Synergy Research Internship Programme

Synergy and the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer are excited to announce the availability of 2 research internship positions for commencement in 2022.

The ACT Health Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office promotes a culture of innovation, learning and development through the provision of various scholarships and programmes made available to all midwives and nurses across the ACT. These programmes have been developed to support the ongoing commitment and investment in continual professional development
of all nurses and midwives, to enhance their level of skill and knowledge relevant to their areas of practice. The Synergy Research Internship Programme is a new initiative supported by Professor Anthony Dombkins, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, ACT.

The programme

The Synergy Research Internship Programme aims to provide registered midwives and nurses with an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in research. The Interns will be seconded from their employing division on a 0.5FTE basis for a total period of 12 months, to Synergy: Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research, ACT Health. They will continue to work
in their substantive role for the remaining FTE of their employment.

During the 12-month secondment, the interns will be supported to complete the Graduate Certificate in Research at the University of Canberra and complete a research project that has relevance to their clinical area as part of their studies. In addition, they will have the opportunity to provide support to other research projects led by the clinical Chairs in Midwifery and Nursing. The Interns will be provided with one-to-one individualised mentorship and academic support by the Clinical Chairs.

Aim and Outcomes

The aims of the Synergy Research Internship Programme are:

  • To facilitate supervised midwifery and nursing led research within the ACT,
  • To increase the capacity and capability of the midwifery and nursing workforce in
  • research and related skills (e.g. research appraisal and project management),
  • To enhance the professional development of registered midwives and nurses in the
  • ACT,
  • To promote a culture of inquiry and continual practice improvement informed by
  • evidence.

Graduate Certificate in Research with University of Canberra

The Graduate Certificate in Health Research is a 12-credit point (cp) course that aims to enhance the research skills of students by providing them with a pathway to higher degrees by research, if desired. Interns will undertake the course on a part-time basis enrolling into a total of 6 credit points per semester to complete the course within 12 months.

The Study Pattern is as follows:

Semester 1

  • Epidemiology and Principles of Research PG (9594) - 3 cp
  • Research Planning PG (6486) - 3 cp

Semester 2

  • Research Project in Health PG (9593) – 6 cp

Under the guidance and mentorship of the Clinical Chairs in Midwifery and Nursing, the
Interns will plan a research project relevant to clinical practice in the unit “Research Planning”
and complete the project in the unit “Research Project in Health PG”.

The Interns may spend up to 0.2FTE of the total 0.5FTE secondment in Synergy working on their studies towards the Graduate Certificate in Health Research. The remaining allocated time will be devoted to supporting Synergy research activities. It is expected that the Interns will be committed to using their own time outside of working hours to complete the Graduate Certificate in Health Research.

The University of Canberra has waived the fees associated with this course for participants in the Synergy Research Internship Program however, the Interns are liable for all other course related costs including textbooks (most of these however, are freely available within the University).

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  1. Be employed as a Registered level 1 or 2, Midwife or Nurse (with a practicing registration) working within a public health service in the ACT.
  2. Be willing and available to be seconded to Synergy 0.5FTE (weekdays) for 12 months with line management approval.
  3. Be supported by their line manager with final endorsement by the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery.
  4. Be willing to enrol in, and committed to completing, the Graduate Certificate in Research with the University of Canberra.

Questions about the programme can be addressed to:

Deborah Davis (Professor, Clinical Chair in Midwifery)

Catherine Paterson (Professor, Clinical Chair in Nursing)

Michael Roche (Professor, Clinical Chair Mental Health Nursing)


Please complete the Synergy Research Internship Programme Application Form and return this and a CV to by COB 3rd December 2021.

Page last updated on: 11 Nov 2021