Study level

  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

In progress.

Research centre


Dr Judith Singleton
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Dr Leisa-Maree Toms
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


It is likely that every household would have some surplus medicines that are no longer required by the person who originally took them. Some countries have schemes for return of medicines for appropriate disposal while others do not. Inappropriate disposal of medicines can lead to environmental pollution or if stored, may lead to incorrect dispensing to other family members or friends.

This project aims to review the available literature on disposal of medicines from households. This includes searching for literature on studies of households as well as grey literature on government reports/ policy documents.

Research activities

Research activities include:

  • literature search and review
  • drafting or revising conference papers or journal articles.

The supervisors will teach you how to undertake a systematic literature review.

Supervisors will be available most days in person and all days over the phone/ email. You will need a work space and computer if you do not have one.

Resources available to you include:

  • QUT library databases
  • Endnote
  • Word


The outcome is to get a picture, from a global perspective of the different medication disposal schemes in different countries as well as to investigate what household behaviors exist in different countries.

Upon completion of the literature review, the supervisors will teach you how to draft a journal article to publish the results of the review.

Skills and experience

You should have some research skills to use library databases and some public health or pharmacy background.



Contact Dr Leisa-Maree Toms for more information.