PhD scholarship - ARC Discovery Project: Families in later life study

A PhD scholarship is available in Deakin's School of Psychology. The student, under the guidance of the Chief Investigator, will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Families in later life study’, led by Mr Gery Karantzas. This project investigates how family relationships impact on adult children’s adjustment to caring for older parents and parents' satisfaction with the care given to them.

Project aim

Funded by the Australian Research Council, this research project focuses on adult attachment as it applies to parent-child relationships in later life, specifically within the context of aged care. 

The project aims to investigate: 

  • How attachment bonds between adult children and older parents influence the parental care provided by children in later life, carer burden, and parents’ satisfaction with care.
  • The effects of enhancing carers’ attachment security on caregiving interactions and carer burden.

Children of older parents provide extensive and often unrecognised care to thousands of Australians, yet many report excessive burden. This project is expected to provide much needed insights into strategies to strengthen family bonds and services required to support caregivers and care recipients, as well as enhance the sustainability of aged care in the community.

This highly innovative project entails a multi-method longitudinal design involving the dyadic assessment of carers and their parents using quantitative measures, qualitative assessment procedures, as well as conducting and coding carer-parent interactions during in-home visits.

Value and duration


A stipend of $26,288 per annum


Three years

Important dates

closing date

15 October 2016

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (First Class) or a master's degree with a substantial research component in a related field. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.
  • Applications are open to Australian/New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents.
  • Given the multi-faceted nature of this research, the candidate will need to demonstrate the following criteria to a high level:
    • Experience in working with computer-based data acquisition and analysis systems such as SurveyMonkey or qualtrics.
    • Ability to work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
    • Organisational skills including the demonstrated ability to maintain a high standard of data record keeping and a proven ability to meet competing deadlines.
    • Determined ability to liaise with (and/or negotiate with) research participants and research partners.
    • Good interpersonal skills, including the ability to interact well with research and technical staff, as well as participants and exhibit excellent oral, written communication and presentation skills.

How to apply

Please refer to the Apply for a research degree webpage for application information.

Further information

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Mr Gery Karantzas via email or phone +61 3 9244 6959