Building a sustainable research environment

The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) network, is an NHMRC funded centre for research excellence.

A key objective of PREDICT is to build a sustainable research environment and consequently we are seeking candidates to undertake research higher degrees (PhD, MD/DMedSci and masters degrees) in multicentre acute care studies to develop research capacity in emergency medicine.

If you are a health professional interested in emergency research and wish to undertake a higher degree, please contact the Network Co-ordinator, Cate Wilson using the details below. Potential projects are able to be undertaken in a range of research areas and locations. The details of candidature are open to discussion and stipends will be awarded on a competitive basis.

PhD Opportunities – Currently none available.

Past research opportunities

Application Procedure

Please contact Cate Wilson, Research Network Coordinator with all initial inquiries. Email:, Phone: +613 9936 6081

Once it has been agreed that an application is appropriate:

  1. To make a formal application, please forward a cover letter that explains:
    • your interest in the research area and relevant experience
    • previous research experience and long term goals
    • the potential location for your studies and associated university of study
    • your proposed supervisors (if known)
    • whether you wish to complete part/time or full time studies
  2. Please also attach your Curriculum Vitae which must include:
    • Home and work contact details
    • Citizenship and residency status
    • Academic qualifications
    • Post graduate work experience
    • Publications & presentations
    • Two academic referees

Current scholars

PhD Candidate – Libby Haskell

Libby is a PhD candidate through the University of Auckland, School of Nursing.  Her primary supervisor is A/Prof Nicolette Sheridan with co-supervisors Dr Stuart Dalziel and A/Prof Cameron Grant.

Libby was New Zealand’s first Paediatric Emergency Nurse Practitioner and is currently based in the Children’s Emergency Department at Starship Children’s Health, Auckland, New Zealand.  She has over 25 years of paediatric nursing experience with 13 years of these being in emergency care.

Her PhD will focus on the effect that tailoring theory-informed knowledge translation interventions has on the management of infants with bronchiolitis.  Her PhD is based on the PREDICT knowledge translation cluster randomised controlled bronchiolitis study.



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PhD Candidate – Sharon O’Brien

Sharon is a PhD candidate through Curtin University Western Australia, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine.  Her supervisors are Dr Fenella Gill, Dr Sally Wilson, A/Prof Meredith Borland and Dr Stuart Dalziel.

Sharon is the Research Nurse Coordinator in the Emergency Department at Perth Children’s Hospital and a Study Coordinator  for PREDICT.

Her PhD project incorporates:

  1. The formulation of an evidence based, Australasian clinical practice guideline for infants presenting to, and admitted into hospital, with bronchiolitis. The final guideline structure will consist of a useable clinical interface for bed-side functionality (including flow diagrams and tables of key points for example) with a descriptive summary of the evidence base and evidence tables (NHMRC and GRADE) appendices for each key statement.
  2. Evidence based algorithm for the use of high flow nasal cannula therapy in management of bronchiolitis in Australia and New Zealand
  3. Prevalence study on current use of high flow nasal cannula therapy in bronchiolitis in Australasian emergency departments and general paediatric wards.  This is a planned secondary analysis of the data collected from a cluster RCT evaluating the effect of targeted, theory informed, knowledge translation strategies on up take of the Australasian Bronchiolitis Guideline.
  4. Understanding practice: factors that influence bronchiolitis management in Australasian paediatric acute care settings – a qualitative study using the Theoretical Domains Framework


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PhD Candidate – Charmaine Gray

Charmaine is a PhD candidate through the University of Adelaide Department of Medicine, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health. Her supervisors are Dr Jennifer Couper and Dr Simon Craig. Charmaine is an advanced trainee in Emergency medicine at the Women and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide. Her work will contribute to the development of an international consensus on outcomes used in asthma research and will help to understand if demographic or clinical features can be used to predict need for intervention and timing of successful discharge in children with acute asthma.






PhD Candidate – Elyssia Bourke

Elyssia is a PhD candidate through the University of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics. Her supervisors are Prof Franz Babl, A/Prof Simon Craig, Prof Andrew Davidson and A/Prof Jonathan Knott.

Elyssia is an emergency registrar currently completing her final stage of training. She has a special interest in paediatrics and toxicology and is excited to learn more about clinical research through this PhD.

Her PhD project is a mixed methods study looking at a number of facets of paediatric acute severe behavioural disturbance. This PhD comprises part of the Medical Research Future Fund Million Minds Mission grant “The Kids are Not Okay: Emergency Department management of acute mental health crises in children and young people.”

The main components of the PhD will include:
1. A systematic review of pharmacological management of acute severe behavioural disturbance (ASBD) in the paediatric population and a review of current clinical practice guidelines
2. A survey of current Australasian clinical practice related to management of paediatric ASBD in the emergency department
3. A qualitative study examining clinicians experiences managing children with ASBD in the emergency department
4. A qualitative study describing children and parents experiences when they or their child present to the emergency department with ASBD
5. A retrospective observational study of the current management of ASBD
6. A RCT of pharmacological management of ASBD examining outcomes including efficacy and side effect profiles of the chosen medications.

PhD Candidate – Sonia Singh

Sonia is a PhD candidate through the University of Melbourne, School of Pediatrics.  Her supervisors are Professor Franz Babl and Professor Vicki Anderson at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne and Professor Jeffrey Hoch at the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, Sacramento.

Sonia has been a Paediatric Emergency Medicine consultant since 2001 and is currently the research fellow in emergency medicine at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento.

Her research focuses on health economic aspects of paediatric head injury and concussion.

PhD Candidate – Victoria Ramsden

Tory Ramsden is a PhD candidate and recipient of an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence Paediatric Emergency Medicine Implementation Science Stipend Scholarship which is being administered through Australian Catholic University. Her primary supervisor is Prof Elizabeth McInnes with co-supervisors Professor Franz Babl, Dr Emma Tavender and Prof Peter Wilson.

Tory has experience working as a paediatric intensive care nurse for multiple years and is currently a lecturer at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, School of Nursing Sydney.

Her PhD is a continuation of the PREDICT bronchiolitis knowledge translation study. A cluster randomised controlled trial has shown that tailored, theory informed implementation interventions are effective in improving management of infants with bronchiolitis. Tory’s PhD will undertake a mixed methods study to explore the factors influencing sustainability of these improvements