PhD Scholarship – “Examining the effectiveness of an innovative technology-based health behaviour change intervention”
Become a PhD-student (includes a 3-year scholarship, $26,628AUD per year) in the vibrant Physical Activity Research Group at CQUniversity and contribute to National Heart Foundation funded research that involves Examining the effectiveness of an innovative technology-based health behaviour change intervention, under the supervision of Professor Corneel Vandelanotte. Your research will be focused on an e- or mHealth intervention (website, app, tracker and/or computer-tailoring) to improve one or more health behaviours (e.g., physical activity, sleep, sitting time, diet, weight maintenance/loss) in a population group of your choice (e.g., older adults, cancer survivors, people with diabetes or depression, children). The research group includes 15 staff, hosts the world-famous 10,000 Steps Australia program and has been very successful in securing prestigious grants and fellowships. More info: http://bit.ly/2u49D3H and [email protected].
About the Physical Activity Research Group
The PhD Candidate will be part of the vibrant Physical Activity Research Group at CQUniversity’s North Rockhampton campus. The research group includes 15 staff with a strong focus on innovative interventions to improve health behaviours for the prevention of chronic disease. The Group hosts the world-renowned 10,000 Steps Program, a web- and smartphone-based physical activity program with over 350,000 registered participants and over 50,000 app downloads. It also works with the University’s Population Research Laboratory, conducting annual population surveys (telephone, online) in health and social behaviours. In the last 5 years, the Physical Activity Research Group has secured over $5M of funds (mostly through NHMRC, ARC and NHF grants, as well as through Queensland Government support). The Group has secured 7 competitive Fellowships (4 Early Career NHMRC, 1 NHF post-doc, and 2 NHF Future Leader Fellowships) and was involved in securing 6 Project Grants (NHMRC, ARC, NHF). In the last two years, researchers have published over 60 peer-reviewed papers in high quality journals. The Physical Activity Research Group collaborates with a number of internationally renowned research groups based in Australia, Europe and North America (e.g., The University of Newcastle, Ghent University, University of Alberta). This scholarship will provide the PhD Candidate with a strong research environment with ample opportunities for research collaborations at the national and international level.
The Scholarship will be awarded by the University through a competitive selection process. Individual applications will be ranked on the basis of merit and responses to the selection criteria.
The majority of people do not meet the health guidelines for a range of health behaviours (e.g., physical activity, diet, sleep, sitting time, weight). Due to the scale of the problem it is not possible to offer support and guidance to improve health behaviours on an individual basis. Therefore, we need methods that can effectively reach large numbers of people at low cost. Technology-based (e.g., websites, smartphone apps, activity trackers) interventions offer such opportunities, and while many such interventions have demonstrated good improvements in adopting healthy behaviours, people often don’t engage with the interventions for very long. Therefore, we need to develop new interventions that are more engaging for people to use so that long-term behaviour change can be established. Such interventions are usually theory-based and may include interactive components that provide social support, individual feedback (i.e. computer-tailoring), connect with social networks, offer options for self-monitoring and goal setting or other elements. In consultation with Prof Vandelanotte, the applicant will be free to choose a preferred population (e.g. office workers, older adults), health behaviour (e.g., physical activity, sleep) and technology to work with (web/app/tracker, within budgetary constraints). However, the proposed research must be significant, relevant, innovative and advance the field of research.
The student will gain key skills and training in fundamental higher degree research including systematic literature searches, study design, qualitative and quantitative research methods, data collection and analyses, project management, statistics and scientific writing.
The student will be hosted by CQUniversity, North Rockhampton campus, with opportunity to collaborate with researchers of the other universities. Selection of applicants will be based on merit.
The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Professor Vandelanotte and one or more co-supervisors.