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PhD Scholarship - Transfusion and Health Economics

Job No.: 628238

Location: 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Employment Type: Full-time (part-time by negotiation)

Duration: 3-year fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: A stipend of up to $42,000 per annum is available for 3 years, which may be converted to top-up funding if candidates receive a university or national PhD scholarship. Additional support also available for project resources and conference attendance.

  • Be inspired, every day
  • Drive your own learning at one of the world’s top 80 universities
  • Take your career in exciting, rewarding directions

The Opportunity:

We are seeking expressions of interest from candidates who wish to apply for a PhD with the Blood Synergy program, to undertake research in the CLIP cryopreserved (frozen) platelet clinical trial health economics program.

Your PhD research will form part of the Blood Synergy clinical research program which is focused on addressing Australia’s national transfusion priorities to deliver safer and more appropriate transfusion support for patients, to help guide better stewardship of national blood supplies, and to reduce costs to the community. The program is managed by the Transfusion Research Unit (TRU) in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, in partnership with the Australian & New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC RC), and the Centre for Health Economics (CHE) at Monash Business School.

Project Description

The CLIP health economics program is evaluating the cryopreserved platelets for routine use. Platelet transfusions can be life-saving in trauma, obstetrics, haematology/oncology, and other bleeding conditions. The current shelf-life of platelets for transfusion in Australia is 7 days, making it difficult to provide platelets reliably in regional and remote areas. Such a short shelf-life can also lead to high levels of wastage. Cryopreservation can extend platelet shelf-life to 2 years, potentially solving this problem. The CLIP-II randomised controlled trial is currently evaluating the clinical non-inferiority of cryopreserved platelets in comparison to standard, liquid-stored platelets.

This PhD program aims to help determine which Australian hospitals that do not currently hold platelets, or where platelet supplies are difficult, would benefit most from a cryopreserved platelet blood bank should cryopreserved platelets be shown to be non-inferior to liquid-stored platelets.

The proposed project will utilise the National Transfusion Dataset containing clinical, laboratory and transfusion data from multiple hospitals to refine an existing profile of platelet use in Australia and develop a better understanding of current platelet use in different patient groups. It will involve analysis of data available at a national level to quantify platelet availability, platelet usage, wastage, and transport of platelets to and between sites. It will also involve application of a predictive model of transfusion to hospital data nationally to quantify the unmet need for platelet transfusions in outer metropolitan, regional and remote hospitals.

From this project, the prospective student will gain specific clinical knowledge regarding transfusion medicine in both haematology and critical care practice, and can develop knowledge and skills in statistical modelling and health economics. The prospective student will also have the opportunity to work with a highly dynamic multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers within the ANZIC RC, TRU and CHE, all at Monash University. The supervisor team will include Dr Lisa Higgins, Associate Professor Zoe McQuilten, and Professor Michael Reade.

Selection criteria:

Candidates must have a degree or masters in a relevant discipline, with strong academic results. The project would suit candidates with prior experience in transfusion, health economics, public health or health related research.

Interested applicants should refer to the PhD entry requirements: www.monash.edu/graduate-research/future-students/apply.

If this sounds like a position that suits your current career focus we look forward to hearing from you.

At Monash University, we are committed to being a Child Safe organisation. Some positions at the University will require the incumbent to hold a valid Working with Children Check. 

In the context of COVID-19, the University is required to comply with various health directions issued from time to time by the Chief Health Officer. Further information concerning vaccination requirements and the obligations on Monash University to collect, record and hold vaccination information about employees is available at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria, please select COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions.

How to apply – Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

To be considered, interested candidates will need to submit an EOI via email to sphpm.bloodsynergy@monash.edu by December 22nd 2021.

Please include the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Academic transcripts
  3. Brief cover letter (< 1 page) detailing your relevant experience, research skills and interest in the project

Enquiries

Dr Lisa Higgins, +61 3 9903 0348

Closing date

Wednesday 22 December 2021, 11:55pm AEDT

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