HDR Scholarship - A new technique for measuring bone

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'A new technique for measuring bone'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

This project is designed to assess the performance of a new, portable device (the Osteoprobe) for assessing bone material properties, or bone toughness, in a living person. Bone material strength index (BMSi) will be measured in participants of the Geelong Osteoporosis Study, a well-recognised long-term, prospective cohort study of bone health and risk factors for fracture.

The PhD candidate will test how well BMSi discriminates healthy people from those who are prone to develop microcracks that weaken the skeleton and increase susceptibility to fracture.

The project will yield findings with global significance and important clinical implications. It will make a significant contribution to the body of evidence that will ultimately determine whether the Osteoprobe can identify people who would benefit from osteoporosis treatment.

The project will suit students with a background in biomedical science, biological science, health science, material science, medicine or allied health.

Project aim

The aims are to test the feasibility of using the Osteoprobe in a population-based research setting; determine how BMSi values vary with age, body size and body composition; and determine how BMSi values differ in people exposed to medications and diseases that affect bone.

The student will learn how to measure BMSi with the Osteoprobe, measure bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), determine bone quality at the heel using quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) and ascertain incident fractures from radiology reports.

The student will work with the Geelong Osteoporosis Study research team in the iMPACT institute. This is part of the School of Medicine, located at the University Hospital Geelong (Barwon Health).

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Monday 26 October 2020


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,092 per annum tax exempt (2020 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic candidate (domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship).
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

How to apply

Learn more about submitting a successful application on the How to apply page.

Find out more

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Professor Julie Pasco

Prof Julie Pasco
Professor (Faculty of Health)
Email Julie Pasco
+61 0401 437 439