Brain correlates of falls

Assessing the relationships between brain health, sensorimotor functions and falls

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

There is growing awareness of the interplay between cognition and gait in relation to both falls and dementia in older people.  This project aims to gain a better understanding of the underlying brain structures and areas that underlie this relationship.
This observational study will include participants from 1) the Tasmanian Study of Cognition and Gait – a population based study of people 60-85 years (n=400) followed up over 4.5 years and 2) the ISLAND Clinic, which is the Tasmanian Dementia and Cognition Clinic located in the Clinical Research Facility of UTAS, Hobart.
This project will examine the underling brain pathways of sensorimotor function, cognition and falls in older people.
Specific research questions include:

  • What areas of grey matter atrophy are associated with falls?  Are these associations mediated by gait and cognition?
  • What brain structures are associated with people who have both decline in gait and cognition over time (compared to those who have no decline or decline in only gait or cognition)
  • Which brain surface area measures are longitudinally associated with decline in gait and cognition?
  • What factors contribute to motor reserve?

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Michele Callisaya


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.

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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in the cleaning, processing and analysis of MRI data
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Honours, research masters or equivalent research experience

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Michele Callisaya to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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