Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Macquarie University, Australian Institute of Health Innovation
App. deadline 31/05/2017
  • Scholarship available
Project ID 2017496
Eligibility Australian residents only

Productive Safety in the Emergency Department (ED): developing ED safety capacity when responding to high patient demand and unexpected events

Project Description

This project will address an internationally-important healthcare problem in hospital Emergency Departments: with a surging demand for services, how can we ensure a safe environment for patients while still maintaining throughput?

The purpose of this project is to design and implement ED processes to improve system resilience in NSW public hospitals. We seek to identify key quantitative and qualitative behavioural and organisational measures that are predictive of a resilient response to unexpected events and periods of peak patient demand in the ED. Based on these measures, processes will be developed for assessing and improving productive safety. By doing so, we will assist ED leaders and clinicians to evaluate their organisation, and implement action to improve the number of things that go right when faced with challenging or unanticipated conditions. Such a proactive effort is likely to strengthen ED responses to threats and crises, and thereby save money and lives.

Other Important Information

The project aims are:

1.To establish baseline measurement of productive safety in EDs in NSW public hospitals.

2.To refine productive safety processes, following an in-depth study of NSW ED cases.

3.To develop a suite of context-dependent and generic tools to support re-design of processes to improve productive safety in EDs in NSW public hospitals.


A scholarship is available for a full time domestic PhD student to undertake mixed-method research in these areas, with the specific research project able to be negotiated.

This scholarship is available to eligible candidates to undertake direct entry into a 3 year PhD program.

The value and tenure of the scholarship is:

  • The value and tenure of the scholarship is $26,288 per annum (2017 rate) 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 ID allocation number on your application.

For an expression of interest, further enquiries or questions:

Contact Name: Dr Robyn Clay-Williams

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: (02) 9850 2438

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Ms Teresa Winata
+61 2 9850 2472

Dr Robyn Clay-Williams
+61 2 9850 2438