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The Rainbow Lodge PhD Scholarship

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) is offering a PhD scholarship to support research aimed at improving the evidence base for residential services for men released from prison.

Applications for this scholarship have been extended until Thursday, 22 November 2018. 

The successful applicant will commence in Semester 1, 2019. The focus of the work is interventions to improve health and criminal justice outcomes of people released from prison, with a focus on supported accommodation services and men at high risk of re-offending. The successful applicant will by supervised by Dr Sarah Larney and Professor Anthony Shakeshaft to develop a standardised program framework that can be applied to post-release supported accommodation services, and to use this framework to assess the impacts of these services. The student will be supported to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals as they progress through their candidature.

The scholarship amount awarded to full-time students is $30,000 per annum, tax exempt. PhD scholarship duration is 3.5 years. The student will also have access to up to $10,000 per year in years 1-3 of the scholarship to support professional development and training. There may be opportunities for paid employment (e.g. one day per week), contingent upon acceptable progress of the PhD research.

About the Centre

NDARC is a premier research centre in Sydney, Australia and is recognised internationally as a Research Centre of Excellence. The Centre was established at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) in May 1986 and officially opened in November 1987. NDARC is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvements Grants Fund.

NDARC provides a highly supportive study environment with excellent facilities including desk space, regular training opportunities, computer access and statistical support. Since NDARC's inception, more than 70 students have successfully completed a PhD at the Centre, with a success rate of over 90%.  NDARC PhD candidates and staff publish in general medical and health journals, and the most influential specialist drug and alcohol publications.

NDARC's research is often multi-disciplinary in nature and of high practical relevance to governments and policy agencies, communities, providers of clinical services and non-government organisations. Graduates have many career opportunities in a range of organisations, including Australian and international universities, the WHO/UN, delivery of clinical services, and with policy agencies such as NSW Health, NSW Family and Community Services and in local health districts. Research areas include:

  • Prevention activities for substance use and disorders
  • Clinical interventions for substance use and disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • Health economics
  • Drug policy research

While there is a strong focus on drug and alcohol, NDARC’s research also covers a variety of other related issues, which may include:

  • Morbidities (mental and physical health)
  • High risk populations (young people, low SES)
  • Indigenous health
  • Child protection and maternal health


To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must:

(a) meet UNSW requirements for enrolment in a Higher Degree Research Program, which could include a Masters (research) or a Master of Philosophy with a view to upgrading to a PhD for those applicants not eligible for direct enrolment to a PhD (http://med.unsw.edu.au/postgraduate-research);

(b) meet residency requirements;

(c) preferably have a demonstrated interest (i.e. work or research experience) in the health and wellbeing of marginalised populations or experience in research combining criminological and health perspectives;

(d) not be enrolled in an HDR program at either UNSW or another university at the time of application;

(e) apply as a full-time candidate.

How to apply

Applicants should be clear about how they meet the UNSW requirements for enrolment in a higher degree research program, have qualifications and/or experience in behavioural or social sciences (psychology, public health, or a related discipline), and have knowledge of EEO/AA principles and policies.

Successful candidates are required to enrol in the HDR program through the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) in the Faculty of Medicine. 

Successful applicants will receive support via NDARC's HDR training and development program.

To apply, applicants must submit the following to s.larney@unsw.edu.au:

  • Academic transcript
  • CV
  • Evidence of relevant research skills; e.g. a first-author peer-reviewed publication or report, academic thesis, and/or relevant work experience
  • A completed application form, as well as any attachments outlined in the form.

*Note – The primary supervisor for this project is Dr Sarah Larney. It is expected that applicants will make contact with Dr Larney prior to submission of an application to discuss their interest in this opportunity.  

Applications open: 18 October 2018
Applications close: 22 November 2018
Program start: Semester 1, 2019. Deferral of this start date will not be permitted.

Enquiries and applications to Dr Sarah Larney (s.larney@unsw.edu.au)