Apply now: UNSW Scientia PhD scholarship to examine outcomes of long-term opioid prescribing

June 2019

UNSW is currently advertising a Scientia PhD scholarship (beginning in 2020) to work as part of a large team investigating the trajectories and outcomes of opioid prescribing in Australia. This PhD student will be based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney and use data from the POPPY II project.

Escalating opioid use/misuse and harms is a global health problem. There is limited population-level evidence about the drivers of long-term prescribed opioid use, dependence, overdose and other harms. The PhD candidate will contribute to a broader program of work (POPPY II) that addresses these gaps.

POPPY II is a retrospective cohort of ~2 million people prescribed opioids in NSW, linked to health service utilisation (primary care, hospitalisations, emergency department presentations) and mortality. Using best practice pharmacoepidemiological methods, the candidate will undertake a range of studies to quantify the risk of harm associated with prescription opioids to inform national and global responses.

The ideal candidate has:

  • Masters or Honours in public health, pharmaco/epidemiology, bio/statistics or a related field
  • Strong skills in quantitative analysis, with experience using linked administrative data highly regarded
  • Track record of publication of peer-reviewed scientific articles
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

For further information, please contact Professor Louisa Degenhardt ( or Dr Natasa Gisev (

The UNSW Scientia PhD scholarship scheme is part of our dedication to harnessing our cutting-edge research to solve complex problems and improve the lives of people in local and global communities.

UNSW’s Scientia PhD scholarships provide:

  • A four year per annum stipend of $41,209 AUD (2019 rate, indexed)
  • Up to $10,000 per year to support PhD research and professional development
  • Personalised coaching and mentoring

Applications close Friday, 12 July 2019 - click here to apply