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Details - PhD Scholarship Project, La Trobe Holsworth Research Initiative

PhD Scholarship Project, La Trobe Holsworth Research Initiative

Job No.:559552

Work type:Fixed Term

The recently established Holsworth Research Initiative aims to optimise function and performance for all individuals by addressing the global challenges of inactivity and chronic disease, and enabling sports people to perform better and compete more successfully.

The Initiative builds on established research strengths in exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation. Capability and capacity are focussed in three themes: (1) human performance, (2) active individuals, and (3) active communities. Using multi-disciplinary approaches, the initiative tackles important industry-relevant questions to influence health policy and practice in regional locations, Australia and internationally.


Applicants should demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, including a first-class honours degree or equivalent, and demonstrate relevant skills and experiences. Potential projects are listed below:


Keeping people with diabetic foot disease healthy and active

This project will build upon emerging theory relating to the pathophysiological and psychobehavioural causes of diabetic foot disease to develop an effective preventative health intervention that uses behavioural strategies and new technology to promote activity and prevent foot morbidity in people with diabetes. Based in a supportive environment, the full-time PhD candidate will be supervised by an experienced team lead by Dr Byron Perrin. 


Exercise for the treatment of cardiovascular disease

To maximise the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation, it is likely that exercise needs to be individually prescribed at a high intensity. However, the safety and efficacy of high intensity exercise is yet to be demonstrated in people with established cardiovascular disease. Under the supervision of Dr Brett Gordon and in collaboration with Bendigo Health, this PhD project will investigate the physiological responses and long-term effect of high intensity cardiac rehabilitation.


Prescription of interval exercise for improving metabolic health

This project will investigate a practical measure for evaluating exercise capacity to facilitate individually tailored exercise prescription to improve metabolic health. This is important for everyday health and fitness professionals who are unlikely to have access to specialised laboratory equipment yet engage with the increasingly inactive and at-risk Australian population. This project will be coordinated by Dr Stephen Cousins.


The relationship between knee osteoarthritis and muscle architecture

How is muscle architecture affected in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA)? Current research is unclear on whether people with knee OA have altered muscle architecture around the knee. Dr Marcos de Noronha’s research aims to better understand how knee muscles are affected in people with knee OA from an architecture perspective, and whether these changes reflect in knee function. This PhD project will explore whether muscle architecture is modifiable through physical activity and exercise and if this influences functional outcomes.


Machine learning to optimise performance in elite basketball

This PhD project will establish real-time activity recognition in elite basketball using wearable tracking device data. The project will build upon emerging theory relating to machine learning to develop cutting-edge performance monitoring interventions through use of wearable tracking device data. Based in a supportive environment, the full-time PhD candidate will be supervised by an experienced team and co-ordinated by Dr Daniel Wundersitz.


Injury, risk perceptions and prevention practices in basketball

Participation in sport and active recreation is an important element of meeting public health goals, but injuries and health issues can be a barrier towards safe and sustained activity, particularly for women and girls. Supervised by Dr Angela McGlashan, this PhD will involve the planning and carrying out a series of studies that examine injury problems and risk perceptions of athletes and identify what strategies and interventions are being used to prevent injury concerns.

Benefits of the scholarship include:

  • a La Trobe Research Scholarship for three and a half years, with a value of $28,092 per annum, to support your living costs (2020 rate)
  • a fee-relief scholarship for up to four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University
  • opportunities to work with La Trobe’s outstanding researchers, and have access to our suite of professional development programs.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship, applicants must:

  • a Masters by research degree in a relevant discipline completed within the last ten years assessed at a La Trobe Masters by research standard of 75 or above;


  • an Honours degree, Masters by coursework or ungraded Masters by research degree completed within the last ten years where you achieved a weighted average mark of 70 or above across any coursework subjects; AND any of the following assessed at a La Trobe Masters by research standard of 75 or above:
    • a research thesis of approximately 15,000-20,000 words; or
    • the degree includes a written research component comprising at least 3/8 of one year; or
    • you are the lead author of a peer-reviewed publication or other research published within the last ten years

Preference will also be given to applicants with:

  • Accreditation with an appropriate body that is relevant to the project.
  • Experience in a field of research associated with the project.

How to apply*

If you wish to apply for a La Trobe Holsworth Research Initiative PhD Scholarship, follow these steps:

  1. choose your preferred project from the list of available projects above
  2. review details on how to apply for a Doctor of Philosophy
  3. complete and submit your Doctor of Philosophy application by 19 April 2020, indicating you wish to be considered for the La Trobe Holsworth Research Initiative PhD Scholarship
  4. you don’t need to submit a research proposal with your application; instead indicate which project you are applying for.

The University will carefully review your application and consider you for this scholarship. If you are shortlisted for the scholarship you will be invited to interview in April/May 2020.


The final decision will be made based on your application and interview. The successful candidate will be made an offer for candidature and scholarship.


We anticipate that shortlisted applicants will be advised of the outcome in May 2020


Contact name and email*

If you require further information about the research projects, please contact:

Professor Michael Kingsley

Director, Holsworth Research Initiative

La Trobe Rural Health School

E: HRI@latrobe.edu.au

Location – Bendigo

Area of Study – Health Sciences

Level of Study - Future graduate researchers (including Masters and Prof doc), Future PhD candidates & Graduate researchers

Personal Eligibility – High Academic Achievement

Applications close: 11pm Sunday 19th April 2020

If you require further information about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School at grs@latrobe.edu.au or on (03) 9479 3640.

Please do not use the ‘apply now’ button.


Closing Date:

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