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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Loneliness in the changing world

Status: Closed

Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Our society is at increasing risk of loneliness. As of 2019, around three million people in Australia were lonely most of the time. Loneliness has significant adverse health effects and costs the country’s economy about $2.7 billion a year (Duncan et al 2021). However, some groups of the population are at higher risk of loneliness than others, which is likely to translate into poorer health, productivity and disadvantage for these groups. Economic and health shocks may exacerbate loneliness. Finally, while a number of initiatives by government and non-government agencies seek to address the issue of loneliness and isolation, there is virtually no strong evidence of their impact. 

The task of this project is to gain a deeper understanding of the full distribution of loneliness in our society, and to explore the effects of loneliness on individual economic, social and health outcomes over time. The project is also intended to provide evidence on interventions that help to mitigate loneliness. 

Specifically, the project will:
1. Measure loneliness inequality and decompose the changes in the distribution of loneliness within and between groups defined by gender, race, age, marital status, education, socio-economic status.
2. Evaluate the impact of negative shocks to loneliness, focusing on COVID-19 and exploiting differences in exposure to shocks based on individuals’ circumstances as well as assessing the underlying mechanisms and consequences for health and wellbeing.
3. Assemble an inventory of key policy interventions addressing loneliness and provide an evaluation of their intended and unintended impacts, identifying approaches to optimal policy design to eliminate loneliness.

The project will build much-needed understanding on issues of loneliness and social exclusion and identify policies that can eliminate loneliness in our society. It will also lead to methodological contributions in areas related to data matching, longitudinal estimation and event analysis, and adapting methods for causal identification. 

An Internship opportunity may be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Business and Law
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.


Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022. 


For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

• The applicant must have completed a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours, or be regarded as having an equivalent level of attainment
• The applicant must have demonstrated strong background and skills in quantitative research. 
• The applicant should meet the language requirement set for entry to Curtin’s PhD in Economics degree. 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Professor Alan Duncan via the EOI form above.

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