Two PhD Scholarships – Engaging Students during the Early Years of Secondary School: A Scalable and Sustainable Teacher Professional Learning Intervention

Australian Catholic University - Institute for Positive Psychology and Education and Learning Sciences Institute Australia

Associate Professor Chris Lonsdale (IPPE), Professor Carmel Diezmann (LSIA) and Professor Richard Ryan (IPPE) are seeking to recruit two promising students to complete a PhD under their supervision.

In the recent 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, ACU received the top score of five in Human Movement and Sports Science (1106), Nursing (1110), Public Health and Health Services (1117) and Psychology (1701).

The candidate will complete a doctoral thesis on a topic related to a randomised controlled trial of web-based teacher professional development intervention designed to motivate students during the transition to secondary school. The project is funded by the Australian Research Council.

Thesis topics could include, but are not limited to, the effects of the intervention on students’ engagement; achievement in mathematics and/or physical education; adolescents’ motor skill competence; or teachers’ professional learning experiences using the online learning platform.

We welcome applications from individuals with a background in psychology, mathematics education, physical education/exercise science, teacher professional learning, information technology, or another discipline related to the project.

A mid-to-late 2017 commencement date is preferred.


  • a tax free stipend of $31,682 AUD per annum for three years;
  • funding for project costs;
  • a Commonwealth-funded place for domestic students; and
  • a tuition fee waiver and Overseas Student Health Care Policy for international students.

For more information about IPPE, please visit:
For more information about LSIA, please visit: 

How to apply:

Applicants should also include a cover letter of not more than two pages providing evidence of:

  • academic excellence, including, but not limited to, academic awards or grants;
  • skills in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
  • previous research experience;
  • alignment of research experience and interests with the IPPE’s research themes or LSIA research areas; and
  • ability to contribute to a team.

Closing date: May 14, 2017

For more information:
Associate Professor Chris Lonsdale ( or Professor Carmel Diezmann (

For information regarding application and enrolment email Graduate Research ( ), with the subject line ‘Engaging Students Scholarship’

Applications should be forwarded to:
Graduate Research
Australian Catholic University
P.O. Box 968
North Sydney NSW 2059

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed