MRes2/PhD Scholarship - Genomics Implementation 2

MRes2/PhD Scholarship - Genomics Implementation 2

Scholarship program

PhD or MRes/PhD bundle

Allocation number



Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI), Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science

Project name

Genomics implementation 2: Consumer perspectives and experiences of the implementation of genomic sequencing in Australian healthcare organisations

Project description

The Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) is part of the largest grant on genomics ever awarded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Australian Genomics Health Alliance (AGHA) project aims to prepare Australia for the genomics revolution in health care, and will run for five years (2016-2020).

In this project, the PhD student will undertake research with the general public and recipients of genomic sequencing in the existing flagships to identify perceptions and experiences of the implementation of genomic sequencing in healthcare organisations. Investigations will be undertaken primarily using interviews and focus on areas including: (a) perceived public and individual need; (b) perceived and actual benefits; (c) experiences of the process (this will include a comparison to reports of the process from the clinician and service provision perspective); (d) perceived and actual barriers and facilitators to access; (e) perceptions of and plans to disseminate genetic disorder diagnosis information to family members; (f) perceptions of how and plans to manage conditions following diagnosis. New knowledge gained from this PhD will 1) inform the design of information materials for the public and patients about genetic sequencing; 2) help to streamline processes within and between healthcare systems (e.g., GP to hospital); 3) inform the design of interventions to support decision making about sequencing and dissemination of information to family members.

AGHA project summary

The AGHA is supporting clinical implementation projects in two key areas: rare diseases and cancer. Genomic sequencing is offered for particular clinical indications in these key areas though clinical projects. These projects provide an opportunity to collect evidence for clinically effective and cost effective use of genomics whilst also simultaneously offering an opportunity to develop and test models of implementation. This hybrid effectiveness-implementation approach was adopted from the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance. Five Melbourne Genomics clinical ‘flagship’ projects (focusing on childhood syndromes, hereditary neuropathies, epilepsy, hereditary colorectal cancer and acute myeloid leukaemia) have been completed and have undergone research to assess clinical and cost effectiveness. To ensure that genomic sequencing, where found to be clinically effective and cost effective, is sustained beyond the life of the programmatic funding, we urgently require an understanding of service provision pathways and clinical processes for genomic sequencing that currently exist or are planned for the future. The previously completed Melbourne Genomics flagships and the current Melbourne and Australian Genomic flagships [focusing on solid tumours, paediatric care (complex care, intellectual disability) and immunology] offer an opportunity to conduct research to support implementation of genomic medicine. The AIHI Behaviour Change Stream has collaborated with the AGHA to design a project, which will address the following objectives:

a) Understand the nature of, or plans for, service provision pathways
b) Establish current clinical processes for genomic sequencing
c) Identify barriers and enablers to implementing genomic sequencing
d) Inform and support the development of a suite of interventions to facilitate the implementation of genomic sequencing into clinical practice

By studying flagship cohorts using implementation science methods, a suite of appropriate interventions to facilitate the implementation of genomic sequencing into clinical practice can be designed, tested, and generalized for future flagships and across organizations outside this program. Furthermore, a service provision pathway can be designed to optimize the likelihood of sustainability of genomic sequencing for flagships once program participation is complete, and for new organizations aiming to provide genomic sequencing. The final three years of the implementation science plan will work towards achieving these wider aims.

Other important information

This scholarship is available to eligible candidates to undertake either a:

  • Research Training Pathway MRes Year 2 Scholarship (MQRTPMRES) followed by a possible Macquarie University Research Training Program Scholarship (MQRTP) for a 3 year PhD. This is referred to as an MRes/PhD ‘bundle offer’.


  • Direct entry into a 3 year PhD program.

The value and tenure of the scholarship is:

  • The MQRTPMRES Year 2 full-time stipend rate is $26,682 per annum (2017 rate) tax exempt
  • The MQRTP full-time stipend rate is $26,682 per annum (in 2017 tax exempt, for up to 3 years (indexed annually)

The scholarship is comprised of a Tuition Fee Offset and a Living Allowance Stipend

Applicants will need to complete a HDR Candidature and Scholarship Application Form and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. The application form and further information can be found on the Application page.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants are expected to have a record of excellent academic performance and preferably, additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the Rating Scholarship Applicants section for more information about these guidelines.

Macquarie University will advise the successful applicant of entitlements at the time of scholarship offer.

Please quote the allocation number on your application.

Contact name

Dr Janet Long

Contact email

Contact phone

(02) 9850 2420

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