Health Literacy Responsive Schools Tool

Pilot of the Health Literacy Responsive Schools tool in Australia (Scale Development & Evaluation)

Degree type


Closing date

1 February 2024



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

It is critical that organisations in all sectors (health, education, and community) understand and respond appropriately to the diversity of people's health literacy strengths and challenges to create enabling environments that support their health decisions and engagement with services. This is known as health literacy responsiveness and is an important path to equity of access and better health outcomes.

This study aims to halt intergenerational health behaviours by providing schools with a tool to better understand their own health literacy responsiveness and their responsibility for creating such an environment for their students. Aligned with the Health Promoting Schools Agenda (WHO, 2021a; WHO, 2021b), creating a health literacy responsive school environment will be essential to producing health literate students. Colleagues in Germany have started to explore a similar idea with HeLit tools (Okan, Kirchhoff, & Bauer, 2021). Currently there are few health literacy assessment tools or questionnaires internationally suitable for use in schools. There are none in Australia. Building on existing research, this study will support the scale development and scale evaluation for the Australian context. The pilot and validation of a specific assessment tool for schools will support global efforts to embed health literacy into education settings.

The overarching aim of this study is to develop a health literacy responsive self-assessment tool for schools. The research associated with the development of the Health Literacy Responsive Schools Tool will employ a pragmatist worldview, meaning that this research is problem centered, real world and solutions orientated (Creswell, 2014). Consistent with the methodology outlined by Boateng et al. (2018b), a sequence of related research studies will inform the development of this tool.

There are 4 Phases for this PhD study:

  1. Scoping Review;
  2. Scale Development;
  3. Scale Evaluation; and
  4. Implementation strategy development.

The scale development and evaluation steps are outlined in more detail in the protocol which is available upon request.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Rosie Nash


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 $32,192 per annum (2024 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Competence using a range of computer software including word-processing, spread sheets, statistical and graphics programs
  • Good communication skills including oral, written and interpersonal and a demonstrated ability to work productively and harmoniously as part of a team
  • Organisational skills and the ability to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-directed and to use initiative

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with Quantitative statistical analysis and Evaluation Research

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Rosie Nash 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 1 February 2024.

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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