PhD Scholarship for Crisis Healthcare Management in multiple sclerosis

In Australia, recent bushfires, flooding and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic have identified gaps in healthcare infrastructure, particularly for vulnerable populations such as persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).

These individuals may have psychological and physical impairment, and medical needs greater than the general population. Our overall aim is to develop an understanding for healthcare needs of the MS community during times of crises.

This 3-year fully funded PhD scholarship provides an exciting opportunity to undertake consumer driven research with the MS community (patients, carers, healthcare providers) and the emergency-response community. The project has scope for you to undertake both qualitative and quantitative research, based on your experience and interests and is suitable for a candidate interested in public health, clinical-practice, health services, and/or psychology. The project will include co-design and co-leadership of a research question of your interest, grounded in the overall projects aims. While some data has already been collected, you will be expected to contribute to participant recruitment, data collection and analysis, writing of manuscripts, and communicating with stakeholders about interpretation and dissemination of findings.

On completion of your PhD we consider the transferable skills and collaborations you will have might lead to future job opportunities including leadership in non-profit organisations, leadership in local or national government, further academic or professional research, health and clinical communication roles, or furthering your current or future clinical expertise.

This overall project is titled Crisis Resilience in Persons with MS, Project C-RIMS. The project is considering the experiences of the MS community to identify a template for healthcare-based emergency management for persons with MS. The project is being undertaken in association with MS Research Australia, Murdoch University, the University of Melbourne and the Menzies Institute at the University of Tasmania, as well as MS societies.

You’ll be joining a collaborative team of enthusiastic researchers and experts in health behaviours, led by Drs Yvonne Learmonth, Brody Heritage (Murdoch University) and Claudia Marck (University of Melbourne) and will be based within the Health Futures Institute at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

Our research team, and both Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne are committed to creating a friendly and diverse learning environment. The Universities are proud to welcome equal opportunities for all students. All relevant and qualified applicant will receive consideration for scholarship without regard to race, colour, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, or age. In keeping with the research project and our experience completing our own PhDs, the research team particularly welcome interest from participants who are collaborative critical thinkers, with a passion to persevere towards their goals.

Study levelPhD
Funding bodyIn association with Murdoch University and MS Research Australia
ValueThe scholarship provides tuition fee coverage, and a stipend (tax free) $30,000AUD per year, plus additional funding on a case-by-case basis for archival research and fieldwork.
Duration3 years (Expected start of May 2021)

The scholarship is open to domestic and international applicants. Essential criteria include:

  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 or above or TOEFL score of 110 or above (0.5 pt)
  • A first-class Honours or Masters degree with a thesis component in a relevant psychology, public health, medical or allied health field.
  • Demonstrated and well-developed interpersonal skills to communicate both with the interdisciplinary and collegial team, and with public and professional representatives.
  • Demonstrated high levels of written and oral communication in English, and can demonstrate adaptability to rapidly changing communication and technology needs.
  • Demonstrated interest in improving health outcomes and health opportunities for vulnerable populations, in particular persons with MS.
Apply byDeadline: Initial applications (see below) to 12th March 2021 23:59
To apply

Please send the following on separate documents. On all documents marked* below please include an ID of your initials and day/mo of birth (e.g. YCL0306). This will allow us to anonymously review applications.

  • maximum two pages of how you meet the application criteria*
  • current CV*
  • academic transcript (from former universities)
  • example of written work as primary author (e.g. manuscript or thesis)*
  • single page justifying; your interest in the C-RIMS project and potential research questions you might like to address as part of the project. *

Selected applicants will then be invited to attend an interview, and submit proposals via Murdoch University’s postgraduate scholarship application process. Applicants must be able to commence no later than 1st June 2021.


For more information about the project contact Yvonne Learmonth

For information about the application process contact the graduate research office at Murdoch University