PhD Scholarship 'Improving rail safety through teamwork'

An opportunity is available for a new PhD scholar to participate in the Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Project ‘The whole is greater than its parts: Improving rail safety through teamwork’, under the supervision of DECRA Fellow, Dr Anjum Naweed.

Scholarship Value: $26,628 per annum (2017 rate)

Length of Scholarship: 3 years

Number Available: One (1)

Opening Date: 01 January 2012

Closing Date: 31 January 2017

Study LevelPostgraduate (Research)
Year of StudyFuture/First Year
CitizenshipAustralian Citizen; Permanent Resident; Permanent Humanitarian Visa; New Zealand Citizen
EthnicityAboriginal; Torres Strait Islander; South Sea Islander; Non Indigenous
Study RegionAdelaide
Study ModeOn-campus
Study LoadFull time

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Scholarship, an applicant must:

  • have completed a Bachelor Degree with Honours I or IIA, or be regarded by CQUniversity as having an equivalent level of attainment.
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
  • be approved for admission and enrolling in, a Doctor of Philosophy program at CQUniversity.
  • enrol full-time and be an internal candidate at a CQUniversity campus.
  • 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
  • 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.

Selection Criteria

Applications are invited from candidates who have

a) an interest in understanding human interactions with a complex environment;

b) an interest in applying theory, data and methods to optimise human well-being and rail system performance;

c) demonstrable abilities to review and critque literature;

d) excellent communication skills and are able to engage with industry.

Knowledge in human factors and safety science would be desirable, but not essential. Candidates with a qualitative background or anthropology 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 must be willing to engage with industry stakeholders and travel for data collection purposes around Australia and potentially New Zealand.

The successful applicant must be able to commence their candidature in 2017.

Additional Information

Whenever trains go through danger signals there is an increased risk of accident and injury. Currently, the methods used to manage this kind of risk do not fully recognise the human dimensions. Using novel research techniques and strong partnerships with industry, this project is working to enable rail organisations to include these dimensions, and therefore better understand, identify and mitigate safety risks. 

The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr Naweed and embark on a PhD project reflecting their own areas of interest, broadly associated with rail human factors. Australian rail is an incredibly diverse industry, filled with many contrasts, and therefore, many avenues for study. Australia is home to a myriad of different rail transport systems, from some of the most sophisticated freight operations in the world, through to sprawling regional passenger services, down to some of the newest and older tram networks.

The successful candidate will research rail safety in a project that interests them and be involved in research that has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of people. The successful applicant will be involved in developing new knowledge, methods and initiatives in how to improve system safety. In doing so, they will gain key skills and training in fundamental higher degree research including problem formation, study design and critical analysis.  They will also gain expertise in qualitative research methods and/or quantitative experimental design and statistical analysis, and technical skills associated with use of simulation and scenario design.

The student will have opportunities to collaborate with researchers at other CQUniversity campuses and with other universities. Selection of applicants will be based on merit.

Supporting Documentation

Scholarship applicants are required to complete a separate Application for Admission to CQUniversity.  Please send an email to for information about the application process.

How to apply

The candidate should be able to commence in the position before March 2017. The application should be submitted by e-mail (a.naweed no later than close of business (5.00 pm EST) on 31st  January 2017.

Please include: 

* A letter of motivation describing your skills and research expertise 

* Your current resume and a list of your publications and projects

* A list of three references together with contact information 

If you have any inquiries about this position, please do not hesitate to contact:

Associate Professor Anjum Naweed,

Appleton Institute

School of Health, Medical & Applied Sciences

44 Greenhill Road

Wayville SA 5034


Phone: +61 8 8378 4520;    Email:

How will I know the outcome of my application?

All applicants will be advised on the outcome of their application by email.

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