Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Carol Maher

Main Campus
City East

Applications Close
11 Dec 2022

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:
All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. International students who receive a stipend are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$28,854 p.a. available to domestic applicants only

About this project

Develop healthy lifestyle strategies for truck drivers

Do you want to make a real world difference with research? The University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a project-based PhD with immediate, real-world impact, based within our Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity Research Centre (ARENA). 

Truck drivers provide comprise a substantial proportion of Australia’s workforce and are a critical service to global economies. The Australian Road Transport Industry employs over 137,000 truck drivers and contributes more than $73.1 billion to the Australian economy. 

Truck driving is characterised by prolonged work hours, irregular shift work and subsequent sleep deprivation. They often spend most of their time in the truck cab, with little opportunity for physical activity and limited access to healthy food. Truck drivers have higher rates of obesity, sleep disturbance, anxiety and poor cardiovascular heath than other occupations.   

This research project will investigate the best available evidence and work with relevant stakeholders to design and evaluate an intervention to improve truck drivers’ physical and psychological well-being. Pending outcomes, we anticipate that this research will lead to a major translational project to improve the health and well-being of Australian truck drivers.

This project is offered within ARENA, one of the largest research centres at UniSA. ARENA aims to provide students with a supportive, stimulating research experience in a collaborative environment.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will develop skills in reviewing high-quality evidence, developing surveys, and communicating with stakeholders and end-users (i.e., truck drivers). You will also gain experience in designing and implementing a pilot intervention study that will involve completing an ethics application, recruiting participants, collecting and analysing data, and implementing and delivering interventions. 

Anticipated outcomes include peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations. You will be encouraged and supported in attending conferences to network and disseminate project results.  

The diverse skill-set and professional networks developed during the project will position you well for multiple employment outcomes and research career pathways

Where you’ll be based

You’ll be based in UniSA’s Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity Research Centre (ARENA). We investigate the role of exercise, nutrition and other lifestyle activities in improving clinical and health outcomes. Physical, psychological and sports performance in populations is studied across a wide cross-section of society, ranging from children to elite athletes and people with chronic disease.

Our research focus ‘Healthy lives through healthy living’ centres around the grand challenge of tackling the growing epidemic of chronic diseases. We focus on real-world issues and bring bold ideas to create solutions which optimise health, function and wellbeing.

We work with diverse research partners, end-users and our communities to identify and evaluate solutions, and translate these outcomes into products and changes in policy and practice.

Supervisory Team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $28,854 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $45,076 per annum. A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information . International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to application from domestic applicants only. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. The successful applicant is expected to study full-time, and to be based at our City East Campus in the east of Adelaide.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer. Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Sunday 11 December 2022.

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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