Assessment of the Translation and Impact of Chronic Disease Prevention Implementation Research in Community Settings

Closing Date: 01 March 2021Apply Now

PhD Scholarship

The PhD will involve conducting research to inform the application of a Framework to Assess the Impact of Translational (FAIT) health research within an implementation science research program, concentrating specifically on chronic disease prevention programs, policies and practices in community settings.

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The research will be undertaken as part of the National Centre of Implementation Science (NCOIS). NCOIS is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Centre for Research Excellence (CRE). Comprising world leading Australian and international researchers, the NCOIS executes research to improve the implementation of chronic disease prevention programs in community settings and develops initiatives to build research capacity in implementation science, facilitate knowledge translation and collaboration.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), has earned a reputation for translating its world-class medical research into real and immediate benefits for patients and their families. HRE is located within HMRI and was established to: foster the integration of economic principles and techniques into health research; build regional capacity and expertise in health research economics; and conduct original research of relevance to the field of health economics. We are an internationally respected centre in applied health economics that promotes efficient, equitable and affordable health care by focusing on translational research.

A branch of our work at HRE is in the area of impact assessment which applies economic and noneconomic principles, methods and tools to encourage, optimise and measure translation and impact from investments in health and medical research to:

i) increase the likelihood of impact being generated,

ii) reduce the time to impact, and

iii) identify the benefits and returns from this research investment.

This work is underpinned by the Framework to Assess the Impact of Translational health research (FAIT) which was developed by HRE staff in collaboration with HMRI researchers and key stakeholders to be applied to all forms of health and medical research.

The PhD will focus on research to inform the application of FAIT within the implementation science research program, concentrating specifically on its application to research involving implementation of chronic disease prevention programs, policies and practices in community settings. The two main arms of this work will be: The retrospective application of FAIT to Good for Kids (a Hunter region-based program designed to support schools, childcare centres and sporting clubs promote healthy eating and physical activity policies and programs targeted at children).

This evaluation work was commenced by the HRE team, in 2016 and this PhD will complete the impact assessment of GFK. This PhD research proposal will also use the learnings from the GFK application and refinement of the methods underpinning FAIT that have occurred since 2016, to customise FAIT for application within NCOIS.

Additional support and professional development opportunities. The student will be a member of a multi-disciplinary team and located at HMRI providing an opportunity to work alongside and engage with leading health economists, statisticians and public health researchers. The position will also be supported by the research environment of The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the appointed student will be encouraged to join in staff development, meetings and other opportunities. The student will also be eligible for membership of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre in Health Behaviour.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: The successful applicant will be offered a 3.5 year full-time scholarship at the value of $28,092 per annum tax free (2020 rate - indexed annually). In addition, and in accordance with the scholarship rules, the successful applicant may also be offered the opportunity to be employed one day per week through the research group on a commensurate HEW scale.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Luke Wolfenden

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

The position is for one PhD student commencing first semester 2021 (by 01 March 2021). Please refer to the admission eligibility criteria for minimum academic requirements.

In addition, the successful applicant must be able to meet the following criteria:

1. Excellent organisational, time management, written and verbal communication skills;

2. The ability to work both independently and in a team environment;

3. Demonstrated ability to write reports or peer-reviewed manuscripts

4. Commitment to Indigenous health

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should e-mail a one page letter outlining how they meet the above eligibility criteria, a brief (2 page) CV and copies of academic transcripts.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 01 March 2021.

Applications Close 01 March 2021 Apply Now

Contact Penny Reeves
Phone +61 2 4042 0114

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