problems. 

Supervisory team

Financial Support 

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders.  Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time. 

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time. 

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. 

All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate. 

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our City East Campus in the heart of Adelaide.

Essential Dates 

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Thursday, 5 October, 2023

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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