PhD Scholarship: Cervical cancer prevention in Indonesia

The Nossal Institute for Global Health and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne invites applications for a PhD scholar to contribute to a research project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) entitled ‘Biographies of Vulnerability and Resilience: Middle-aged women’s lived experiences of cervical cancer in Indonesia’.

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate preferably with a background in sexual and reproductive health and rights or cancer research, and some experience in Indonesia, to join a cross-disciplinary team conducting a 4-year ARC Discovery project focused on cervical cancer in Indonesia. The project team is currently comprised of A/Prof. Linda Bennett, Prof. Barbara, McPake, Belinda Spagnoletti (from the Nossal Institute for Global Health – MSPGH - The University of Melbourne), Prof. Siswanto Wilopo (from the Center for Reproductive Health at Gadjah Mada University), and Prof. Lenore Manderson (University of the Witwatersrand – South Africa, and Brown University – USA). The ARC Discovery Project is titled, ‘Biographies of vulnerability and resilience: Middle-aged women’s lived experiences of cervical cancer in Indonesia’.

The project methodology involves a new interdisciplinary approach that uses the life histories of cancer survivors to examine women’s differing vulnerability to contracting HPV (and other STIs) from adolescence onwards, and their vulnerability and resilience in living with cervical cancer in later life. The project sits between the two disciplines of medical anthropology and health systems analysis and falls under the umbrella of global health.

The PhD project will focus specifically on the prevention and screening of cervical cancer in Indonesia, while the more senior researchers will be working directly with women who have been diagnosed with and treated for cancer. The objectives of PhD research will include:

a) documenting and analysing the efforts of the Indonesian government, health professionals and health advocates in advancing cervical cancer prevention via HPV vaccination, screening programs and health education; and

b) exploring the experiences and related health knowledge of Indonesian women and/or girls who have undergone HPV vaccination, screening and reproductive/sex health education related to HPV and cervical cancer.

The translational utility of this PhD project will include the identification of facilitating factors and barriers to upscaling existing interventions and prior pilots for cervical cancer prevention in Indonesia. It may also involve theorising how health system responses to cervical cancer prevention can be better tailored to suit the needs and preferences of Indonesian women. The PhD project will be further developed in line with the career goals and research interests of the successful candidate.

Joining this team as a PhD candidate holds significant opportunities for people seeking to build or further advance careers in: sexual and reproductive health and rights, reproductive cancers, medical anthropology, health systems analysis and responses to both non-communicable diseases (e.g. cervical cancer) and communicable diseases (HPV), and Indonesia specific health expertise.

Candidates must have a First Class Honours or have completed a Masters in a related area with a GPA of 82% or above to be eligible for a 3.5-year scholarship. Existing Indonesian language skills, or the willingness to undertake Indonesian language training, will be an important consideration in selecting a candidate.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake a full-time study load and to begin candidature in Semester 1, 2019. A PhD scholarship of $30,000 for 3.5 years is available to support the successful PhD candidate, and the project team will support an application for additional funds to support fieldwork costs.

Candidates must be either Australian citizens or Australian residents to be eligible for the PhD scholarship. A/Prof. Linda Bennett will undertake primary supervision of the PhD candidate, who will also receive extensive support from other team members in both Australia and Indonesia.

The PhD student will be located in Melbourne for the first year of their candidature and will then undertake 12 months of fieldwork based in Yogyakarta and/or Jakarta.

How to apply: Applications will be considered upon the provision of the following information:
*Your CV (2 pages maximum);
*Certified copies of your academic transcripts;
*A 1-2 page outline of your research skills and experience;
*A summary of your motivations for and goals in undertaking a PhD,
*An outline of your proposed PhD topic that fits within the project described above (no longer than 1,000 words).
Applications should be forwarded via email to Belinda Spagnoletti

If you are not a current student at the University of Melbourne and would like information about how to apply to become a PhD candidate at the University, please visit the Future Students website.

Further enquiries: If you have any questions about the PhD program or the application process please email Belinda Spagnoletti

Closing date: 31 March 2019

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Belinda Spagnoletti