PhD Scholarship for a trial to improve sleep in young drivers
University of Queensland, Institute for Social Science Research

PhD Scholarship for a trial to improve sleep in young drivers


Job No:507801

Area:Institute for Social Science Research

Salary (FTE):RTP Scholarship NON-BANDED ($27,596.00 - $27,596.00)

Work type:Full Time - Scholarship

Location: Brisbane, Other


The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR)

The University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) is a national leader in advanced interdisciplinary social science and evidence based policy research. ISSR researchers address some of the most important issues and challenges facing Australia today in areas such as education, social wellbeing, and health. The Institute conducts research on priority issues and offers commercial services and training for public and private sector organisations. It also provides high-quality learning experiences for postgraduate and postdoctoral students, and has some of the most advanced research facilities for data collection and analysis in the country. The Institute employs over 100 faculty and staff and includes affiliated researchers in the fields of political science, sociology, social policy, geographical sciences, economics, psychology, education, demography, mathematics and statistics. In mid-2015, ISSR relocated from the St Lucia Campus to the University's new Long Pocket precinct (off Meiers Road, Indooroopilly).


The project

Traffic crashes are the number one cause of youth death globally. Young adults (18-24 years) constitute 15% of the Australian population but account for over 30% of crash-related fatalities. This is an unacceptable burden, and is one that existing approaches have failed to control. The proposed research is a direct response to this problem.


Many young adults are chronically sleep deprived, and restricted sleep duration appears to be the primary contributor to fatigue-related road crashes in young adults. Small increases in habitual sleep duration and improved sleep education may reduce sleep debt, and improve road safety in this vulnerable age group.


This 3-year study will test the benefit of a sleep scheduling intervention on the driving performance of young adults who are at increased risk for fatigue-related crashes. The trial incorporates a complex, multi-method approach to data collection including the following;

  • Continuous ambulatory measurement of sleep-wake and driving behaviour using wearable and in-vehicle accelerometry;
  • Physiological measurement of state and trait alertness and stress using electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG);
  • Laboratory based measures of driving performance (e.g. desktop driving simulator) and other computerised tasks addressing cognitive risk factors, risk propensity and risk related behaviour.


The person

Applicants should have an excellent academic record of accomplishment in Psychology, Neuropsychology, Social science, Public Health, Epidemiology, or a related discipline such as Medicine, and an Honours degree or equivalent. You are required to meet the minimum requirements for entry into the PhD program.


Applicants with experience in quantitative applied research methods using ambulatory, mobile and/or computerised measures of physiology, driving, risky behaviour, cognition and/or emotion are highly desirable. Relevant data design, collection, management and analytic skills are preferred.


Knowledge of behavioural theory and/or experience in behavioural intervention implementation will be considered a plus.


You should be a team player with a strong professional work ethic, a strong desire to pursue a research career and a genuine interest in improving the lives of young people. Applicants should have excellent communication skills in terms of both written and spoken English Language as you will be expected to produce high quality journal articles and present to international audiences.


The University of Queensland values diversity and inclusion and actively encourages applications from those who bring diversity to the University. Please refer to the University’s Diversity and Inclusion website ( for further information and points of contact if you require additional support.  



PhD Scholarship $27,596 per annum tax-free (2019 rate), indexed annually, for three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances.

For further information on scholarships please refer to:



To discuss this role please contact Associate Professor Simon Smith on or phone +61 7 334 67812


How to Apply

To apply for this admission and scholarship please visit –

Please ensure that you

  1. select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'
  2. enter in the free-text field ‘PhD Scholarship for Sleepy Driver Trial’
  3. list the enrolling unit as the Institute for Social Science Research
  4. enter Associate Professor Simon Smith as your supervisor

Advertised: 05 Jun 2019 
Applications close: 28 Jul 2019 (11:55 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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