Postgraduate scholarships to undertake research on physical activity and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a National Health Priority area and the sixth leading cause of death in Australia. Currently 280 Australians develop diabetes every day – that is one person every five minutes. Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) prevalence is especially high among middle-aged and older (45-65y) workers – up to 7.7% – with a substantial impact on work productivity, risk of absenteeism and inability to work.

Diabetes treatment currently costs the healthcare system more than $14 billion each year, and the increased frequency of complications associated with poor glycaemic control in those with T2D contributes substantially to ill health, disability and early death.

Against this background, new research capacities and controlled-trial evidence are now needed to take forward a paradigm shift in how T2D prevention and management is understood and implemented. Moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) has long been – and remains – a mainstay of diabetes prevention and management. However, 20 years of initiatives to promote its uptake have not led to changes in population prevalence, and exercise adherence is a major challenge for those at risk of developing T2D and for T2D patients. Sedentary behaviour (put simply, too much sitting as distinct from too little exercise) is a newly-identified element of chronic disease risk, with implications for T2D.

There are untested benefits for T2D management through reducing and breaking up sitting time.

Two scholarships will be available. We welcome applications from individuals with a background in:

  • Public Health
  • Physical education/Exercise science
  • Diabetes Research
  • Workplace/Population Health
  • Sedentary Behaviour/Sitting Time
  • Nutrition
  • Another discipline related to the project

Your Supervisor

Your supervisory team will include Professor David Dunstan who holds appointments at both the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, ACU

The Institutions

The Baker Institute includes more than 300 scientists, health professionals and students who are committed to tackling the deadly trio of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research is focused on undertaking research that discovers and promotes effective strategies to create a healthier Australia, and brings national and international health experts together with leading organisations across a broad portfolio of health-related research areas.

An early 2019 commencement date is preferred.

Value of Scholarship

a tax-free stipend of AUD $32,596 per annum for three years;

funding for project costs;

A Research Training Program Fees Offset Scholarship (that is, a tuition fee waiver) for domestic students; and

a tuition fee waiver and Overseas Student Health Care Policy for international students.

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, publications, or grants;
  • skills in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
  • previous research experience;
  • alignment of research experience and interests; and
  • ability to contribute to a team.

Closing date: 22 October 2018

For more information:

Professor David Dunstan (

For information regarding application and enrolment email Graduate Research (, with the subject line ‘Reducing Sitting Time Scholarship’

Applications should be forwarded to:

Candidature Services

Australian Catholic University

Locked Bag 4115

Fitzroy MDC VIC 3065


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