The University of Newcastle, Australia

Preventing Pressure Injury Through Skin Protection Strategies

Closing Date: 21 February 2020

PhD Scholarship

The objective of this project is to explore the use of barrier products for skin protection in hospitalised patients and or residents of aged care facilities

skin protection strategies

Each year, patients in Australian hospitals and residents of aged care facilities experience a large number of pressure injuries and moisture associated skin damage (MASD). These injuries impact on patients’/residents’ quality of life as well having an impact on healthcare services through longer hospitalisation and additional care requirements.

Prevention of pressure injuries and MASD is therefore an important challenge and opportunity, to improve the quality of care. One element of injury prevention includes skin protection strategies.

The aim of this research is to explore and evaluate a skin protection strategy or strategies. This may include a systematic review of the literature, in addition to a study evaluating the use of barrier creams or wipes. This scholarship is kindly supported by GAMA Health Care. The industry partner has no role in design or conduct of the research.

Process Interested candidates, should submit an expression of interest, with the required documents to Professor Brett Mitchell. One applicant will then be invited to formally apply to the university for entry into a PhD. The application process at this point, will require a more detailed research proposal. The successful applicant will then be awarded the PhD scholarship.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $28,092 per annum (2020 rate) indexed annually. For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover at single rate, for an international candidate.

Supervisor: Professor Brett Mitchell

Available to: Domestic and International students


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for admission and commencing study prior to June 2020.

Potential candidates are asked to

1. Address the following selection criteria in the application cover letter, including evidence of their experience and skills:

  • Clinical healthcare experience in the area of wound management, wound healing, tissue viability, continence care  or wound care or infection prevention and control.
  • A consistent history of high academic achievement
  • Exceptional written and spoken English skills (as outlined in the University’s eligibility criteria)

2. Write a one page proposal which includes references

  • summarising the current strategies used to prevent pressure injuries or MASD (1/3 page)
  • proposing your ideas for a research project in this area (2/3 page)

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should submit the requirement documents (below) to Professor Brett Mitchell via email ( by Friday 10th January 2020. Ideally, this should be submitted a one combined PDF document.

  • A cover letter expressing their interest and response to the selection criteria. The cover letter should be approximately one page in length and must not exceed two pages.
  • One page proposal
  • Scanned copies of their academic transcripts
  • CV

The expression of interest process may be closed early.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 21 February 2020.

Applications Close 21 February 2020

Contact Professor Brett Mitchell
Phone 02 4349 4536

PhD and Research MastersFind out more