Research within nursing and midwifery is incredibly important, as the evidence gained through nurse-led or midwife-led research can inform the delivery of nursing and midwifery practice in ways that not only improve care, but also protects the well-being of nurses and midwives.

The findings from nurse-led and midwife-led studies not only tell us about the impact of interventions, but also highlight the changes required to better support nursing and midwifery teams to deliver high-quality care.

Western Health is proud to have an extremely active Nursing & Midwifery Research Program, with an excellent track record of securing research grants, prolific publication and studies that are getting international attention.

We also are pleased to be able to provide active and meaningful support for nurses and midwives that are interested in research, through the provision of generous research grants specifically for nurses and midwives, the Mavis Mitchell Scholarship and expertise, guidance and support through our Chair of Nursing, Chair of Midwifery and their teams.

The Western Health/Deakin University Partnership:

The Western Health Partnership with Deakin University was established in 2014 and drives collaborative clinical research that provides Western Health staff and students with the opportunity to engage in clinically focussed, multidisciplinary research and training across acute, chronic, rehabilitation, and community healthcare settings. The Partnership is committed to improve patient safety outcomes, patient experience of healthcare, and support the role of nurses and midwives in their workforce development, with the ultimate aim to deliver world class health outcomes for our large and diverse community in Melbourne’s west.

The Western Health Partnership is unique as is the only partnership dedicated to both nursing and midwifery, with clinical chairs for each discipline.

The Partnership is led by Professors Bodil Rasmussen (Nursing) and Linda Sweet (Midwifery) and is supported by a highly-skilled team of researchers from a range of backgrounds working closely with clinicians and researchers from all health disciplines. Postgraduate research students (honours, master’s, PhD’s) also contribute to the Partnership’s research activities.

In 2021 the Partnership grew further to include a Research Fellow that specifically focuses on developing robust evidence in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to support Closing the Gap.

The Partnership’s researchers specialise in developing robust evidence to how best to support and care for all people, particularly those living with chronic and complex conditions and their families, and childbearing women and their families. We focus on health care service research that partners with consumers in co-design, with particular interest in the areas of chronic conditions management, technology use in healthcare, health workforce development, gender, and health, and enhancing maternity services.

PhD Scholarship:

The Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery in conjunction with the Faculty of Health at Deakin University are delighted to offer a co-funded PhD scholarship to undertake dedicated nursing and/or midwifery research. The scholarship will consist of:

  • a tax exempt stipend of $48,500 per annum (at 2023 rate). Standard scholarships are usually to the value of $33,500 per annum, so this is an excellent opportunity for a Western Health nurse or midwife,
  • free tuition at Deakin University to study full time for 3 years to achieve your PhD.

To find out more and to apply, please visit the Nursing & Midwifery PhD Scholarship page.