Walter Winston Johnstone PhD Scholarship

15th Sep 2023
Study level
Graduate Research
Enrolment status
Future student
Fund source
Perpetual Trust (UOM)
Fund basis

UTR7.148 Walter Winston Johnstone Fund


To the advancement in the University of the study of the History of Medicine including the support of a chair or the provision of a lectureship or fellowship in that field. (from UTR)

This PhD will investigate the science of teamwork in medicine. The PhD will constitute a critical account of past and contemporary practices in interprofessional team-based practice and the implications for educating future doctors.

The study will contribute to the international discourse on teamwork in medicine and will help to inform recommendations for educating future doctors that are collaborative practice ready.
The PhD will be supported by the Walter Winston Johnstone Fund.

Summary of PhD Project

Interprofessional team-based practice has been identified as a key mechanism to bolster health systems globally, with benefits for patients/consumers, health workforce, and system efficiency. Interprofessional team-based practice can improve patient satisfaction, reduce error, reduce patient complications, improve workplace morale, and staff member retention. However, despite these reported benefits, interprofessional team-based care has only a tentative hold in contemporary health professions education, with siloed, individualistic approaches to training and assessment persisting.

This PhD will trace an aspect of the evolution of teamwork in the field of medicine employing a critical lens. The second phase of the PhD will explore current trends and the landscape of teamwork in health using an ethnographic approach (observation, document analysis and interviews of key participants in the field). The data will help distil what constitutes effective teamwork in health, the role of artefacts and time and spaces in supporting and constraining teamwork and the implications of enacting certain practices on quality healthcare. By building a clearer picture of effective teamwork, there can be a more robust design of educational approaches that may help to cultivate doctors who are ready for, and good at, working as part of a healthcare team.


$34,400 (full-time) indexed at 3% annually for the normal duration of this scholarship (3.5 years).

Disclaimer: The benefit amount for this award is approximate. It will be confirmed at the time of awarding and determined by the committee according to the terms of the award.


To be considered for this award, applicants must be:

  • Australian / domestic
  • Available to work full-time (3.5 year PhD program)
  • Satisfy the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences entry requirements for PhD, (H1 standard (80%) or UoM equivalent)
  • Able to commence their PhD in the calendar year of the offer


The applicant must:

  • satisfy the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences entry requirements for PhD (H1 standard (80%) or UoM equivalent), and demonstrate a deep interest in medical and health professions education research with a focus on teamwork/collaborative practice.
  • have a strong track record in health professions education or a related education discipline.
  • demonstrate strong skills in qualitative research.
  • demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • demonstrate effective academic writing skills.
  • demonstrate an openness to learn new things, versatility and creativity.
  • exercise problem solving skills with attention to detail.


  • Experience working in healthcare or experience in health professions education.


Email expressions of interest including a cover letter addressing the selection criteria, CV and academic transcripts to:

More information

This scholarship is subject to the MDHS Graduate Research Trust and Scholarships Terms & Conditions.

The recipient must continue to be enrolled full time.

The candidate will need to satisfy the milestone requirements set at each Confirmation/Progress Review meeting with their Advisory Committee.

Acknowledge receipt of the award in all PhD related publications and presentations.

The award may be revoked if the candidate fails to meet any of the above conditions.