Mapping Healthcare Needs and Attitudes of Younger Veterans

Location: Spring Hill, Brisbane QLD (although travel may be required)

Duration: 4 months

Proposed start date: March/April 2019

PLEASE NOTE: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian or New Zealand Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.

Project Background

Veterans, particularly younger veterans without Gold Cards, report significant challenges in accessing appropriate General Practice support, as well as medical specialists related to chronic medical conditions and surgical services. Finding medical specialists who understand the package of health issues faced by veterans can be a challenge. Finding medical specialists who are also willing to engage with the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) payment system, where healthcare is eligible for DVA funding, is a second and significant challenge.

Often, veterans report that they have attempted to navigate the complex civil healthcare system only to find their referred specialist is unwilling to provide services at DVA rates. This forces the veteran to return to their General Practitioner for a new referral, or in many cases, veterans drop out of the health system until their condition deteriorates where healthcare costs are known to escalate.

Research to be Conducted

In Phase 1 of the project, a series of questionnaires, surveys and feedback tools will be applied to the younger veteran target population. These questionnaires and surveys will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face, telephone and online survey instruments. Using a combination of Likert scale and open questions, these surveys will allow the team to refine the set of issues and barriers for the second Phase of the investigation.

In Phase 2 of the health project, the project team will combine the results of desktop research with the initial survey results attained in Phase 1 to further refine the areas of investigation. The Project Team will then interview and survey a number of health specialists to understand their attitudes to veteran healthcare and issues they see in providing care to this population.

Deep-dive interviews will also be conducted with younger veterans in this second phase of the project to better understand the summary issues and barriers identified through the surveys conducted in Phase 1.

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following:


  • Mixed method research experience, but particularly qualitative research
  • Strong experience in stakeholder engagement and communication


  • Health system understanding and experience

Expected Outcomes

This project will result in a clear understanding of the issues and barriers preventing ease of access to civil healthcare for younger veterans, as well as their attitudes toward access of both GP and medical specialist healthcare.

The results of this project will then allow a clear roadmap of strategies to address barriers to access, from both the provider side (health specialists), younger veterans and for funders (DVA).

We anticipate that the project will also involve recommendations and strategies around care coordination and case management, given the complexity of the civil healthcare system, and such strategies would also include their own engagement and communication strategies to increase the awareness of suitable services for younger veterans.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

We recommend that you liaise with the Graduate Research School (GRS) and/or Higher Degree Research (HDR) Placements Office at your university, prior to submitting an application, to validate your eligibility to participate in the APR.Intern program.

Applications Close

 3 April 2019


APR – 0849

  • Adam Lenihan Business Development - QLD
    0422 099 645