PhD Scholarship: Measurement of child executive function on a large scale to promote school achievement and prevent antisocial behaviours

About the scholarship

The PhD project will be part of the ARC Linkage Project – Creating Pathways to Child Wellbeing, Prosocial Behaviour, and School Achievement in Disadvantaged Communities (

A key aspect of the project is the implementation of Rumble’s Quest in up to 420 primary schools in 22 Communities for Children regions in NSW and Queensland. Rumble’s Quest is a new 45-minute computer game for children aged 6-12 years that, in a highly engaging way, validly and reliably measures social and emotional wellbeing and scores aspects of executive function. The Rumble’s Quest integrated system, developed by Dr Kate Freiberg in partnership with InVision Media, includes extensive resources that guide schools and community agencies in their understanding of child wellbeing, and supports them to respond to the wellbeing profiles in Rumble’s Quest reports ( ).

The successful applicant will join a world-class team of prevention science, criminology, and education researchers at the Griffith Criminology Institute and the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, undertaking pioneering research on how data-driven and evidence-based prevention initiatives can be taken to scale so that child wellbeing can be measurably improved at the population level.

Griffith University hosts one of the largest, most vibrant, and high-performing criminology research communities in the world. At the Griffith Criminology Institute (GCI) internationally-renowned scholars are collaborating in a broad range of areas to produce cutting edge knowledge that helps create safe, just, well-governed and equitable societies. Our research aims to address the major challenges that confront society and is organised around themes and projects which currently include: violence prevention, life course studies, prevention science, policing, corrections, innovative justice, procedural justice, vulnerable families, prosecutions, justice in the Asia-Pacific, investigative interviewing and countering violent extremism.

As a doctoral student, you will develop expertise in cutting edge criminological, statistical, educational, and prevention science research, gain experience in research design and statistics, and produce new knowledge on how schools and community agencies can be empowered to use high quality data to improve child wellbeing and prevent the onset of problem behaviours such as school suspension and dropout, and youth crime.

Applicants should be available to start in mid 2019, and should have an undergraduate degree with Class I Honours (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline (such as criminology, psychology, applied statistics, education, social work, public health, the humanities, social sciences, or some combination of these areas). The successful applicant will have high-level quantitative research skills, and should be prepared to learn some qualitative methodology.

The Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship has an annual stipend of $27,596 (indexed) f or a period of 3 years of full-time study. Please see the GUPRS Conditions of Award for more information.

A successful International applicant will also be awarded a Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship to cover tuition fees for up to three years. Please see the GUIPRS Conditions of Award for more information.

The successful scholarship applicant, will be offered top-up funding from GCI to bring the total value of the living allowance Scholarship to $30,000 per year. Applicants must meet the University’s selection criteria for entry into the PhD programme and be awarded a living allowance Scholarship to qualify for the GCI Top-up funding.

As a scholarship holder, you will study with a University that ranks among the top 2% worldwide and spans across five campuses in South East Queensland. At Griffith University, we’ve worked hard to create a culture that will challenge you to be curious, creative and courageous. We also support the professional and personal development of all our HDR candidates and invest in the skills of our people. Griffith University values diversity, inclusion and flexibility and we encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and people of all backgrounds to apply. Griffith's strategic goals are to also increase the proportion of women in senior academic and administrative roles and in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).

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