Balancing physical activity and sedentary time in train drivers: applying the Goldilocks principle to develop a ‘just right’ job design

“It was neither too hard nor too soft. In fact, it felt just right.” Drawing on inspiration from the Goldilocks fairy-tale, this fully-funded scholarship will aim to develop and evaluate a new and innovative approach for train drivers to reduce prolonged sitting time while maintaining their productivity at work. Train driving is a highly sedentary, safety critical occupation which has evolved from a time when the job was ‘too strenuous’ to one where there is ‘too little movement’. For this reason, there needs to be a ‘just right’ balance between physical activity, sedentary time, and recovery time in this important workforce. This scholarship is supported by a leading, high-performing, multidisciplinary, and international team of researchers and the successful applicant could expect to explore the fields of physical activity, psychology, industry, systems thinking, and human factors. This project has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of train drivers by designing physically ‘just right’ work to effectively balance productivity needs with safety and health.

Scholarship Value: $28,597 per year (indexed)

Length of Scholarship: 3 years

Number Available: 1

Opening Date: 21 May 2020

Closing Date: 16 April 2021

Study LevelPostgraduate (Research)
Year of StudyFuture
CitizenshipAustralian Citizen; Permanent Resident
Study RegionAdelaide South Australia
Study ModeMixed Mode
Study LoadFull time

Residency within (or the ability to relocate to) South Australia as a PhD candidate at CQUniversity is preferred; however, given the COVID-19 landscape, the offer is also open to Australian nationals who are able to study remotely for part of or potentially the duration of the award.

  • A CQUniversity recognised Hons or Masters degree (by research) in Psychology or an equivalent/related area (e.g., health sciences, human factors, design);
  • Authorship of at least one peer-reviewed scientific paper as lead author emanating from prior research candidature in a high-quality journal is desirable;
  • Demonstrated ability to work unsupervised;
  • Be willing to complete the project on Adelaide Campus or through remote study.

This scholarship is available for an immediate start, upon acceptance of both the offers of admission and scholarship.

The successful PhD candidate will study under the supervision and guidance of an international interdisciplinary team including A/Prof Anjum Naweed, Prof Leon Straker, Dr Janine Chapman, Prof Corneel Vandelanotte, and Prof Andreas Holtermann.

Please provide scanned copies of academic transcripts (including the titles of units previously studied at undergraduate and postgraduate level).

Interested applicants must first contact Associate Professor Anjum Naweed with an expression of their interest. This will involve several meetings (over video conference). The aim of these meetings will be to establish a dialogue around the research and the career goals and aspirations of the applicant in order to identify them as a preferred candidate.

Once the applicant has been identified as the preferred candidate, they will need to have copies of their supporting documentation available (including CV, academic transcripts and other supporting documentation) and be able to refer clearly to the scholarship selection criteria.

For more information, please contact A/Prof Anjum Naweed +61 8 8378 4520;

Applicants will be notified via email to their nominated email address as soon as an outcome is available.
Australian Research Council (ARC)