HDR Scholarship - Brain injury and violent behaviour – a data linkage approach to maximise positive intervention outcomes

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Brain injury and violent behaviour – a data linkage approach to maximise positive intervention outcomes'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Geelong Waterfront Campus

Research topic

The Opportunity
This project has the potential to improve outcomes for persons diagnosed with an Acquired Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury (ABI/TBI), through the identification of predictors of positive outcomes (e.g., type of intervention, length of intervention, combination of interventions), as well as to identify the risk factors that may lead to a justice outcome (e.g. involvement with police at an early age, etc.) to allow for early identification and mitigation of these risks.

The Role
We have a PhD stipend for a student to use linked data from different sources (e.g. police, hospital and courts) to better understand the impact of Acquired Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury (ABI/TBI) on justice related outcomes, and highlight the most effective interventions, timing of interventions and appropriate contact agencies to intervene to ensure the highest chance of positive outcomes.

The PhD student will be well-supported within a multidisciplinary team from both academic and clinical backgrounds. The PhD stipend is provided by Deakin University, and the successful applicant will be enrolled at Deakin University.

Project aim

Using a sample of persons diagnosed with an ABI or TBI at Barwon Health, the following aims will be examined:

  1. To better understand the impact of ABI/TBI on justice related outcomes (i.e., police contacts, incarceration, youth justice contact), including the role of substance use and related treatment, and mental health and related treatment.  More specifically, we will study two subgroups:
    • Violent subgroup: Using a sample of persons arrested for violent offences (who also have an ABI/TBI), we will examine the impact of ABI/TBI on subsequent violent behaviour.
    • ABI/TBI subgroup: Using a sample of persons who have been diagnosed with ABI/TBI, we will identify trajectories of violence (covering before and after their diagnosis). We will identify the incidence, timing, and nature of violence, including the identification of static and dynamic predictors of violence.
  2. To identify effective justice and health-related interventions for individuals with ABI/TBI; including the intensity and duration of intervention required for significant pathway change, and the importance of intervention completion.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Sunday 31 October 2021.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic currently residing in Australia. 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.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • A genuine interest in psychology, and specifically in forensic psychology and/or neuropsychology, and/or aggression
  • Demonstrated experience in one or more fields including: psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, aggression, or similar.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal skills, organisational skills, self-management and high personal motivation
  • Be able to attend weekly meetings in Geelong

How to apply

Please apply by emailing Dr Ashlee Curtis a copy of your CV, cover letter, list of publications and academic transcripts.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Ashlee Curtis or Prof Peter Miller.

Dr Ashlee Curtis
Email Dr Ashlee Curtis
+61 3 5227 8052

Prof Peter Miller
Email Prof Peter Miller
+61 3 522 78138