The University of Newcastle, Australia

Exploring the Latest Developments in Smoking Cessation Treatments for People with Substance Use Disorders

Closing Date: 30 April 2020

PhD Scholarship

A PhD scholarship is available to study the latest developments in smoking cessation treatments for people with substance use disorders, supervised by Prof Billie Bonevski and Conjoint Prof Adrian Dunlop from Hunter New England Local Health District.

Cigarette Smoke

Applications are invited from graduates from a range of disciplines to undertake a PhD focussed on smoking cessation and substance use disorders under the supervision of Professor Billie Bonevski. The research will take advantage of funded (NHMRC and NSW Health) clinical trials of smoking cessation innovations for people receiving treatment for substance use disorders. There is the opportunity to conduct quantitative and qualitative studies. Reducing tobacco smoking rates amongst high-risk populations is a state and national priority. The highest smoking rates in Australia are found amongst people receiving substance use disorder treatment and especially people on opiate agonist treatment. Despite interest in stopping smoking, quit rates amongst clients are close to zero. We are testing the latest innovations designed to help people with comorbidities and complex needs to quit smoking. Amongst the interventions being tested are vaporised nicotine products (commonly known as e-cigarettes), combination nicotine replacement therapy and tailored telephone quitline behavioural counselling. This research is world-first, with international co-investigators and potential global impact. A PhD opportunity is available to an individual with an interest in health behaviour change, comorbidity, addiction science and clinical and behavioural trials. The Candidate will work closely with Professor Billie Bonevski on two funded trials of nicotine products and telephone counselling for clients of drug and alcohol treatment services. The research is highly collaborative and candidates will be co-supervised by C/Professor Adrian Dunlop, Director, Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services Hunter New England Local Health District. There will be opportunity to work directly with staff and clients of a range of treatment services across NSW, as well as Queensland and Victoria. Other partners in the research include 12 Local Health Districts, NSW Health and Quitline Victoria. This is a highly applied program of research in real-word settings with significant impact potential.

PhD Scholarship details


$28,092 per annum (2020 rate) indexed annually. For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years.

Supervisor: Billie Bonevski

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

i) have satisfied all of the requirements for admission to the degree of Bachelor with Honours Class 1 or Honours Class II, Division 1 or any other degree approved for this purpose by the Assistant Dean (Research Training); or

ii) have satisfied all of the requirements for admission to the degree of Bachelor in the University or any other degree approved for this purpose by the Assistant Dean (Research Training), and have achieved by subsequent work and study a standard recognised by the Assistant Dean (Research Training) as equivalent to at least Honours Class II, Division 1; or

iii) in exceptional cases submit evidence of possessing such other academic or professional qualifications and/or experience as may be approved by the Assistant Dean (Research Training) on the recommendation of the relevant School; or

iv) in the disciplines of education, medical physics, nursing, social work, social sciences and surgery have completed a minimum standard of professional experience as required by the Assistant Dean (Research Training) on the recommendation of the School; An Australian honours degree with Class 1 or Class 2 division. In addition, the English language proficiency requirements as described in the English Language Policy.

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 30 April 2020.

Applications Close 30 April 2020

Contact Andrea Windley
Phone 0448 161 768

PhD and Research MastersFind out more