Faculty of Health HDR Scholarships

Faculty of Health

PhD Scholarships (up to 3 available)

Federation University’s Faculty of Health invites applications from highly motivated suitably qualified candidates for a fully funded scholarship* for commencement in Semester 2, 2016. Successful applicants will pursue a program of research within a Faculty area of research focus. Discipline areas of the Faculty include Human Movement and Sport Sciences; Psychology; Health Sciences, Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine.

Three full scholarships* are available in the following research priority areas. Preference will be given to candidates who meet the requirements of the Key Research Priority Areas. However, applications are also invited from candidates who meet the requirements of the Faculty’s Further Research Priority Areas detailed below. Successful applicants will be required to study full time. Indigenous Australians are encouraged to apply. In the circumstance of insufficient suitably qualified PhD scholarship applicants, Masters by Research scholarships may be considered.

Key Research Priority Areas:
  • Sports Surface Safety: A specific topic will be developed within the area of performance and safety of artificial turf, preferably with a focus on heat or abrasion issues.
  • Water Safety/Drowning Prevention: A specific topic to be developed within the broad area of water safety/drowning prevention.
  • Sport, Recreation and Active Living: A specific topic to be developed within the area/s of sport participation levels and trends; and the factors influencing participation.
Further Research Priority Areas:
  • Exercise Prescription For Chronic Disease: A specific topic will be developed within the broad area of Exercise Science with a focus on exercise prescription for the prevention and/or treatment of chronic disease.
  • Psychology: A specific topic will be developed within one of the Psychology Discipline areas of strength.
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare: Applications are encouraged in the field of education, emergency, patient safety, ageing and healthcare workforce issues. A specific topic will be developed within one of these areas.

The closing date for applications is July 4th 2016.

All applicants must also submit an Application for Enrolment available on the Higher Degree by Research Apply webpage and identify two academic/professional referees to support their application and email them the Confidential Referee Report Form (docx, 855kb). Applicants may be required to attend an interview.

Scholarship* details

Scholarships* are valued at the APA rate (2016 rate at $26,288), indexed each year. Scholarships are available for a period of three years, with the possibility of an extension for an additional 6 months in exceptional circumstances. Domestic students awarded scholarships will also be allocated a research-training place (which means there are no fees, either up-front of deferred).

Applicants must have qualifications in a relevant discipline and must provide evidence of well-developed qualitative research skills. Experience relevant to the scholarship* area is highly desirable.

Scholarships* are available for domestic students or international students who can demonstrate eligibility for study in Australia. For international students, a fee relief scholarship will not apply. Scholarships* are full-time. Students will be expected to commit a minimum of thirty two hours per week to their study.

General conditions of HDR scholarships* at FedUni can be found at:http://federation.edu.au/research/research-degrees/scholarships/evaluation-of-applications. Where these conditions differ to those on this form, the conditions outlined for this specific scholarship* take precedence.

Eligibility to undertake a PhD

To be eligible to undertake a PhD, applicants must meet eligibility requirements outlined on the Research website. If you are applying for 'Honours equivalence' please ensure that you provide detailed information to support your case.

Applicants must meet minimum entry requirements of having a relevant bachelor's degree and relevant experience. Applicants who do not meet clear entry requirements with regards to honours equivalency are encouraged to apply. Scholarship* recipients who have limited research experience will be required to undertake additional research training as a condition of their offer to Federation University Australia.

Please contact Research Services via email at research.degrees@federation.edu.au with any enquiries regarding applying for candidature or the process of applying for a scholarship*.

*All scholarship offers are subject to funding and individual student agreements.

PhD Scholarship in Sport Surface Safety

Changes in climatic conditions and improvements in artificial turf products, particularly over the past two decades, have resulted in artificial turf becoming an increasingly popular choice for sports fields and ovals in Australia for a variety of different sports. Despite the growing popularity of these surfaces, there are unanswered questions regarding the potential effects on athlete performance and safety. Two issues that are currently acting as barriers to the adoption of artificial turf surfaces include high surface temperatures and a perceived increased risk of injuries.

The surface temperatures experienced on artificial turf in the dry, hot Australian climate and the environmental and product-related factors contributing to the heat have been established. A PhD project could focus on developing a greater understanding of differences between elements of the artificial turf systems; the effects of the increased radiant heat on participants; and whether this may result in serious heat related health problems.

The perceived fear of abrasion injuries on artificial turf playing surfaces has also significantly impacted on the adoption of these surfaces, particularly in sports which involve frequent player-surface interactions. Research is needed to: fully understand the testing of abrasive properties of artificial turf; ascertain the incidence and nature of abrasions on such surfaces; and determine the effect of these injuries on playing behaviour.

