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Scholarship details

2023 RTP - Understanding family digital technology use and its influence on child development

Status: Open

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

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Digital technologies, including screen and non-screen devices, are widely owned and used by parents/carers and children for a variety of purposes. Families habitually use digital technologies for considerable amounts of time across the day. The use of these technologies may afford benefits in relation to children’s education and social connection, but also creates potential risks for the health, wellbeing, and development. These benefits and risks, particularly for more recent technologies (e.g. mobile touchscreen devices) and in families with young children, are not clearly understood. There is limited evidence on families’ attitudes, perspectives and behaviours related to digital technologies, and how these may influence child development. Currently, information about families’ attitudes, perspectives and digital technology use is based on subjective measures with limited reliability, and focused on older technologies, such as television and desktop computers. This program of research will address the current absence of evidence regarding contemporary technologies, such as mobile touchscreen devices, and their influence on child development. 

The aims of this project are to understand family digital technology use from before birth to 8 years of age, including correlates of digital technology use and associations with child developmental outcomes, and to understand family perspectives related to digital technology use and young children.  

The proposed program of research will include systematic and/or scoping reviews, field studies and longitudinal cohort studies. The review will cover the best ways to describe young children’s digital technology use. The field studies will involve investigation of families’ contemporary digital technology use and perceptions related to digital technology use and young children. The longitudinal cohort study will include data on socio-demographic characteristics, digital technology use, and child development outcomes. 

An Internship opportunity may also be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • 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

• English language IELTS level of: 7
• Future PhD applicants
• First class honours
• Experience working with children desirable
• Experience with quantitative longitudinal data analysis desirable
• Experience with qualitative research methods 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. ahead of the closing date.

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, Dr Juliana Gomes Zabatiero via the EOI form above.

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