HDR Scholarship - School Principal/Teacher Health and Wellbeing program

Applications now open. There are two PHD scholarships available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'School Principal/Teacher Health and Wellbeing program'.

Project Supervisor


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

The current state of school principals’ health and wellbeing threatens Australia’s socioeconomic outcomes as school leaders’ impact significantly impact student learning. This research program seeks to establish what works to improve school principals’ wellbeing and addresses national strategic objectives in health through rapid mobilization of excellent applied research that has the potential to reverse the declining wellbeing of Australia’s school leaders.

For the last nine years we have conducted annual surveys into the occupational health, safety, and wellbeing of school leaders—all principals, assistants, and deputies in every sector of every state and territory of Australia. Since its inception the survey has expanded to New Zealand, Ireland and Finland with other countries and jurisdictions coming on board at regular intervals, and most recently we have expanded the survey to include teachers as well as school leaders. With such a comprehensive database we are investigating the impact of recent/current policy interventions by Education Departments designed to mitigate flagging wellbeing in the context of increasing competition, accountability, and public scrutiny. This systematic and rigorous study undertaken to assess the comparative impact of policy interventions on issues such as stress, burnout, and retention. Sophisticated quantitative and qualitative analysis of our extant database and new data will map policy interventions to changes in educators’ motivation and wellbeing as value-added, natural experiments. New knowledge about the most productive and cost effective of these interventions will then be mobilized to all key stakeholders across the country.

Project aim

The successful candidates will work collaboratively with the research team as an integral part of the research program and lead specific projects under the umbrella of the larger study.

The successful candidates will have access to a world-class training environment and facilities; an internationally recognised research program, and associated networks of leading international universities; experienced supervisors who are leading international researchers; training workshop and conference attendance. The successful candidates may be required to travel between campuses.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a two candidates have been appointed


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
  • International students only: Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate
  • 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

Please apply using the expression of interest form. Please also include a two page cover letter outlining academic excellence, skills in quantitative/qualitative research methods, alignment of research experience to the project and well-being.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Phil Riley

Prof Phil Riley
Professor, Education Leadership
Email Phil Riley
+61 3 924 46105