CQUniversity PhD Scholarship

The topic of this PhD research program is ‘Increasing outdoor physical activity whilst reducing plastic litter in neighbourhood and coastal areas’. Through the use of technologies (e.g. activity trackers, smartphone apps, social media, web) this PhD research program aims to engage children and families to increase their outdoor physical activity (walking, running, active play) whilst picking up plastic litter in neighbourhood and coastal areas. In addition, the research aims to identify ways of motivating families to reduce plastic waste in the family household in order to tackle their own ‘plastic footprint’. This research will utilise proven behaviour change theories and techniques to instigate behaviour changes towards physical activity promotion (i.e., outdoor walking, running, active play) combined with environmental action (i.e., cleaning up plastic litter in the neighbourhood). The specific PhD studies will be discussed with the supervisory team, and the PhD scholar can bring in his/her own ideas on the specific PhD studies. The student will gain key skills and training in fundamental higher degree research including systematic literature searches, study design qualitative and quantitative methods, data collection and analyses, project management, statistics and scientific writing. The student will be hosted at CQUniversity, North Rockhampton campus, or he/she can work remotely from any CQUniversity campus in Australia. The student will have plenty opportunity to collaborate with researchers of the other universities. Selection of applicants will be based on merit.

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

Length of Scholarship: 3 years

Number Available: 1

Opening Date: 21 October 2020

Closing Date: 31 December 2020

Study LevelPostgraduate (Research)
Year of StudyFuture; First year
CitizenshipAustralian Citizen; Permanent Resident; New Zealand Citizen
Study RegionAll
Study ModeAll modes
Study LoadFull time

To be eligible for the Scholarship, an applicant must:

  1. have completed a Bachelor Degree with Honours I or IIA, or be regarded by CQUniversity as having an equivalent level of attainment. The degree should be in the field of public health, psychology, sport and exercise science, social science, or another relevant field.
  2. be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia and already be living in Australia at time of application due to travel restrictions that are currently in place in Australia due to COVID-19.
  3. be approved for admission and enrolling in, a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health at CQUniversity.
  4. enrol full-time.
  5. not previously have held a Commonwealth Government-funded or CQUniversity-funded postgraduate research scholarship, unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship’s payments commencing; and
  6. must not be receiving an equivalent award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the Scholarship stipend rate to undertake a research higher degree.

Applications are invited from candidates who have or can demonstrate:

  1. potential in qualitative and quantitative research and statistical analysis;
  2. abilities to review and critique literature extensively and systematically,
  3. Excellent communication skills and are able to engage with children, families and community organisations,
  4. Strong planning and organisational skills, with the ability to work systematically, prioritise tasks and meet deadlines,
  5. Well-developed computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Endnote, and SPSS or similar statistical software.

In addition, expertise in physical activity promotion and/or plastic waste reduction behaviours research is desirable, but not essential. Candidates with a health promotion, chronic disease prevention and/or environmental sciences (i.e. plastic pollution) background are also encouraged to apply. The successful applicant will be required to publish papers related to their thesis during the period of candidature. The successful candidate will be required to engage with children, families and community organisations, and potentially travel for data collection purposes around Australia. The successful applicant must commence their candidature in 2021.

The PhD Candidate will be part of the vibrant Physical Activity Research Group within the Appleton Institute at CQUniversity Australia. The PhD Candidate can be based at the CQUniversity North Rockhamton campus (where the Physical Activity Research Group is located) or work remotely from any CQUniversity campus in Australia. The Physical Activity Research Group includes 15 staff with a strong focus on innovative IT-based interventions to improve physical activity behaviours for the prevention of chronic disease. The Group hosts the world-renowned 10,000 Steps Program, a web- and smartphone-based physical activity program with over 400,000 registered participants and over 50,000 app downloads. In the last 5 years, the Physical Activity Research Group has secured over $5M of funds (mostly through NHMRC, ARC and NHF grants, as well as through Queensland Government support). The Group has secured 8 competitive Fellowships (6 Early Career NHMRC, 2 NHF Future Leader Fellowships) and was involved in securing 8 Project Grants (NHMRC, ARC, NHF). In the last two years, researchers have published over 60 peer-reviewed papers in high quality journals. The Physical Activity Research Group collaborates with a number of internationally renowned research groups based in Australia, Europe and North America (e.g., Deakin University, The University of Newcastle, Ghent University, University of Alberta). This scholarship will provide the PhD Candidate with a strong research environment with ample opportunities for research collaborations at the national and international level.

If available, please include examples of scientific writing (e.g. published scientific articles, research reports, thesis) in the scholarship application.

The application should be submitted by e-mail ( no later than close of business (5 pm EST) on 31 December 2020. The commencement date is negotiable. Please contact Dr Stephanie Schoeppe for any questions.

Please include in the application:

  1. A letter of motivation describing your skills and research expertise,
  2. Your current resume, academic transcripts and a list of your publications and projects,
  3. A list of three references together with contact information, and
  4. If available,  examples of scientific writing (e.g. published scientific articles, research reports, thesis).
Applicants will be notified via email to their nominated email address as soon as the application outcome is available.