The University of Newcastle, Australia

Health Behaviour Research Projects in Improving Aged Care and Cancer Care

Closing Date: 28 March 2020

PhD Scholarship

Two scholarships are available. The first will focus on improving quality of care and outcomes for older people (with or without dementia). The second will focus on improving quality of life outcomes for bowel cancer patients.

We are seeking expressions of interest from highly motivated applicants who would like to pursue a PhD in behavioural science. The PhD project would relate to one of the following areas:

  1. Quality of aged care, improving uptake and quality of the 75+ Health Assessment in the primary care setting;
  2. Interventions to improve quality of life for people with dementia and/ or their carers in the community, or
  3. Interventions to improve quality of care for patients undergoing surgery for bowel cancer.

The specific focus of the project can be negotiated with the supervisors. The Health Behaviour Research Collaborative conducts research across a variety of health areas including disease prevention; screening; chronic disease; psychosocial care; and end-of-life care. We have a strong focus on capacity building, including mentorship of early and mid-career researchers and training of PhD students.

Study load

Students are expected to enrol on a full time basis.

Thesis by publication

Candidates are encouraged to complete their PhD thesis by publication, ensuring wider dissemination of research findings. More information about thesis by publication can be found at

Other paid employment

The University requires that full-time scholarship holders do not undertake paid employment of more than eight hours per week, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. Scholarship holders may undertake additional paid employment outside of these hours.

Contact for more information about the available opportunities

Please contact Grace Norton at


The Health Behaviour Research Collaborative is centrally located at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (Newcastle).

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: Scholarships cover full tuition and a living allowance (stipend). The value of the scholarship stipend is $28,092 per annum in 2020 indexed on 1st January each year. The scholarship will be paid fortnightly for a maximum period of 3.5 years.

Supervisor: Professor Mariko Carey (aged care project); A/Prof Steve Smith (bowel cancer project)

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a scholarship, the applicant MUST:

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria for admission to a Higher Degree by Research degree at the University of Newcastle
  2. Meet the University of Newcastle’s English Proficiency Policy
  3. The position would suit applicants with training in behavioural science, medicine (including general practice and geriatric medicine), health behaviour, epidemiology, sociology, psychology, nursing or other allied health professions.

Applicants that do not meet these criteria will not be considered.

Students are also expected to have a basic understanding of quantitative statistical methods or be willing to work toward this through completion of coursework (e.g Biostatistics A and B) or self-directed learning during their candidature.

Application Procedure

If you are interested in applying, please send an email expressing interest to Grace Norton containing the following:

  • CV, including your GPA and any publications;
  • Evidence of any qualifications relevant to meeting the eligibility criteria (e.g. Bachelor degree with honours or equivalent)
  • A one page research proposal in alignment with at least one of the study areas:
  • Evidence of meeting the English language proficiency policy (e.g. English language tests, subjects studied in English).

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 28 March 2020.

Applications Close 28 March 2020

Contact Grace Norton
Phone +61 2 4042 0861

PhD and Research MastersFind out more