Scientia PhD Scholarships

Offering six scholarships with CSRH researchers

The UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme is part of our dedication to harnessing our cutting-edge research to solve complex problems and improve the lives of people in local and global communities. Scientia scholars will have a strong commitment to making a difference in the world with demonstrated potential for contributing to the social engagement and/or global impact pillars of the UNSW 2025 Strategy. The Scientia Scheme is targeted in that applicants will apply to a specific research area with an identified supervisory team and application is by nomination.

  • Work on high quality research projects with the best supervisory teams in world class environments
  • $40k a year stipend for four years
  • Tuition fees covered for the full 4-year period
  • Coaching and mentoring will form a critical part of your highly personalised leadership development plan
  • Up to $10k each year to build your career and support your international research collaborations.

Further details of the scheme are available from the UNSW Scientia Scholarships site.

To learn more about the strategic research areas being associated with CSRH, please browse below. 

If you are interested in applying, please contact the Primary Supervisor or Primary Contact listed to discuss the opportunity.

The deadline for applicants to contact supervisors and complete the initial application form is 20 July 2018.

Scientia PhD Scholarships with CSRH primary supervisors

Evidence-making of biomedical promise: Critically analysing innovative health intervention implementation

Primary Supervisor: Professor Tim Rhodes
Additional Supervisors: Dr Kari Lancaster and Jake Rance
Primary Contact: Dr Kari Lancaster

This PhD links to a program of work developing a critical social science of how evidence is made as part of new interventions and policies in health. It has two aims: to investigate how innovative or ground-breaking health interventions are translated into practice; and to reflect critically on the practices and effects of evidence-making linked to implementation science. Through qualitative and ethnographic methods and drawing on critical social science theories, the PhD will develop-up a project based on analysis of an empirical case study of biomedical innovation and/or new ground-breaking health technology.

Governing practice, reducing resistance: A sociological study of antibiotic governance

Primary Supervisor: Professor Alex Broom
Additional Supervisors: Dr Emmy Kirby and Dr Katherine Kenny

Within a decade, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will present the most significant threat to humanity of the 21st Century. A key solution is to judiciously use our remaining antimicrobials, yet misuse continues virtually unabated. This 'antimicrobial perfect storm' is a profoundly social issue in that we are failing to govern effectively and act in the present to secure our collective future. This study will examine governance of antimicrobials in Australia, with a focus on the social, economic and political dimensions of how hospitals regulate their use, drawing on qualitative data including interviews with doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

Stigma, health worker attitudes and client outcomes in drug treatment

Primary Supervisor: Loren Brener
Additional Supervisors: Professor Carla Treloar and Professor William von Hippel

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018) report into the impact of drug use on the burden of disease, reaffirms the need to reduce harms associated with drug use. Health workers’ attitudes and behaviours are important influences on client health outcomes. For stigmatised groups like drug users, implicit (automatic) and explicit (deliberate) attitudes of health workers may differentially influence their behaviour. Drug users can be challenging to work with, thus regular contact may reinforce stereotypes about them as ‘chaotic’ and ‘unmanageable’. However, medical/disease models of drug use may promote feelings of sympathy for drug users. This project will examine how health workers’ explicit and implicit attitudes differentially influence health outcomes for clients in drug treatment.

Stories of strength in Aboriginal people’s experiences of substance use

Primary Supervisor: Dr Joanne Bryant
Additional Supervisors: Professor Carla Treloar and Associate Professor Reuben Bolt

Drug and alcohol use has had devastating effects on Indigenous communities around the world. The most innovative responses to this have come from communities themselves, who seek to draw on cultural strengths and resources to reduce harms and support treatment. We seek applications from Indigenous students interested in exploring the role of social, cultural and personal resources in the lives of Aboriginal people who use alcohol or drugs, and how these can work to reduce harm and support treatment. Such an approach contributes to the critical effort to address substance use as a social problem, one which requires community-led, socially-located responses.

Scientia PhD Scholarships with CSRH additional supervisors

Impact of care and support programs following HIV diagnosis

Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Garrett Prestage
Additional Supervisors: Associate Professor Limin Mao and Dr Dean Murphy

The PhD student will lead academic outputs from a newly funded NHMRC Partnership Project (2018-2022) evaluating interventions involving clinic- and community-based support to enhance HIV treatment and care in a cohort of newly diagnosed people across Australia (n=120 per annum). The aims of the PhD project will be to evaluate: 1) the impact of clinic- and community-based support programs on early uptake of HIV therapy, and ongoing access to HIV specialist care; 2) changes in risk behaviours, onward transmission, and associated factors; and 3) the impact of clinic- and community-based support on ongoing quality of life and well-being.

Improving diabetes care in China with lay family health promoters

Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Puhong Zhang
Additional Supervisors: Associate Professor Limin Mao and Professor David Peiris

China has over 115 million people with types 2 diabetes – the largest population in the world. However, this population experiences large healthcare quality gaps leading to avoidable deaths and disability. The Chinese health system is struggling to overcome these gaps in care and innovative, cost-effective solutions are needed. We have shown that lay family members can be trained to improve care for their relatives with types 2 diabetes in China. We are now testing in a randomised trial whether this strategy can be scaled up using a mobile phone platform in 80 rural and urban health centres in Hebei province.