CareTrack Aged: appropriate care delivered to Australians living in residential aged care

CareTrack Aged: appropriate care delivered to Australians living in residential aged care

Programs Available

PhD, MRes Y2+PhD Bundle 

Reference Number

2018450 & 2018451 

Opening Date

01 Jun 2018 12am AEST 

Closing Date

31 Oct 2018 11pm AEDT 

Scholarship available to



Older people in residential aged care facilities (RACF) are the sickest and frailest cohort of any age group and have the highest rates of disability. Our current aged care system needs to keep up with demands and maintain quality of care. Given the need for a sustainable and high quality residential aged care model, it is urgent to answer the question: What proportion of care encounters delivered to Australians in RAC are “appropriate”, i.e. in line with the evidence? The level of evidence-based care plays a critical role in health outcomes, and will enable us to identify opportunities for improvement.

Our methods will be based on our previous highly successful studies, CareTrack Australia and CareTrack Kids. We intend to study 15-20 conditions frequently managed in RACFs such as delirium, dementia, depression, and medication management. We will sample RACFs recruited in three Australian States and undertake 3,600 retrospective reviews of resident’s care records using trained surveyors. Given that quality of life (QOL) is impacted by the care provided in aged care settings, we will also measure QOL using a validated instrument.

This will be a seminal piece of work of national and international importance to understand the appropriateness of care and quality of life in residential care.

Other important information:

Two PhD scholarships will be available. The higher research degree candidate will have an opportunity to be involved with the CareTrack Aged research in the area of the indicator development and data collection methods. Indicators are the embodiment of best practice within this type of research. They will be developed systematically from existing clinical practice guidelines using established methods.

The higher research degree candidate will become an integrated member of our research team. Their research will focus on efficient methods to optimise the development of the indicators such that they have high face and content validity and reliability. Their work will build on our current expertise in indicator development and has wider implications in the internationally important policy area of healthcare performance indicators.


This scholarship is available to eligible candidates to undertake either:

  • Research Training Pathway MRes Year 2 followed by a 3 year PhD. This is referred to as an MRes/PhD ‘bundle offer’; OR
  • Direct entry into a 3 year PhD program.

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 in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the Rating Scholarship Applicants section for more information about these guidelines.

Scholarship Components

The scholarship is comprised of the Tuition Fee Offset funded by the Research Training Program (RTP) and a Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) Stipend.

The value and tenure of the scholarship is:

  • RTP Tuition Fee Offset; and
  • MQRES Stipend (living allowance)

This scholarship provides a stipend currently valued at AUD $27,596 per annum (tax exempt).

Contact Details

Name: Peter Hibbert
Phone: 0414253461

How to Apply

New applicants to Macquarie University will need to complete the Online HDR Candidature and Scholarship Application via the Online Application System and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. Further information can be found on the How to Apply page.

Applicants who are currently enrolled in an MQ HDR program or applicants who hold a Macquarie University candidature offer LESS than 12 months old:

  • Complete and submit the HDR Application for Scholarship Only form (available on the HDRO Forms) and include supporting documentation, such as:
    • any additional information or research output since original application and commencement
    • updated CV
    • offer letter and/or research student profile
  • Indicate the reference under the scholarship details question
  • Email the application to in ONE pdf document and MUST indicate in the subject line the MQ ID, full name and reference
  • Request their referees to send the Academic Referee Reports directly to

While current candidates are eligible to apply, any consumed prior enrolment will be counted as advanced standing and will reduce the maximum scholarship duration offered.

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