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PHD Scholarship

Apply now Job no:507652
Area:Faculty of Medicine
Salary (FTE):UQ Scholarship (RTP Rate)NON-BANDED ($27,596.00 - $27,596.00)
Work type:Full Time - Scholarship
Location: Brisbane

Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC), Child Health Research Centre – The University of Queensland, Australia

We have an exciting fully-funded opportunity for an Australian or international Doctoral student to join the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research group at the University of Queensland. Students will be based in the research centre of Professor Roslyn Boyd at the state of the art Centre for Children’s Health Research in South Brisbane. A range of projects are available within two NHMRC funded projects:

  1. Randomised controlled trial of Hand Arm Bimanual Intensive Training Including Lower Extremity Training (HABIT-ILE) for children with bimanual cerebral palsy. 
  2. Participate-CP: Optimising participation in physically active leisure for children with cerebral palsy: A randomised controlled trial.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Leanne Sakzewski, Professor Roslyn Boyd and Dr Sarah Reedman. The student will be funded by a PhD stipend awarded in conjunction with Dr Sakzewski’s NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.

Professor Boyd’s Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research group is internationally recognised as a leader in cerebral palsy research. Dr Sakzewski’s research is focused on investigating novel interventions for children with cerebral palsy to improve motor and participation outcomes. The QCPRRC has strong links to clinical services in Queensland Health (Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, Queensland Children’s Hospital) which supports the recruitment and staffing of these two projects. QCPRRC is positioned within the Child Health Research Centre, UQ .

UQ ranks in the world’s top universities, as measured by several key independent ranking, including the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities (43), the US News Best Global Universities Rankings (45), QS World University Rankings (48), Academic Ranking of World Universities (55), and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (69). UQ again topped the nation in the prestigious Nature Index, and our Academic Ranking of World Universities result in the field of Life and Agricultural Sciences is the highest in Australia at 20.

The Project

A range of possible PhD projects are available across each of the clinical trials.

HABIT-ILE project:

  1.  The efficacy of intensive bimanual training on bimanual hand skills and goal attainment in children and youth with bilateral cerebral palsy 
  2. The efficacy of intensive lower extremity training on gross motor function, walking efficiency and mobility 
  3. The relationship between clinical outcomes and neuroplasticity following intensive upper and lower extremity training in children with bilateral cerebral palsy 

Participate project:

    1. The relationship between capacity, participation and habitual physical activity in children with cerebral palsy 
    2. Evaluation of the implementation and uptake by families of children with disabilities of an application that enables families/children to locate local and assessable physically active leisure opportunities.

The Role

The successful applicant will belong to a multidisciplinary, international research team that has strong collaborations across Australia and internationally. These projects be embedded within one of two multi-site clinical trials. This doctoral training will be an ideal opportunity for both domestic and international science graduates who are planning a research career.

The Applicant

Prospective applicants will have a strong interest in occupational therapy and/or physiotherapy interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. 

The ideal candidate will meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Applicants should possess a bachelor (occupational therapy, physiotherapy or related field) with first class honours or master’s, or equivalent degree with distinguished academic records and relevant research experience.
  2. Applicants should be able to enrol full-time in the doctoral training program.
  3. Applicants should have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to work effectively within a research team.
  4. Applicants should have excellent scientific writing and communication skills
  5. Applicants should be highly self-motivated and able to work independently

Careful consideration will be given to letters of recommendation from faculty members or research mentors who have close first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s academic and research abilities.


A stipend valued at $27,082 per annum tax free for three and a half years, with a possible six-month extension, will be awarded to the successful applicant.

In addition the candidate will be eligible to apply for a PhD top up of $5000 per annum through the Centre for Research Excellence: Australasian Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials Network.

Enquiries and application

Queries and applications should be directed to Leanne Sakzewski ( To apply, please send your  up-to-date curriculum vitae including names and contact details of two academic referees, and a brief statement of your research experience and interests (maximum 1 page). Please include ‘PhD opportunity’ in the subject line.

Applications close: E. Australia Standard Time

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