Feeding Babies in Contemporary Australian Families

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

We are seeking PhD candidates to contribute to an ongoing interdisciplinary research program that investigates the social aspects of feeding babies and young children (this includes breastfeeding and other types of feeding such as infant formula and family foods). PhD candidates will work with supervisors to develop projects that contribute to the research program in one or more of the following ways. Talking with Australian parents about their experiences of infant feeding, their infant feeding practices and how infant feeding transitions and challenges are negotiated and addressed. Developing and administering questionnaires about parental attitudes towards breastfeeding and infant feeding practices. Analysing the impact of relevant discourses, services and products on how babies and young children are fed. For example, this could include hospital policies, public health information, parent support services, social media, bottles, dummies, breast pumps, baby food etc. There is considerable scope for the student to direct the focus of their own PhD research. The successful candidate will receive training in data collection and data analysis (including the use of contemporary analytic software applications) and develop their interdisciplinary research networks and connections. They will be supported to publish and present their research in academic and policy/practice relevant forums. The knowledge gained will be of national and international significance due to the importance of nutrition in early childhood.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Emily Hansen


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000; and
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Nursing
  • Midwifery

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Emily Hansen, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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