The IVCare adaptive platform trial: Towards zero bloodstream infections in IV catheters

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

35% of healthcare associated bloodstream infections (BSIs) in Australian hospitals are caused by intravenous (IV) therapy via IV catheters. These ‘catheter associated BSI’ (CABSI) prolong hospital length of stay, increase healthcare costs and risk of death. CABSI prevention may benefit from the numerous commercial products and clinical practices that exist, but few have been formally studied. To test the large number of potential solutions using traditional simple, parallel RCTs would be expensive and slow the progress of knowledge generation and translation. To address this, building on previous large-scale, multicentre, RCTs, we will establish an innovative experimental platform, with a core dataset co-designed by clinicians and consumers, facilitating an adaptive RCT to rapidly evaluate numerous interventions to identify clinical and cost-effective strategies that prevent IV therapy-related harm. We will establish a world-first adaptive platform RCT for IV therapy and the first of this design in Nursing. The initial focus will be CABSI prevention, given its #1 priority to consumers and clinicians, testing interventions across 3 infection prevention domains. The student project will be nested in the larger project and can have a clinical, methodological or statistical focus.


  1. Prevent bloodstream entry of microorganisms through the catheter insertion site.
  2. Prevent bloodstream entry of microorganisms through the internal catheter lumen.
  3. Prevent bloodstream entry of microorganisms by improved catheter stewardship.

Outcomes expected include:

  1. Establish long-term Australian capacity for platform adaptive trials in IV Therapy and in Nursing, including mentorship of QLD statisticians by national adaptive trial experts using Bayesian statistical approaches;
  2. Leverage collaboration of 3 clinical trial networks; and,
  3. Generate new evidence for insertion site, intraluminal and catheter stewardship interventions to prevent CABSI, including cost-effectiveness, adverse event assessment, and consumer engagement

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Claire Rickard

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of acute hospital care, vascular access, infection prevention, statistics or digital health would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of nursing and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of acute hospital care, vascular access, infection prevention, statistics or digital health is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2026. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process