Healthy ageing in Tasmanian communities

Improving health literacy and enhancing healthy ageing using community-based action research

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Risk factors for dementia, including smoking, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, and low levels of educational attainment are prevalent in Tasmania, as are low levels of literacy. Tasmania is also the oldest and among the fastest ageing population in the country. Without intervention, Tasmania will face a surge in dementia cases over the coming decades as the population ages particularly in at risk communities. Dementia incidence could be reduced by up to 40% by introducing health and lifestyle changes to reduce risk including more effective management of existing health conditions, improving diet and regular exercise, and maintaining social connections and lifelong learning. As dementia risk factors overlap with other chronic conditions, this would improve overall health and wellbeing. Public health strategies are needed to help Tasmanians reduce their dementia risk. For any public health approach to be effective, it must reach the most at-risk members of the community, however many public health campaigns reach only those with sufficient literacy to engage. This project will take a proactive, integrated and co-design approach to distil new ways to improve health and health literacy through community consultation and co-design of the dementia risk reduction message in a form that is accessible, understandable, and actionable. We will evaluate the effectiveness of co-designed approaches on dementia risk reduction knowledge, motivation, and behaviour, as well as health literacy.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Maree Farrow


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.

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 Maree Farrow, 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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