The requirements of the projects would suit a candidate with a background in sport science, biomechanics, or sports medicine. For further information contact Dr Dara Twomey or Dr Lauren Petrass.

PhD Scholarship in Water Safety/Drowning Prevention

Aquatic activity is a common recreational pursuit in Australia and while encouraged for the health benefits it provides, safe aquatic recreation is a priority and the prevention of drowning a prime objective. Death by drowning remains a significant cause of accidental death in Australia, affecting all age groups. A PhD project could focus on any of the identified age groups (children aged 0-14 years; young people aged 15-24 years; males aged 25-44 years; or people aged over 65 years) in the Australian Water Safety Strategy.

The Faculty’s aquatics research group investigates issues in drowning prevention, water safety, aquatic education and swimming performance. The benefits of the group’s research are widely promulgated, and research outcomes are implemented in the real world by working closely with industry groups such as the Australian Water Safety Council, AUSTSWIM, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, Live Saving Victoria and Aquatics and Recreation Victoria.

The successful candidate will, in conjunction with supervisors, develop their own topic extending FedUni work in this area. Applicants must have well-developed research skills (mixed method or quantitative) with a background in a relevant discipline such as sports medicine, sports science, health promotion, or public health. For further information contact Associate Professor Jenny Blitvich or Dr Lauren Petrass.

PhD Scholarship in Sport Participation

Applications are encouraged from highly motivated and exceptional candidates to undertake research in an area relating to Sport Participation. The successful candidate will develop their own topic around the issue of sport participation, retention and drop-out. Physical activity is a determinant of health. Furthermore, sport is a type of physical activity that has health benefits beyond the physical to include the mental and social health domains. Sport is very popular for children, however the rates of participation decline during adolescence. Furthermore, many young children are active in sport through modified sport programs. However the majority of children drop-out of these sports before transitioning into club competition. If we can keep people active in sport, we will have a more active and healthier nation.  Retention in club sport is an important issue of focus for  this PhD. Applicants must have well-developed quantitative research skills with a background in a relevant discipline such as sports medicine, sports science, health promotion, public health, epidemiology, or leisure studies. For further information contact Associate Professor Rochelle Eime.

PhD Scholarship in Exercise Prescription for Chronic Disease

It is becoming more widely accepted that exercise/physical activity is an important tool for the prevention and treatment of many chronic disease states. These diseases range from the potentially avoidable, such as metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, to those that are potentially unavoidable, such as age-related vascular disease or sarcopenia. Despite recent advances, the most effective exercise prescription for almost all disease states remains to be elucidated.

PhD Scholarship* applications will be considered from highly motivated candidates who have graduated from the fields of Sport & Exercise Science, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Biochemistry or Allied Health Professions and seek to undertake a program of study relating to the prescription of exercise for the treatment or prevention of any chronic disease. Consideration will also be given to candidates who can demonstrate data mining and statistical modelling of large biological data-sets.

Applicants should hold (or be about to obtain) a Masters or Honours degree in any of the above disciplines. Candidates are expected to demonstrate an active interest in clinically related exercise science and a good working knowledge of research methodologies employed in Health/Exercise related research. For further information contact Professor Fergal Grace.

PhD Scholarship in Psychology

PhD Scholarship* applications will be considered from highly motivated candidates for study in the field of Psychology. Candidates with an outstanding background in psychology are encouraged to apply. Applicant minimum entry requirements are a Graduate Diploma or Honours degree in Psychology.

Areas of strength within the Psychology Discipline are: (1) development, evaluation, and dissemination of mental illness, physical health, and wellbeing interventions via electronic communication modalities, including the creation and validation of online psychological screening and assessment methods; (2) applied psychometrics in clinical child and adolescent psychology, with the major focus being on the use of complex (1st and 2nd generation) structural equation models and item response theory models to systematically and programmatically examine the psychometric properties of the diagnostic symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; and (3) sense of belonging and mental health, particularly among adults who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and older adults.  Other areas of staff expertise include internet addiction, anxiety disorders, health psychology, theoretical models of clinical child and adolescent disorders other than ADHD, and biological models of personality. For further information contact Professor Suzanne McLaren.

PhD Scholarship in Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare

The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare is keen to attract eligible PhD applicants with backgrounds in any healthcare field. In line with our expertise we would encourage applications in the fields of emergency, patient safety, clinical education, ageing, and workforce. This latter category may reflect research within practice environments including cultural and workplace practices, building capacity to enhance health, wellbeing, health promotion and relationships in clinical practice settings.

In the current health environment, the emphasis is on better equipping practitioners to act in ways that optimize opportunities for improved care based on evidence informed knowledge. We are particularly interested in applications that address the above fields and support translational research. For further information contact Professor Simon Cooper or Associate Professor Penny Cash.