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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Parents’ work hours and child health, wellbeing, and educational outcomes

Status: Closed

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

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Familial time is an important resource for optimal child development. Research has shown that parents’ work time, as a proxy measure of parental time spent with children, is linked to diet quality and risk for overweight and obesity in children and adolescents (e.g., in Western Australia and Germany). However, there is limited research focusing on the impact of parents’ work hours on other domains of child development, e.g., mental health and wellbeing and educational outcomes. Longitudinal analysis, especially that using longer time spans during child development, is rare. This project aims to fill this gap by investigating the trajectory of both mothers’ and fathers’ working hours and schedules, and the impact that these have on child social and emotional wellbeing and school achievement from infancy to adolescence. The analysis will use two main longitudinal datasets: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) as the primary data source, and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA).  The analyses will assess potential mediators (e.g., parenting stress, work-family conflict, time use, parental mental health and wellbeing) and moderators (parent socioeconomic and child characteristics, work time flexibility) between parental work hours and their impact on children. The Raine Study data may also be employed to explore the impact of parents’ work hours on specific health issues for which the Raine Study offers better measures.  The main analytical methods will include both random- and fixed-effects models and mediation analysis.

The PhD project will be supervised by leading experts in the research field on work-family and work-health interfaces, with connections to the Berlin Social Science Centre and Telethon Kids. The findings of the project will be publishable in high quality international journals and have significant implications for work and family policy and service provision in Australia and internationally. 

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 candidate will need to be self-motivated, with good research and written communication skills, and the ability to work as part of a team.  A strong grounding in empirical research methods and IT skills to support working with large survey datasets is required. A background in labour economics, health economics or related field is desirable. 

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 Michael Dockery via the EOI form above.

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