Faculty of Health HDR Scholarships

Faculty of Health

PhD Scholarships (up to 2 available)

Federation University’s Faculty of Health invites applications from highly motivated suitably qualified candidates for a fully funded scholarship* for commencement in Semester 1, 2018. Successful applicants will pursue a program of research within a Faculty area of research focus. FedUni is a vibrant University with international study centres and campuses in Victoria (Berwick, Ballarat, Gippsland, Horsham). The campus of study will be determined based on the topic of investigation/supervision arrangements.

Up to two full scholarships* are available in the following research focus areas. 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.

Research Focus Areas

(please see below for a detailed description of each project)

The closing date for applications is 5pm EST Tuesday 31 October 2017.

All applicants must submit the Faculty of Health Scholarship Application form and include the additional forms/documents listed within this document. This includes the University ‘Application for Enrolment’ and two academic/professional references obtained and supplied on the confidential referee report form. Applicants may be required to attend an interview.

Scholarship details

Scholarships* are valued at the Research Training Program (RTP) rate (annual living allowance of $27,082 - 2018 rate) 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 on approval. 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 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: https://federation.edu.au/research/study-with-us/scholarships

Where these conditions differ to those on this document, 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 listed 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.

Please contact Research Degrees 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.

Project specific details

PhD Scholarship in Exercise Prescription for Chronic Disease

Developing a best practice, preoperative exercise therapy 'prehabilitation' model for patients with prostate, colon and breast cancer.

Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a stronger predictor of chronic disease than other established risk factors, such as hypertension or diabetes. Recent studies have demonstrated that physical activity and CRF are associated with lower risk to develop site specific cancers. Oncology patients who undergo surgery have significant deconditioning due to bed-rest and drugs used to treat and manage tumour progression. Even in the absence of complications, the postsurgical period is associated with 20- 40% reduction in physiological and functional capacity that contrives to increase long term recovery. Efforts to improve recovery have traditionally focused on the postoperative period (rehabilitation). Exercise therapy that is administered in the weeks before scheduled surgery, has been coined prehabilitation. However promising, there is a current paucity of quality evidence from controlled studies and no studies that use objective measures to support improvement in CRF and postoperative outcomes in cancer patients undergoing surgery. This scholarship will be supervised by Prof Fergal Grace (Exercise Physiology), Dr Matthew Wallen (Clinical Exercise Physiology) at Federation University, Australia in conjunction with clinical colleagues at Ballarat Health Services (BHS). The PhD program welcomes applications from graduates from disciplines allied to medicine such as Clinical Exercise Physiology. Applicants should hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum of Honours Degree, MSc by coursework, MSc by research. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate an active interest in exercise science and an understanding of the research methodologies employed in health and exercise research. For informal discussion or to discuss your application, contact Prof. Fergal Grace; f.grace@federation.edu.au or Dr Matt Wallen; m.wallen@federation.edu.au

Hamstring injury prevention

This project will be supervised by Associate Professor Warren Young and Dr Lachlan James from Federation University, as well as Dr Scott Talpey (Southern Connecticut State University, USA), and Dr David Opar (Australian Catholic University). Hamstring strain injuries are responsible for more missed games in football sports than any other injury, and therefore injury prevention programs are an important part of the physical preparation of athletes. The main activity responsible for hamstring strain injury in field sports is sprinting. A PhD project will be developed that builds on past research on the injury protection derived from strength training, and will explore the role of sprint training as a prophylactic training strategy. The effect of various sprint training methods on eccentric hamstring strength, fascicle length and performance will be examined. The influence of other training methods that can be used by field sport athletes to prevent hamstring injury and enhance performance will also be explored. For further information, contact Associate Professor Warren Young: w.young@federation.edu.au

PhD Scholarship in Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare (Paramedicine)

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 collaborative projects that focus upon workforce development and clinical safety e.g. education innovations, clinical simulation, teamwork, health promotion.  Applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Simon Cooper to discuss their proposal prior to submission s.cooper@federation.edu.au

PhD Scholarship in Psychology

  • A specific topic will be developed within the area of digital and / or biomedical mental health research.

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 investigation can include: (1) development, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative biopsychosocial digital health interventions for mental illness, physical health, and wellbeing, including the creation and validation of online psychological screening and assessment methods through the My Digital Health platform, (2) the integration of digital mental health technologies within real world settings and evaluating new models of care (e.g., step care), (3) investigating the causal and disease maintenance mechanisms (biological, physiological, neural, psychological, social and environmental factors) associated with and contributing to mental ill health and wellbeing. For further information please contact Professor Britt Klein. b.klein@federation.edu.au

  • A specific topic will be developed within the area of ageing, with an emphasis on protective factors or psychological interventions for older adults.

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 investigation can include: (1) Development of models that predict psychological well-being among older adults (2) Randomised control trial investigating the efficacy of psychological intervention/s for depression and/or anxiety among older adults. For further information please contact Professor Suzanne McLaren s.mclaren@federation.edu.au or Professor Britt Klein b.klein@federation.edu.au

PhD Scholarship in Sport Surface Safety

Performance and safety of playing surfaces can have a significant effect on players’ perception and experience. While natural turf surfaces have been the preferred option for many sports, changes in climatic conditions and improvements in artificial turf and hybrid turf playing surfaces have resulted in these surfaces becoming an increasingly popular choice for a variety of different sports. Despite the growing popularity of these surfaces, there are unanswered questions regarding their potential effects on athlete performance and safety.

Our research in the sport surface safety area to date includes, injury risk, player perceptions, surface property testing and the biofidelic nature of test equipment. There are many diverse and exciting areas of research that a PhD project could focus on to advance the understanding of performance and safety aspects of sport surfaces. Such projects are likely to have a significant impact on players, sporting organisations and the broader industry.

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