SONM: Transitioning Children with Spinal Cord Injury and Disease to Adult Services Using a Peer Support Model

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scholarship code: 2019-049

About the project

The School of Nursing and Midwifery (SoNM) is a national leader in nursing and midwifery research within Western Sydney University. SoNM has a dynamic research culture, with a strong reputation for delivering research outcomes of the highest quality.

We are now offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work with a team of experienced and successful researchers, to address the transitional support needs of children with spinal cord injury and disease. The project is funded by The SpineCare Foundation.

A mentoring support program for young people with spinal cord injury or disease, during the transition of care to adult services, and as an adjunct to treatment, can provide the social support important in empowering young people to take control in making decisions and reaching their goals. This project will involve the development, implementation and evaluation of an innovative transitional peer support model for young people with spinal cord injury or disease. The project provides an exciting opportunity to translate evidence into practice. The project will be based in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the student will be supervised and supported by four committed researchers who have a proven track record in successful completion of Higher Degree (HDR) students.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by the School.

International candidates are required to hold an Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC)(opens in a new window) insurance policy for the duration their study in Australia. This cost is not covered by the scholarship.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills in the development of a model of transition support for children with spinal cord injury or disease. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in health and social sciences.

The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to health and social sciences.
  • have an understanding of the importance of mentoring support and transition support services.
  • be willing to learn about spinal cord injury and disease.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.(opens in a new window)

How to apply

1. Contact Associate Professor Lucie Ramjan ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.

2. Review the research scholarships frequently asked questions.(opens in a new window)

3. Submit an online application for admission.(opens in a new window)

4. Complete the project scholarship application form (PDF, 89.74 KB).(opens in a new window)

5. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.

6. Submit your scholarship application form and any supporting documentation to the Graduate Research School as follows:

  • Use the email subject line: Application_2019_049_SONM
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.

Applicants who do not submit an online application for admission will not be considered.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 15 February 2019

*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).