Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Western Sydney University, NICM
App. deadline 26/11/2017
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Australian and New Zealand residents

PhD Scholarship - Effectiveness and Safety of a Standardised Herbal Formula for the Management Osteoarthritis

NICM and Blackmores Institute

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common chronic degenerative articular disease that could lead to severe disability if left untreated. NSAIDs and corticosteroids are widely used to control the symptoms associated with OA. However, these medicines fail to slow down the progression of the disease and are often associated with a broad range of potentially severe side effects. Complementary medicine (e.g. herbal medicine) has been used for the treatment of OA and other inflammatory diseases for over many years. But these interventions need to be scientifically validated to become viable options for the management of OA.

About the project

The project will mainly involve a randomised clinical trial to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of a standardised herbal formulation in participants with OA. The participants will be recruited in selective recruitment centres and will be randomly allocated to receive the active treatment of placebos. Outcome measures including pain intensity, physical function, quality of life and inflammatory biomarkers will be assessed regularly during the treatment. The clinical trial protocol and other components of this PhD project will be negotiated between the eligible candidate and the supervisory panel. Through this project the candidate will develop generic skills in clinical research and in systematic review of clinical evidence.

A standardised herbal medicine product and its placebo will be provided by Blackmores Institute. The project will be based at NICM, a health research institute located at Westmead, Western Sydney University. The candidate will be responsible for carrying out the research project and to publish research results under the guidance of the supervisory panel; Professor Dennis Chang, Professor Alan Bensoussan and Professor Stephen Myers.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $35,000 per annum for up to 3 years and a funded place in a doctoral degree.
  • If the successful applicant is in receipt of a Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend, they will receive an additional $10,000 top-up scholarship.
  • Additional funding of up to $50,000 over 3 years to conduct the research, including costs for implementation of the project, conference presentations and travel, equipment, and open access publication.
  • Benefits and allowances including a thesis production allowance, a relocation allowance, 3 months extended sick leave and 3 months parental leave.

Eligibility criteria

This scholarship is open to domestic applicants only (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens).The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications in the fields of health science, nursing, psychology, or biomedical science equal to one of the following; (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, or (ii) a Masters degree with a significant research component, or (iii) equivalent qualifications.
  • have experience/interest in clinical research

How to apply

Please review our scholarship page:

NICM: Effectiveness and Safety of a Standardised Herbal Formula for the Management Osteoarthritis

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