Understanding drivers and deterrents of Australia's illicit tobacco market

Project opportunity

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.

As Australia implements policies that reduce the availability and affordability of tobacco, demand for illicit tobacco is likely to grow. Illicit tobacco causes substantial losses in tax revenue, funds organised crime syndicates, weakens public regard for the rule of law, and undermines Australia’s world-leading tobacco control policies. With illicit tobacco costing Australia an estimated $621 million in lost tax revenue in 2019-20 alone, and no recent Australian research on the topic, this project will address a major evidence gap on this crime of major national and international significance.

The overarching project consists of three studies:  1) the development of a tool to measure susceptibility to purchasing illicit tobacco; 2) a mixed-methods study investigating the drivers of illicit tobacco use among Australian consumers; and 3) an experimental study investigating effective deterrents of illicit tobacco use. The PhD project will focus on one or more of these studies; the exact topic will be chosen based on the candidate's experience and interest, and the commencement date.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Cheneal Puljevic

Faculty of Medicine

Email: c.puljevic@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of current issues in tobacco control or drug policy and/or quantitative data analysis skills would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of criminology and/or public health and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of qualitative data analysis is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process