Interventions to address infectious diseases in remote Indigenous communities

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor James

Professor James Ward has two PhD scholarship opportunities available within his broad research program on eliminating sexually transmissible infections in remote Indigenous communities.  The types of projects available span Indigenous health, public health, epidemiology, Indigenous methodologies, genomics, geospatial mapping or social sciences, with the exact project determined in consultation with the two selected applicants.

STIs in remote Australia: STIs are responsible for a huge health, economic and social burden globally.  In Australia, Aboriginal communities have been particularly affected and their impact is greatest in young people aged 16-24 years, although elevated rates of STIs still occur in people up to 40 years.  Under the leadership of Professor Ward, the multidisciplinary team seeks to confront and eliminate Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and Treponema pallidum (infectious syphilis) infections, with elimination defined by the World Health Organisation as a 90% reduction of each of the STIs.  In addition, and in parallel, the team will ensure that the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in these communities is reduced to the lowest possible level.

We have established unique Aboriginal governance processes to oversee the program of research ensuring feasibility and enabling Aboriginal self-determination.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. You may also be eligible for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Scholarship.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact Professor Ward to discuss.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of Indigenous health public health and indigenous methodologies would be of benefit to candidates working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of social research/epidemiology, genomics or geospatial mapping of and the potential for scholastic success.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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