Gillian Kette PhD

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In the Prideaux Centre, the objective of completing a PhD is to perform translational research where the links between educational theory and practice are clear.

The Prideaux Centre offers candidates the opportunity to work with highly qualified and recognised professionals who are leaders in international research and development partnerships in the field of health professional education (HPE).

PhD candidates will be well supported to engage in ongoing learning throughout their candidature. They will have opportunities to access a range of postgraduate courses with flexible learning options to cater for diverse learning needs.


In order to be considered for PhD candidature, the following criteria must be met:

  • Expertise in the area of HPE (e.g. medicine, speech pathology, nursing)
  • A research Honours degree or equivalent such as a master’s degree that includes a thesis component
  • Knowledge of educational research and theory


International applicants

An IELTS English language proficiency test score of at least 6.5 is required.

  • Offshore international applicants: At least one supervisor must be based at the candidate’s home institution.

PhD candidates will work closely with supervisors (at least one of whom is part of the Prideaux Centre membership). These academics have a wealth of experience in conducting HPE research.

Contact with supervisors will occur in person, via email and Skype (for distance-based candidates), but will be negotiated at the time of commencement.


Distance-based candidates

It is suggested that candidates visit Flinders University several times during their PhD candidature. This will enable them to access RHD Professional Development Program intensive courses, in addition to engaging in face-to-face meetings with their supervisors.

The Prideaux Centre offers formats for structuring PhD candidature:

*These formats are endorsed by the Dean of the Office of Graduate Research, Professor Tara Brabazon*

Traditional PhD thesis format

This is the traditional PhD format where the thesis is presented as a series of linked chapters (e.g., Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results, Discussion and Conclusion).

This option is available to domestic and onshore international students only.


PhD in publication format

The Prideaux Centre offers a ‘PhD in Publication Format’ as an alternative to the Traditional PhD Thesis.

Whichever thesis format is selected at the beginning of candidature, the University strongly encourages candidates to publish research from their theses prior to submission, provided this activity does not detract from the main task of completing their thesis on time. Publications may be included in either thesis format provided authorship is clearly declared, and provided they contribute to the overall theme of the thesis and are appropriately placed within it.

This option is available to both domestic and international (onshore and offshore) candidates.


What does a PhD in publication format involve?

In the Prideaux Centre, a PhD in publication format involves identifying a research topic and a broad, overarching question.

Throughout the PhD candidature, a series of empirical studies are conducted in order to address this ‘big question’. Publications are produced at each major stage of the research and form the basis of the PhD thesis.

The number of publishable papers produced is dependent on the type of research that is being conducted. However, as a guide, a PhD thesis will typically consist of at least four journal articles, publishable in peer reviewed international journals, that report on the empirical studies that were conducted, at least half of which are either accepted or published at the time of completion. In addition to these articles, the PhD that includes publications incorporates an introductory chapter and a conclusion/discussion chapter.

Publications can be included as separate chapters or integrated into chapters and must be formatted in the same way as the other chapters in the thesis (i.e., not presented as reprints). The same typeface should be used throughout the thesis. Reprints may sometimes be included as appendices where they differ substantially in form from the body of the chapter (pending copyright approval if required).

Published chapters should be conceptually linked to the chapters before and after, and follow a logical sequence. In addition, theses with a high proportion of published material need to contain a broad contextual statement, demonstrating the relevance of the work to the wider field of knowledge. This is most commonly achieved through an introductory literature review or commentary and a general, wider ranging, conclusion.

Multi-author papers may be included within a thesis; however, the candidate is expected to be the primary author of these papers. A clear statement is required for each publication documenting the contribution of each author to the paper (from conceptualisation to realisation and documentation).


Why complete a PhD that includes publications?

The PhD that includes publications is gathering momentum in parts of Europe and Australia. This structure possesses a number of potential benefits and disadvantages:

Benefits Disadvantages
The scope of the research can be as narrow or as broad as desired The processes of publication (e.g. preparing and submitting manuscripts, and the peer review process) can be time-consuming
By integrating ideas, there is flexibility to adapt the research in response to changing interests or unexpected findings
Because a series of smaller studies are conducted, there are opportunities to develop expertise in a range of methodologies and methods High-ranking journals often have very low acceptance rates
There are opportunities to develop skills in writing for publication at the same time as conducting research
Not only are candidates awarded a PhD, but they have a publication record against their names when they complete their studies  

To be considered for PhD candidature in the Prideaux Centre:

  1. Check your eligibility to study a research higher degree
  2. Consider a research area of interest that you wish to explore and review the following research strands:
Teaching & learning Professionalism & career development Assessment
Curriculum development, design and evaluation Professional identity Assessment design
Transformative learning Professional development Assessment for learning
Longitudinal integrated learning programs Career choice Programmatic assessment
Student/supervisor relationships Interprofessional education and practice  
Rural and Indigenous health Rural workforce and training pathways  
Problem-based learning Recruitment and retention  
  1. Contact the Prideaux Centre Research Manager, Dr Svetlana King , with a brief overview of your research interests and a list of any publications to date.
  2. Develop your PhD proposal using the Prideaux Centre PhD Research Proposal Guidelines PhD Proposal Guidelines (PDF 936KB) .
    • An assigned Prideaux Centre academic can assist you in developing and refining your proposal.
  3. Submit your PhD proposal and curriculum vitae to .
    • Your proposal will be reviewed by the RHD Coordinator and two Prideaux Centre academics. This process can take 4-6 weeks.
  4. Notification of outcome from PhD proposal review
    • You will be notified of the outcome of the review process:
      • (1) rejected;
      • (2) needs improvement; or
      • (3) accepted. 
    • Acceptance of your proposal by the Prideaux Centre will be based on the quality of your research proposal and the Prideaux Centre’s capacity to supervise your research.

      Note: Acceptance of your research proposal do not guarantee enrolment at Flinders University. Applicants must submit an application through Flinders University before formal candidature is confirmed (refer to points 7-9 below).
  5. Visit the University RHD website for further information about PhD candidature.
  6. Apply for PhD candidature using the appropriate forms.
  7. Seek funding (if applicable). The
  8.  University offers a number of scholarships for research higher degree students.