PhD scholarship: Transforming access, relational care, and primary health care in an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population through patient-centred medical homes: a prospective observational cohort study using mixed methods


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Health and Behavioural Sciences, Medicine
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value Base stipend of $38,597 per annum (2021 rate), indexed annually, tuition fees
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions
Opening date 15 February 2021
Closing date 31 October 2021


Supervisor - Professor James Ward

Transforming access, relational care, and primary health care in an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population through patient-centred medical homes: a prospective observational cohort study using mixed methods. 

Primary health care (PHC) systems throughout the world face the challenge of delivering quality care to growing populations with complex care needs. The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), a regional network of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in South East Queensland has overseen substantial increase in uptake of care in their clients, with demonstrable improvement in health outcomes; however, evidence is emerging of the inability of the system to effectively respond to the rapid population growth, necessitating a redesign of the way care is delivered. This prospective observational cohort study using mixed methods, will evaluate a model of patient centred medical homes, developed by an Alaskan Native controlled health service and adapted to the local context.

Unique to this model is coordinated care that is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, rather than by individual clinicians. This study is embedded in Aboriginal governance with internationally recognised research leads and will examine: the feasibility and acceptability of implementing the model of care; whether compared to pre-implementation, this model of care improves access and relational continuity of care; longer term health outcomes (such as hospitalisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts of health); as well as cost-effectiveness. The research findings will deliver key lessons for: (1) for broader PHC system reform, as well as for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, including related and distinct policy initiatives such as Health Care Homes; (3) system change management in real-world, PHC settings; and (4) Aboriginal led and governed models of research collaboration


To be eligible to apply, you must also meet the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at UQ.

To be eligible you must be:

  • an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • studying full-time and onshore in Australia
  • nominated by an enrolling school or institute at UQ
  • assessed by the Graduate School as meeting all conditions for admission to the higher degree by research program.
Applicants are required to provide compelling evidence of their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status. This would usually take the form of confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status under the common seal of a community organisation. Where exceptional circumstances apply, statutory declarations and other forms of documentation may be considered. Original or certified copies of supporting documentation must be provided.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Include a Confirmation of your Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Status.
  2. List Professor James Ward as your Supervisor and School of Nursing and Midwifery as your school.
  3. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  4. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  5. Select the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship type

See an example of what you have to do (JPG, 240.8 KB)

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, particularly in the urban setting would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of Health Sciences and the potential for scholastic success.


Professor James Ward

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.