Whether you are a student in pre-med, health sciences, engineering, psychology, or SBMS, we have a variety of fascinating projects that students like you can take part in. These include Honours projects, and UQ winter and summer studentships. Current projects include:

School Readiness outcomes of early neuroprotection/ neurorehabilitation for children at high risk of Cerebral Palsy

One fully-funded PhD research opportunity exists in the areas of educational and developmental psychology, clinical psychology and/or neuropsychology, focusing on the early childhood outcomes of children at high risk of Cerebral Palsy, based at the Queensland Cerebral Palsy Research Centre, at the  Child Health Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia—one of Australia’s most research-intensive academic institutions and consistently included in the world’s top 50 universities across several independent major rankings. Potential candidates will have a strong interest in research in educational and developmental psychology, clinical psychology and/or neuropsychology along with a First-Class Honours Degree in Psychology/Psychological Sciences. The project focuses on assessing School Readiness outcomes in a large multisite cohort of children at high risk of Cerebral Palsy (n>400), including cognition, communication, behaviour, and the parent-child relationship. Children at high risk of CP and/or Diagnosed with CP who have participated in one of four RCT’s of early intervention (NHMRC REACH and GAME trials, the PACT RCT of Parenting and Acceptance and Commitment therapy and the MRFF funded Protect Me RCT of maternal melatonin) will be followed up at 4 to 5 years of age. Preference will be given to candidates who are either provisionally or fully registered with the Psychology Board of Australia. 

Intensive rehabilitation for children with moderate to severe cerebral palsy to improve gross motor function, habitual physical activity and participation in physically active leisure.

In Australia, cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in children. Around 40% of children with cerebral palsy will have moderate to severe physical disability. Of these children, some may be able to walk small distances with the help of a walker or crutches, while some will mainly move around in a wheelchair. For these children, their mobility capacity is reached at around 6 to 7 years of age, but then declines later in childhood which can lead to them spending around 90% of their waking day sitting. This has long term consequences for their health and well-being.

This single-blind multi-site randomised controlled trial (RCT) will investigate whether school-age children with moderate to severe CP (Gross Motor Function Classification System GMFCS III and IV) who are randomised to an eight-week ACTIVE STRIDES-CP intervention, compared with care as usual (CAU), have improved gross motor function immediately post intervention. Secondary outcomes will be changes in Habitual Physical Activity ([HPA], less time spent sedentary, increased light and/or moderate to vigorous physical activity MVPA), cardiorespiratory fitness (Physiological Cost index HR/PCI), walking speed and distance, frequency/involvement of community participation, daily activities and mobility performance, attainment of gross motor goals, healthcare use and quality of life immediately post intervention and with retention of outcomes 6 months post baseline. Active Strides-CP comprises a package of rehabilitation of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycling, adapted cycling, partial body weight support treadmill training (PBWSTT), overground gait training and goal directed training with a total dose of direct therapy of 32 hours delivered over an eight-week period.

Within this large multi-site trial, there will be scope to develop a research program around the following top areas.

  1. Participant and intervention (e.g. dose and content) related factors associated with clinically significant improvements in gross motor function, habitual physical activity and participation in physically active leisure
  2. Fidelity of delivery of a manualized ACTIVE-STRIDES CP program across multiple sites and organisations.
  3. The relationship between capacity, participation, fitness and habitual physical activity in children with cerebral palsy.

Specializing in Paediatric Physiotherapy/Physical Therapy, or Paediatric Neuropsychology or Paediatric Neuroscience

Multiple opportunities exist for pursuing a doctoral degree in the area of paediatrics and child health, with a focus on neurodevelopmental outcomes of high-risk infants, at the Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia—one of Australia’s most research-intensive academic institutions and consistently included in the world’s top 50 universities across several independent major rankings. Doctoral projects will be part of the larger federally funded PREBO-6 prospective cohort study involving advanced neuroimaging and neurodevelopmental assessment of children born prematurely. Please click the following weblink to our recent publication describing the PREBO-6 study protocol: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/10/5/e036480.full.pdf

Potential candidates will have a strong interest in clinical research in the field of paediatrics and particularly in neonatal and developmental medicine and neuroscience. The successful candidate will belong to a highly productive multidisciplinary research environment that has strong collaborations across Australia, India, New Zealand, and USA. Doctoral training from the highly ranked Faculty of Medicine at The University of Queensland will be an ideal opportunity for medical and nonmedical graduates from related healthcare fields (e.g., health science, neuroscience, nursing, physiotherapy/physical therapy, psychology, and/or public health) who are planning for an academic and/or clinical research career.

Further information concerning the scope, qualifications, scholarship and other details can be obtained from A/Prof Samudragupta Bora (samudragupta.bora@mater.uq.edu.au), Dr. Alex Pagnozzi (alex.pagnozzi@csiro.au), and Dr. Joanne George (j.george2@uq.edu.au). Please include “Interested in Doctoral Studies” in the email subject line along with a brief cover letter explaining your academic background, research experience and interests in this area, recent curriculum vitae, and unofficial copies of academic transcripts for initial consideration.

 

 

You can find more information on Higher Degree Research Projects and how to apply here.