PhD scholarship – Developing a comprehensive model of the impact of alcohol availability control measures and related harm outcomes

A PhD scholarship is available in Deakin's School of Psychology. The PhD student, under the guidance of the Chief Investigator, will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Developing a comprehensive model of the impact of alcohol availability control measures and related harm outcomes’ led by Professor Peter Miller.

Project brief

This ARC funded research will provide world-first evidence on a state-level approach to managing licensed venues that could be implemented throughout Australia and in other high and middle-income countries. The team’s work to date has had important impacts on policies to reduce alcohol-related violence. This research will extend this impact, providing important state-specific evidence for Queensland, which is frequently identified as a gap in policy and legal forums.

As part of this project, the PhD will be focussed on the analysis of emergency service data, and model formulation. The supervision team will include Professor Miller and Dr Kerri Coomber at Deakin University, as well as Dr Jason Ferris and Dr Renee Zahnow from The University of Queensland.

Project aim

This PhD project forms part of an evaluation funded by an ARC Linkage grant. The Linkage project evaluates the introduction of late night alcohol restrictions for all licensed venues within Queensland: the Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence Policy – a statewide 2am cease of alcohol service, with a 3am cease of alcohol service and 1am lockout in designated 'Safe Night' precincts.

Statewide policy changes of this magnitude are extremely rare and allow important precedents to be set, along with providing much needed state-specific data collection for policy debates and legal cases. The project will provide important information for policy makers and key stakeholders on the impact of such measures within Queensland and across Australia.

The wider evaluation is investigating how factors such as outlet density, enforcement, and trading hours impact a range of alcohol-related harms. Working with the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), Lives Lived Well (LLW), the Australian Rechabite Foundation (ARF), and Turning Point, this Linkage project will help to build on our team’s extensive existing studies and experience to develop and test a comprehensive model of the impacts of regulatory measures on nightlife and antisocial behaviour in affected areas of Queensland.

The Linkage project has two main objectives:

  1. To evaluate changes in emergency department presentations, assault offences, foot traffic and ambulance attendances statewide and in specific nightlife precincts following implementation
  2. To evaluate the changes statewide in Queensland compared to other states.

To achieve these objectives, this project capitalises on data already being collected as part of existing projects to investigate patterns over time. This project will collect data on:

  • police assaults recorded
  • emergency department (ED) and ambulance attendances
  • amenity (noise) complaints to licensing/police
  • the number of people on the streets (incorporating a count of police uniform presence)
  • key stakeholder perspectives of liquor licensing regulation and effectiveness
  • patron perspectives of liquor licensing regulation (including the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and random drug tests of people on the street).

Value and duration


  • A stipend of $26,682 (2017 rate) per annum, tax exempt.
  • A relocation allowance up to $1,500 (2017 rate) awarded to students who are moving from interstate or overseas in order to study at Deakin
  • Paid sick, maternity and parental leave.


  • Three years

Important dates

closing date

10 December 2016

Eligibility criteria

  • Applications open to domestic candidates only (Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizenship).
  • 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.
  • Strong statistical skills and familiarity with Stata or SPSS statistical packages.
  • A background in alcohol or drug research is desirable.

How to apply

Please refer to the How to apply for a research degree page for application information.

Further information

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact:

Professor Peter Miller
+61 3 5227 8138
Email Professor Miller

Dr Kerri Coomber
+61 3 5227 8249
Email Dr Coomber