Literacy as a pathway to resilience and desistence

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Literacy is often discussed in terms of educational achievement. This project departs from this, and unpacks literacy as a social determinant of public health, examining how low functioning literacy impacts on deliquency and criminal pathways. With new reports that a significant portion of the Australian prison population does not know how to read to a level above year 5, this project considers the need to shift our understanding of literacy from part of education criteria to a more fundamental social determinant of health and wellbeing.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Isabelle Bartkowiak-Théron


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.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • We seek candidates with a background in public health or social sciences who are interested in researching literacy from a public health and social science perspective. Proposals should employ a qualitative research methodology and focus on the various ways in which literacy is used to navigate the complexities of services systems, and alternatively, how the inability to read prevents the most basic of efforts to reach out for help when confronted to adverse events or when trying to access public health services

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 working with, or for, criminal justice organisations, and/or capacity and willingness to work respectfully alongside criminal justice professionals, will be an advantage

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 Isabelle Bartkowiak-Théron 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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