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Improving Enduring Access to Primary Health Care for Vulnerable Populations

IMPACT (Innovative Models Promoting Access-to-Care Transformation) is a five-year program of research funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The work is being conducted in three Canadian Provinces (Alberta, Ontario and Quebec) and three Australian States (South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales). In each setting, partnerships between clinicians, decision-makers, researchers and members of the community have worked together to design interventions to improve access to primary health care (PHC) for vulnerable community members. IMPACT will conclude its active work in December 2018, however there are a number of spin- off projects, and a wealth of data remaining to be analysed. There are a host of follow-up questions suitable for a student project. Aim IMPACT’s aim is to use a participatory approach to improve access to PHC for vulnerable populations. Objectives: Possible project topics: •Why do interventions to assist vulnerable individuals access primary care work in some settings but not in others? •How can the community and those who care for them best be able to contribute to the research process? •What are the implications of having a poor relationship with a primary care provider? •Relational continuity in primary care. To whom does it matter? And why? Setting The South Eastern Melbourne Local Government Area (Dandenong, Clayton & surrounding suburbs). The opportunity The successful candidate will work under the guidance of the research team and partner agencies in the South East Melbourne region to collect and analyse data and generate research outputs (including policy and best practice guidelines) aligning with their areas of interest. Candidates will be supported to: • Gain experience in qualitative (interviews) and/or quantitative (surveys) data collection and analysis • Gain experience with community engagement through engagement with a regional team of policy advisers, health service/program managers, clinicians and community members working to improve primary health care delivery to vulnerable populations • Develop academic writing skills by contributing to research papers, briefs, best practice guidelines, reports and conference presentations. • Prepare an article for publication (this is an expected outcome of the year’s work) About the research team The Department of General Practice research team has an outstanding track record across a breadth of topic areas, including asylum seeker and refugee health, early detection of cancer and cancer survivorship, prevention and management of chronic disease, mental health, family violence, and women's health, just to name a few! Our Supervisors are very experienced, highly trained and accredited with Monash Graduate Education to supervise a range of research candidates. The Department is fortunate to have its own full time biostatistician and several social scientists trained in qualitative methods. The team is based at the university’s Notting Hill campus, and are able to provide assistance regarding data collection, analysis and interpretation. Early career research support groups and training are also available. The Department provides a supportive environment for researchers, with supervision and mentorship of a designated academic supervisor, regular team meetings, excellent study facilities and parking on site. The IMPACT research team comprises leading health services researchers, clinicians and policy makers from Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Vulnerable populations; health equity; community engagement; primary care; general practice; health services research; mixed methods research; qualitative research; quantitative research; access to healthcare
School of Primary and Allied Health Care
Available options 
Masters by research
Short projects
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Notting Hill Campus

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