Concept of Health Literacy

What is the relationship between health promotion, health education and health literacy?

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

There is a strong association between health literacy and levels of education, both being social determinants of health. However, the relationship between health literacy and health education is fraught. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. Sometimes it is argued that heath literacy is an outcome of health education. This relationship becomes even more complex within the context of health promotion because health promotion can entail both health literacy and health education strategies. Within a school setting these concepts intersect through the health promoting schools agenda and the health and physical education curriculum. The multifaceted relationship between health promotion and health literacy becomes more evidence in this setting.

Within Australia, the health promoting schools in well-embedded together with Nutbeam's typology of health literacy. This research project will seek to explore the relationship and boundaries between these concepts through a study of HealthLit4Kids in different school contexts. HealthLit4Kids is a program that provides teachers with professional development to build their capacity to develop children's health literacy and create an enabling environment through health literacy responsiveness. This research will be conducted through a case study approach using Stake's case study methodology.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Shandell Elmer


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.

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:

  • Applications are open to applicants from public health disciplines
  • 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 desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Skills or experience in health promotion, public health, health education and/or health literacy

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Shandell Elmer 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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