HDR Scholarship - Online mindfulness program for inflammatory bowel disease

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Online mindfulness program for inflammatory bowel disease'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision Team

Dr Lahiru Russell

External supervisor A/Prof. Simon Knowles in collaboration with Crohn’s & Colitis Australia

Location

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

It is now well-established that when a person develops a gastrointestinal condition such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), their brain circuitry is altered, increasing susceptibility to anxiety and/or depression. Recent meta-analyses, based on nearly 100 controlled studies, have provided high-level evidence of the co-morbidity of anxiety and depression with IBD (up to 66% of patients report symptoms of these disorders). Further, IBD is negatively affected by mental disorders, resulting in more frequent flare-ups, a more aggressive presentation, increased rates of hospital readmissions and increased risk of surgery. These brain-gut interactions are considered problematic, as they result in co-morbid mental disorders in those with IBD. This direct correlation between IBD and mental health suggests that treating the gut could heal mental illness, and offering strategies to promote mental wellbeing may improve gut health.

Mindfulness-based programs have shown to improve mental wellbeing in various patient cohorts. However, research on mindfulness in the context of IBD is spares, yet the few available studies highlight its potential role in improving mental health as well as inflammatory markers. The present study will address a significant gap in knowledge and practice within psycho-gastroenterology by co-designing with consumers and feasibility-testing an online mindfulness intervention for IBD.

Project aim

The present study will address a significant gap in knowledge and practice within psycho-gastroenterology by co-designing with consumers and feasibility-testing an online mindfulness intervention for people with inflammatory bowel disease. The project will involve a systematic review, a qualitative study, and an experimental work.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Friday 3 December 2021

Benefits

This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,600 per annum tax exempt (2021 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500 - $1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • 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 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:

  • 4th Year degree

How to apply

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

APPLY NOW

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus or Dr Lahiru Russell

A/Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus
Associate Professor
Email A/Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus
+61 3 924 68575

Dr Lahiru Russell
Research Fellow
Email Dr Lahiru Russell
+61 3 924 46912