HDR Scholarship - Impact of heat on cognitive function

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Impact of heat on cognitive function'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

We are pleased to announce a PhD scholarship is available for students to work on an industry partnership project. After recent deaths of military personnel from heat exposure, there is a need to better understand the consequences of working in the heat and develop mitigation strategies to avoid further preventable deaths.

The project can be shaped to suit a student’s interest, but primarily will investigate the impact of consecutive days of working in the heat performing simulated military tasks. This project is part of a larger program of work and the successful candidate will become part of this research team. There will be a specific interest on the impact of repeated bouts of physical work on a range of cognitive. The student working on this project will use cutting-edge technology and analytic procedures to study the brain’s electrophysiological activity using electroencephalography (EEG). This will be supplemented with additional tools such as eye-tracking and pupillometry. Depending on the interest of the student, the PhD project can specifically focus the impact of working in the heat on neural electrophysiological activity or on aspects of cognitive functioning (e.g., language, memory, motor functioning).

The research will take place at within the Deakin Specialised Indoor Exercise and Sport Science Building, home to the World #1 Sport Science School as ranked by the Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Sport Sciences Schools and Departments. The climate chamber can simulate extreme temperatures (from freezing to 50°), humidity (from extremely dry to very humid) and altitudes from sea level to 5000m. The student will also have exposure to Deakin University’s Cognitive Neuroscience Unit. A world leading research facility that seeks to better understand the neural basis of behaviour and cognition in healthy and disordered populations. The project is being supervised by a team of senior staff from the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit.

Project aim

The overarching aim of this project is to investigate the consequences of performing physically demanding work in hot conditions on cognitive performance and a range of neurological measures.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Friday 31 March 2023


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be an Australian Citizen, located within Australia for the duration of their scholarship
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time
  • hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component in a related discipline

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

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • a genuine interest in cognitive neuroscience and human performance with high personal motivation and self-management
  • demonstrated experience in one or more fields including: cognitive neuroscience, psychology, neuropsychology, human performance or similar
  • high level of organisational, communication and interpersonal skills

How to apply

Please email a CV and cover letter to Dr Luana Main before 31st January 2023. The CV should highlight your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Luana Main or A/Prof Jarrad Lum

Dr Luana Main
Email Dr Luana Main
+61 3 924 45030

A/Prof Jarrad Lum
Email A/Prof Jarrad Lum
+61 3 924 46481