Educational intervention to improve bowel cancer awareness and screening in a rural community

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Disease awareness within a community is known to help improve uptake of preventative measures. A previous study has suggested a deficiency in bowel cancer awareness in many Tasmania communities. The current project will focus on testing the feasibility of a community-based educational intervention on bowel cancer-related preventive nutritional behaviours, awareness and uptake of screening among a sample of rural dwellers.

The project will be divided into three phases:

  • Codesign of an educational intervention: A co-design research approach will be employed to involve all relevant stakeholders, especially the target population in developing educational interventions. Co-design is useful in engaging health consumer and health service users in collaboratively designing resources and services to improve and optimise user experience. The benefit of codesign is that it incorporates end-user perspectives in the design of interventions with the goal of increasing the uptake of the end-product. The co-design process will collaboratively explore barriers and solutions to poor bowel cancer awareness, poor information seeking behaviour and screening. The development of the intervention will be agreed upon, and the community will be involved in the implementation and evaluation process
  • Implementation of the intervention and comparison with ‘usual care’: The primary objective is to establish whether the intervention developed is effective in improving bowel cancer awareness compared to a control group receiving ‘usual care.’ A secondary objective will be to investigate if there is a self-reported increase in the uptake of bowel cancer screening between those receiving the intervention and ‘usual care’. Bowel cancer awareness will be investigated at baseline for all participants after which they will be randomised into two groups, either receiving the educational intervention or ‘usual care.’ After the intervention, participants’ knowledge will be tested within 24 hours and at three month follow up period. The results between and within groups will be compared using appropriate statistical tests.
  • Cost effectiveness analysis and process evaluation: Resources will be tracked prospectively to determine costs associated with activities in both arms of the trial. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, which is the ratio of the difference in costs and difference in outcomes, will be used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. A parallel process evaluation will be conducted alongside the cost-effectiveness analyses. Three focus groups discussion (n=5-6 participants/group) will be conducted with participants who participated in the trial to discuss their perceptions of acceptability of the intervention, experiences of the intervention, uptake of cancer screening programs and the intervention effect and suggestions to refine the intervention.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Kehinde Obamiro


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
  • 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.

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.

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Post graduate qualification in public health, nutrition, dietetics, or related field

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 Kehinde Obamiro, 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 contact details of two 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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