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Scholarship details

2023 RTP - Alcohol Advertising and Aquatic Environments

Status: Closed

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

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Globally, alcohol use is the leading preventable contributor of burden of disease and injury for young people. Harmful effects of alcohol use are far-reaching, with consequences for the individual, their family, friends, and community. One in five Australian teenagers drink at levels that may cause health related harms, at least once a month.
Drinking alcohol is an accepted and widespread practice in Australian communities and often occurs in the context of social interaction. Many social activities occur in aquatic environments. Alcohol use in and around water is a risk factor for injuries, including fatal and non-fatal drowning. The extensive Australian coastline, the popularity of aquatic activities  and associated risk practices means young people are over-represented in water-related injury statistics and drowning deaths.

The marketing efforts of the powerful and well-resourced alcohol industry to promote their products to younger people are recognised as contributing to the substantial harms caused by alcohol consumption globally. The alcohol industry uses media to advertise and market to young people. Alcohol advertisements often show drinking alcohol as something that will enhance mood or well-being, and contribute to positive emotional experiences, friendships, and achievements. Alcohol brands use the media in a range of venues and formats including sponsored paid advertisements; outdoor advertisements; celebrity endorsements; influencers; and musical event sponsorship. 

Efforts to identify environmental factors leading to young people’s harmful alcohol use point to the impact of exposure to alcohol industry marketing. Environmental features, including geospatial distribution and alcohol-related characteristics, have been linked to hazardous alcohol consumption. Given the limited restriction on alcohol advertising placement, evidence is needed regarding the impact of alcohol advertising on alcohol-related risk practices in aquatic environments frequented by young people.

The project aims broadly to explore and quantify the presence and content of outdoor alcohol advertising in Western Australia (WA) and analyse the presence and content of alcohol advertising featuring aquatic activities and/or locations on social media platforms used by young people. 

The successful candidate will: 
1) Design the tools to capture and describe the volume and content of outdoor alcohol advertising in defined aquatic locations in WA (To date there is no such data in WA or Australia); 
2) Map and measure liquor outlet and licenced venue density and proximity in aquatic locations in WA; 
3) Explore exposure to and perceptions of alcohol advertising in aquatic locations amongst young people in WA; 
4) Identify current alcohol policy of local government authorities in defined aquatic locations in, WA; and 
5) Co-design recommendations for policy, practice and advocacy. 
The mixed-methods project will use a combination of participatory approaches including but not limited to GIS mapping, stakeholder analysis, network and systems mapping. 

  • 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

• We are looking for an applicant with a relevant level of tertiary qualifications consistent with Curtin policy  e.g. Honours Degree, or a Master’s degree, awarded with Credit or Distinction, in health promotion, social science, geography or public health.
• Have a strong interest in public health, health promotion and developing knowledge and skills in GIS mapping, advocacy and evidence-informed practice.
• Interested in community facing, policy relevant research.
• Have experience or interests in mixed methods research.
• Strong oral communication skills with diverse audiences.
• Strong written communication skills and an interest in knowledge translation.
• Live in Western Australia with the ability to travel intra- and interstate COVID-19 permitting. 

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 Justine Leavy via the EOI form above.

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