PhD Opportunity – Closes 10th October 2021

PhD Scholarship – Hunter New England Population Health (HNEPH) Research Group


The Hunter New England Population Health Research Group (HNEPHRG) are seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from highly motivated candidates interested in pursuing a PhD program in childhood obesity prevention research within the Early Childhood Education and Care setting.

For more than a decade HNEPHRG, through the Good for Kids. Good for Life program have worked with community based organisations such as schools, childcare centres, heath care services and sporting clubs to support their implementation of healthy eating and physical activity policies and programs.

The focus of this PhD scholarship will be based on healthy eating and or physical activity programs within the Early Childhood Education and Care setting (inclusive of preschools, long day care and family day care).

The PhD will be undertaken with HNEPHRG which is co-located and collaborates with Hunter New England Population Health (HNEPH), Australia’s largest population health unit to conduct applied chronic disease prevention and health services research. The group collectively supervises 20 PhD students undertaking complex interventions in a range of community and health care settings. HNEPHRG provides students with a dynamic research environment at the intersection of research and health policy and practices and specialises in implementation science and behavioural medicine. The group includes leading academics including 9 externally funded NHMRC and ARC research fellows.1


The student will be expected to contribute to the development of research and intervention design, implementation, evaluation, data collection, undertake data analyses and lead research manuscripts commensurate with the requirements of a thesis by publication.


The successful applicant of this PhD opportunity will be offered a 3.5 year full-time scholarship at the value of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate – indexed annually). All project costs will be covered by HNEPHRG or external grant funding.


The student will be a member of a multi-disciplinary team and co-located at HNEPH providing an opportunity to work alongside and engage with leading public health researchers, health psychologists, dietitians, education consultants and health promotion practitioners. The student will have access to administration support, statisticians, IT and be provided with office space. The position will also be supported by the research environment of The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the appointed student will be encouraged to join in staff development, meetings and other opportunities. The student will also be eligible for membership of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour.


The position is for a PhD student commencing in first semester 2022. Please refer to the admission eligibility criteria for minimum academic requirements. In addition the successful applicant must be able to meet the following criteria:

  1. Excellent organisational, time management, written and verbal communication skills;
  2. The ability to work both independently and in a team environment;
  3. Demonstrated ability to write reports or peer-reviewed manuscripts;
  4. Commitment to Indigenous health.


Interested applicants should e-mail a one page letter outlining how they meet the above eligibility criteria, a brief (2 page) CV and copies of academic transcript to

For further enquiries, please email:


Date: Sunday 10th October, 2021


  1. Wolfenden L, Yoong SL, Williams CM, Grimshaw J, Durrheim DN, Gillham K, Wiggers J (2017). Embedding researchers in health service organizations improves research translation and health service performance: the Australian Hunter New England Population Health example. J Clin Epidemiol. 85:3-11