School of Health and Society

Three Full-Time PhD Scholarships Available

Topic area: Social, economic and environmental inequalities in health, lifestyle and health service use among middle-to-older aged adults living with type 2 diabetes in Australia

Supervisors: Associate Professor Thomas Astell-Burt and Dr. Xiaoqi Feng

Location: All 3 PhD candidates will be based in the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab), within the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia

Scholarship Stipend: $27,000 pa

Duration: 3 years

Starting date: As soon possible

Opportunity: Each of the PhD candidates will conduct cutting edge research within the ‘PowerLab’, enhancing transferable skills in project management, critical thinking, teamwork, data analysis, report writing and presentation techniques. The PowerLab conducts quantitative research to enhance understandings of how where people live may influence lifestyles, health and health service use; for better and for worse. The PhD candidates will work alongside A/Prof. Astell-Burt and Dr. Feng on an NHMRC-funded project that will focus on understanding how neighbourhoods contribute to lifestyles, health outcomes and health service use among people living with type 2 diabetes. It is anticipated that each of the PhD candidates will explore these issues by learning and applying skills in quantitative data analysis to one of the following areas of interest: (i) lifestyles; (ii) health outcomes; (iii) health service use.

Notes on candidate eligibility:

  • The PhD Scholarships are open to domestic and international candidates. Please note, international candidates can also apply for international postgraduate award to cover international tuition fees.
  • It is essential that each candidate has a Bachelor’s degree with Honours, or a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (including Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Services Research, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Geographic Information Systems, Statistics).
  • It is essential for candidates to have basic quantitative skills and/or demonstrable experience of working with statistical packages (e.g. Stata, MLwIN) and/or GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS).
  • Candidates must engage in full-time study on the University of Wollongong campus in Wollongong
  • English language proficiency (e.g. IELTS≥6.5) must align with the UOW English language requirements.
  • Demonstrable experience in multilevel modelling and/or epidemiological studies of health service use data would be an advantage.

How to apply: Applicants will need to submit an email to both A/Prof. Thomas Astell-Burt ( and Dr. Xiaoqi Feng ( attaching a full CV, degree transcripts, the details of two academic referees, an example of your best academic written work (this can be a piece of coursework or a published journal article), evidence of English language proficiency (e.g. IELTS≥6.5) and a cover letter of no more than 1 page of A4 containing the following information:

  • Indicate the area(s) you are interested in at the top of the letter (lifestyles, health outcomes, health service use – you can state more than one);
  • State why you would like to be considered for a PhD Scholarship and rationale for the selected area(s) of interest;
  • Describe your experience in using statistical and/or GIS software to examine quantitative data.

Closing date: 31st July 2016 (please note applications will be reviewed upon submission)

Last reviewed: 30 June, 2016