Website Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania


About the research project


Improving cost diaries for more accurate data collection for health economic evaluation


Health economic evaluations provide information that support resource allocation decisions. Cost data is one of the key components for many types of health economic evaluations and precise and reliable cost estimates form the foundation of the outcomes. Despite the importance of cost estimates, the inclusion and quality of these estimates are frequently lacking and seldom addressed in the literature.

While many studies have moved to using linked data to improve accuracy, there are several cost components that cannot be collected from linked data sources. For these data, cost diaries are used which collect self-reported data from participants are used and this has been used for our work at Menzies within the health economics department. Cost diaries have historically been used but come with several limitations, including missing data. To date despite the wide use of cost diaries and their deficiencies, no study has quantified the quality of the data from cost diaries or evaluated the deficiencies and methods to improve the usefulness and accuracy of data collected by this instrument for costing studies. As such the aims of this PhD project are to:

  1.    Systematically review existing literature with to understand cost diaries including development methods, content, structure, delivery approach, response rates and advantages and limitations of varying approaches.
  2.    Assess the reliability of cost diary data through triangulation with the administrative linkage data using the Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study (AMSLS), QUality of LIfE and Costs AssociaTed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Study (QUIET-IPF) and ANCHOR Project datasets.
  3.    Qualitatively assess the use of cost diaries in other research environments in Australia
  4.    Develop an improved cost diary template using the Delphi technique making use of experts across Australia to pilot in future studies

More information on the project can be found here.


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants. Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College. For more information see entry requirements.

Application process

After checking and ensuring that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria contact the project supervisor, Dr Barbara de Graaff at


Submissions close 10th October, 2022


To apply for this job email your details to