PhD Scholarship - Health and Addictive Behaviour Interventions group (HABIT)

Jul 13, 2017
Aug 10, 2017
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

The Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine is a leading provider of medical education and medical research in Queensland, with the country's largest medical program. The four year graduate entry medical program offers an integrated, case-based curriculum including early clinical experiences. The School is a diverse enterprise operating over multiple sites, with Queensland Health and private health service providers as major partners. Geographically, the School extends throughout Queensland with major sites in Brisbane, the outer metropolitan areas, and a number of rural and remote area facilities throughout the rest of the state. The UQ medical degree is also delivered overseas in Brunei and the United States of America, emphasising the global nature of the School.


School of Public Health

Established in 2001, the School of Public Health has rapidly gained a reputation for delivering comprehensive and influential public health outcomes that address some of the world’s most pressing population and public health challenges.  Currently ranked #3 by US News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017 and Shanghai Global Rankings of Academic Subjects 2017. The school has 150 professional and academic staff, 500 students and over 100 research students.


Health and Addictive Behaviour Interventions group (HABIT)

The HABIT research group is a multidisciplinary research group within the school.  The group specialises in Translational research relating to interventions that promote behavioural change, particularly related to addictive behaviours such as tobacco smoking.

The groups’ current research is focused on smokers within “at risk” smoker populations, where an illness or condition is often exacerbated by smoking and there is an association with difficulty in quitting and difficulty maintaining abstinence from smoking resulting in high relapse rates.  Developing and testing new approaches to reducing tobacco-related disease in these priority populations.


The project

An exciting opportunity exists for a student with an Honours/Masters degree in a health-related field who is interested in pursuing a PhD in the field of addiction science, with a focus on tobacco policy, cessation and harm reduction interventions within priority populations. The successful candidate will be enrolled in a higher degree (PhD) by research at the University of Queensland and join the Health and Addictive Behaviour Interventions (HABIT) Research Group at the School of Public Health, UQ.

In the Australian context, although there is good evidence that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) aids smoking cessation, there is a paucity of evidence to support long term harm reduction strategies using alternative nicotine delivery systems that replicate smoking behaviour. In early 2018, the Habit research group will commence an NHMRC funded clinical trial across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.  The project seeks to determine if vaporised nicotine products used as a nicotine replacement therapy and relapse prevention aid, can increase smoking cessation rates or reduce relapse to smoking in three priority populations (people living with HIV, people living with Hepatitis C and people on opiate substitution therapy). 


The role

The role involves recruitment and monitoring of participants in the trial, data collection and analysis. It is anticipated that several high impact publications will result from this research. This research will provide robust evidence on the veracity and efficacy of implementing tobacco harm reduction strategies and assist policy makers in framing Australia’s evidence based response towards these strategies. 


The person

Applicants must comply with the relevant entry requirements:

  • Applicants should possess a Bachelor with honours (class 1 or division 2a) or a Masters’ Degree majoring in a relevant health related field (e.g. medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, psychology etc) and be eligible for a competitive living allowance scholarship (e.g. Research Training Program scholarship) to support full-time study or demonstrate why a living allowance scholarship is not required.

  • Applicants must have the ability to develop skills in general research, methodology and statistics.

  • Applicants must have excellent writing abilities, and work effectively within a multidisciplinary and international research team. A track record of research publication would be advantageous.

  • Applicants must be able to enrol full-time in the PhD program.



A place on this project is contingent upon the applicant successfully attaining an external scholarship (the Australian Government Research Training Program [RTP], or equivalent, valued at $26,682 per annum). RTP recipients are eligible to apply for a generous top-up scholarship worth an additional $7,500 per annum. Scholarships are tax exempt for Australian citizens and residents. If a scholarship is not required, then evidence of this will need to be provided.



Further information can be obtained by emailing Assoc Prof Coral Gartner: or Dr Malcolm Brinn: Visit the UQ Graduate School website for full terms and conditions at

To submit an application for this role, use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply a cover letter explaining their interest in and suitability to undertake research in this area, Academic CV, copies of Academic Transcripts and an example of your writing, such as a manuscript or report.  

Applications must be received by 11:55pm on 10 August 2017.

Reference: 500922

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