Trauma-informed Policing

Considering Trauma-informed Policing: Opportunities and obstacles for Australia

Degree type

PhD, Masters by research

Closing date

1 February 2024



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Many contemporary discussions about police work with vulnerable people are around trauma-informed practice. The global trend for trauma-informed practice is to reduce emphasis on 'ACE only' approaches to trauma-informed practice, in favour of an understanding of trauma that acknowledges its development regardless of age (from ACE to adulthood) and its impact on people's way of interacting in difficult situations. However, there is little guidance available on how police organisations can adopt a trauma-informed approach as part of business as usual, although police services are now focusing on the impact of trauma in the communities with which they interact.

In light of the importance of trauma in our societies and recent international debates about policing, it is crucial to understand what trauma-informed practices bring to police and first responders, and the impact these can have on standard operational procedures. Furthermore, increased awareness about how trauma impacts upon vulnerable people is crucial for an early, comprehensive identification of vulnerability in policing, for the preparation of police in interacting with compassion with the public, and for developing arguments around early intervention and referral to support agencies.

This project considers, from an evidence-based perspective, what obstacles and opportunities exist for Australia to develop such an operational framework, what structures, curriculum content and supports need to be put in place to implement trauma-informed interactions with vulnerable people in a policing context.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof 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 $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:

  • Usual Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements
  • Applications are open to Domestic and International applicants
  • Applications are open to applications from social science, sociology, criminology, psychology, social work, policing discipline backgrounds only
  • English language score must be above minimum entry requirements for this project

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:

  • Capacity to work in multidisciplinary environments
  • Basic knowledge of qualitative research methods

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Familiarity with policing environments and police education
  • Basic knowledge of quantitative research methods

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Isabelle Bartkowiak-Théron 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.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience