Australian Catholic University (ACU) and St Joseph’s Nudgee College are offering one full-time PhD scholarship to undertake sport science research and coaching with adolescent athletes.

The project will investigate the physical development of youth athletes and help to set standards to support long-term athlete development. This PhD scholarship has a particular interest in strength and conditioning, resistance training, and profiling of physical characteristics.

About the scholarship

Study mode
  • Full-time for 3.5 years
  • Commencing second half of 2024

The successful applicant will be awarded:

  • An ACU PhD Stipend Scholarship of $32,192 per annum (indexed annually); plus
  • A $10,000 per annum Top-up Scholarship from St Jospeh’s Nudgee College; and
  • An ACU Tuition Fee Scholarship valued at c. $30,000 per annum.
  • A single Overseas Student Health Care Policy and a Relocation Allowance (up to $2,000) for international candidates.

Subject to satisfactory progress and full-time study mode for 3.5 years.


Based at ACU's Brisbane campus and St Joseph’s Nudgee College.

The successful candidate will be embedded within the St Joseph’s Nudgee College environment and will work alongside the school in helping to implement a world-leading strength and conditioning program to support the physical development of student athletes while completing their research.

St Joseph’s Nudgee College was established in 1891 and is one of the oldest continuing Catholic boys’ boarding schools in Australia. More than 1,700 young men from Years 5 to 12, including more than 300 boarders, call Nudgee College their school. Our vision is for our young men to strive in the spiritual, academic, social, personal, cultural, and sporting aspects of life to become Signum Fidei - 'Signs of Faith' for the world.

The College's all-inclusive co-curricular program encompasses a wide range of sporting and cultural activities. Whether boys are looking for a high-performance environment, want to hone their craft, or simply love an activity and wish to participate, everyone can find a place to nurture their passions and strengths. The College is a member school of the Queensland Greater Public Schools (GPS) Association and runs several clubs to round out a comprehensive activities program.

Supervisory team

The successful applicants’ supervisory team will include:

Eligibility criteria

PhD program

Essential requirements

The scholarship is available for a high-performing candidate with:

  • a strong interest in strength and conditioning, resistance training, and long-term athlete development;
  • a particular interest in working with youth across a range of sports;
  • experience working with athletes;
  • excellent English written and verbal communication skills.

Desirable skills

  • Experience in writing publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Experience with technology associated with strength and conditioning (e.g., force plates)
  • An exercise and sports science, physiotherapy, clinical exercise physiology, or engineering background.

The scholarship conditions align with the ACU Research Training Program Scholarship Policy.


Why choose ACU?

Australian Catholic University is a world-leading research university and has strengths in exercise performance, injury, and sports technology. Research excellence at ACU is founded on the principles of social justice and attracts leading experts, students and collaborators from across the globe. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, ACU is ranked in the top 100 Young Universities worldwide. In the most recent Excellence in Research for Australia assessment, research at ACU was ranked above or well-above world-average for 10 fields of research in Australia, including human movement and sport science.

Discover research and enterprise at ACU

Sports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre

The Sports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre aims to advance knowledge in the areas of performance, recovery, injury, and new technology in the sporting domain, using established and developing laboratory and applied research techniques. The SPRINT Research Centre focuses on the complex relationship between physical development, training, and athlete performance, and places a strong emphasis on findings that directly translate into the real world.

ACU provides the SPRINT Research Centre with world-class research infrastructure that facilitates large-scale research studies. The research environment is outstanding in terms of resources (world-class research facilities, infrastructure support, research support staff with experience in collecting data for large-scale projects), intellectual capital (critical mass of world-class researchers, postdoctoral researchers, international visiting scholars and collaborators, external linkages), and research mentoring and PhD supervision.

Explore SPRINT

How to apply

Interested candidates should contact Dr Jonathon Weakley before submitting an application:


To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must submit all documentation required for an application to the PhD program at ACU, as detailed in the ‘How to Apply’ instructions, plus:

  • A CV detailing relevant academic and practical experience; and
  • A cover letter detailing demonstrated interest and/or experience in the program of research described.

Application deadline extended to: 11:59 pm (AEST), Monday 24 June 2024

For general candidature enquiries, contact candidature services

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