The University of Newcastle, Australia

Does Mismatch Between Preference and Random Allocation Influence Use of Support, Satisfaction, and Smoking Cessation?

Closing Date: 31 October 2019

PhD Scholarship

Randomised trials do not account for participant preference of the support they would like to receive. The impact of mismatch between preference and random allocation on use of services, satisfaction, and smoking cessation is unexplored.

Cigarette in hand

Smoking cessation trials randomly allocate each participant to a condition to achieve similar participant characteristics across the conditions. However, if a person were to call a real-world smoking cessation provider such as the quitline the type of support they would receive would be based on their preference (i.e. telephone support or written materials).

In a 3-arm trial that randomly allocated each participant to either:

  • real-time video counselling delivered via Skype, FaceTime or other video communication software; or
  • telephone support; or
  • written materials,

Each participant ranked these three smoking cessation strategies in terms of their preference before the participant was randomly allocated to one of the conditions. During the random assignment, some participants were allocated to their preferred smoking cessation strategy by chance while others were offered smoking cessation support that did not match their preference. This PhD will examine which smoking cessation strategy (i.e. video, telephone, written) was preferred among those residing in rural and remote locations and participant characteristics associated with preference. The impact of mismatch between preference and random allocation on use of support strategies, satisfaction with support received and smoking cessation outcomes will also be explored.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $27,596 per annum (2019 rate) indexed annually. The living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover at single rate, for an international candidate.

Supervisor: A/Prof Flora Tzelepis

Available to: Domestic and International students


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible the candidate must meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission  for the Doctor of Philosophy and be able to commence the PhD program between February and March 2020.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 31 October 2019.

Applications Close 31 October 2019

Contact A/Prof Flora Tzelepis
Phone (02) 4924 6275

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