A PhD position is available to examine the effectiveness of electronic health risk feedback on health factors in Technical and Further Education students

PhD SCHOLARSHIP: Targeting multiple health behaviours among vocational education students

Friday, 20 January 2017

An opportunity is available to undertake a PhD program on a NHMRC-funded trial examining the effectiveness of electronic health risk feedback and online and telephone services on smoking rates, risky alcohol use, fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity levels in Technical and Further Education (TAFE) students.

TAFE colleges are the primary national provider of vocational education with approximately 1.8 million student enrolments per year.

TAFE students have reported high rates of smoking, risky alcohol use, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake and physical inactivity.

They are also more likely than university students to smoke, be overweight and drink alcohol at risky levels.

However, there have been no efficacy trials of interventions concurrently targeting these multiple health risk behaviours in TAFE students.

This study aims to improve TAFE students’ smoking, alcohol, fruit, vegetable, and physical activity health risk behaviours. TAFE campuses will be randomly assigned to:

(i) an intervention group that receives electronic feedback and referral to online and telephone support for each health behaviour that does not meet Australian guidelines; or

(ii) a no treatment control group. Students in the same classes will be surveyed 6-months later to assess changes in these health behaviours. The mental health of students will also be assessed.


The successful applicant of this PhD opportunity will be asked to apply in April 2017 for a three-year full-time scholarship from the University of Newcastle. The value of this scholarship is $26,288 per annum, indexed in January each year. The trial’s project costs will be covered by the NHMRC funding.


Applications are open to domestic and international students.

Applicants should have:

  • an excellent academic record in Honours or an equivalent Masters degree in public health, behavioural sciences or associated discipline or field.
  • meet The University of Newcastle's entry requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (Behavioural Sciences in relation to Medicine).


For more information about this PhD opportunity please contact Dr Flora Tzelepis. Interested applicants should e-mail their CV including academic transcript and relevant work experience to the contact below.

Contact: Dr Flora Tzelepis

E-mail: Flora.Tzelepis@newcastle.edu.au

Phone: 02 4924 6275


Find out more about applying for PhD and research masters at UON