Health, stress and resilience

Understanding health, stress and resilience in the over 50s in Tasmania

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

As we age, stressful events can impact our mental and physical health while imparting risk for neurodegenerative disease. These events can take many forms, but increasingly they include natural disasters such as bushfires, whose frequency and severity are increasing. In order to assist older people to age well in a warming climate, it is vital to understand the detrimental effects of stress, trauma and natural disasters on health and wellbeing in older age. Who is most affected and why? This project will investigate health, stress and resilience among Tasmanians aged 50 years and over, exploring how stress exposure, stress biomarkers and resilience-related measures relate to trajectories of change in mental/physical health and cognition. It will involve analysis of baseline data already collected in the ISLAND Resilience Initiative, a 10 year longitudinal study involving 1400 Tasmanian participants aged 50 years and over. It will also provide the opportunity for ongoing data collection to capture the impacts of future stressors such as natural disasters. This work will shed light on determinants of resilience among older people, paving the way for new evidence-based strategies to assist older people to recover and grow following stress and trauma.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Duncan Sinclair


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Duncan Sinclair to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

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