PhD Scholarship Opportunity Indigenous Health, Applied Biostatistics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The Indigenous Epidemiology and Health Unit, in the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics is looking for a talented student to undertake a PhD focusing on geographic variation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood health outcomes.

The Centre has one scholarship for an appropriately qualified student to commence research in early 2019 in this exciting area for a full-time PhD.

This PhD opportunity is part of a large NHMRC-funded data linkage study “Defying the Odds” exploring the perinatal factors, maternal- and grand-maternal- health and social risk and availability of culturally-secure service provision on morbidity and mortality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the first five years of life.   The PhD research would focus on patterns of area-level variation in hospital admissions, emergency presentations, and deaths among all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children born in WA between 2000-2013, and will be tailored with the candidate to suit the candidate and research team’s areas of interest.

The study has extensive data resources, comprising state-wide data from 12 different linked health and administrative datasets in Western Australia and geographic location data to SA1 level.  The research will involve a variety of statistical models, including multilevel models with spatial-correlated effects and the possibility of using Bayesian disease mapping to explore the patterns of variation in the outcomes across regions.  Analysis will be conducted using SAS/Stata and GIS software.  The project will suit candidates with undergraduate degrees in mathematics/statistics looking for an applied statistical PhD, or candidates with health/biomedical background and with solid experience in biostatistics and epidemiology (eg. Masters of Biostatistics or similar) and in interest in geographic analysis methods.


You should have successfully obtained an Honours or Masters Degree (or equivalent) and you will need to be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident. Applicants are required to meet the University of Melbourne’s requirements for a Research Higher Degree candidature. Please refer to:


The Centre is offering one scholarship for a student to undertake research on geographical variation in Indigenous child health outcomes. You will receive an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship which provides a fortnightly stipend. Additional funding is available for conference attendance. Further details on the stipend and scholarship terms can be found here:

How to Apply

Please complete the document Expression of Interest (247 KB) (docx) and send a completed copy, along with your CV, academic transcripts from all prior study and academic references as a single PDF document to Bridgette McNamara: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 27th November 2018.  For further enquiries please contact Dr McNamara on the above email or on +61 3 9035 5119.