2 PhD Scholarship Opportunities – School Principals’ Health and Wellbeing: Making A Positive Difference?
This research, including the two PhD scholarships, is funded through an Australian Research Council Linkage grant. The scholarship recipients will work collaboratively with the research team as an integral part of the entire project and lead specific projects under the umbrella of the larger study. Benefits include: a generous PhD scholarship; a world-class training environment and facilities; working within a vibrant PhD program, an internationally recognised research program (see section on IPPE Research Environment), and associated networks of leading international universities; experienced supervisors who are leading international researchers; training workshop and conference attendance; and first and co-authorships on academic articles associated with the grant.
The current crisis in School Principals’ health and wellbeing threatens Australia’s socioeconomic outcomes as school leaders’ impact on student learning outcomes. This research seeks to establish what works to improve School Principals’ wellbeing, and addresses national strategic objectives in health through rapid mobilization of excellent applied research that has the potential to reverse the declining wellbeing of Australia’s school leaders.
The Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) for the last six years has collected annual surveys into the occupational health, safety, and wellbeing of school leaders—all principals, assistants, and deputies in every sector of every state and territory of Australia. This newly funded extension of our ongoing research investigates the impact of recent/current policy interventions by State Education Departments designed to mitigate School Principals’ flagging wellbeing in the context of increasing competition, accountability, and public scrutiny. This will be the first comprehensive, systematic and rigorous study undertaken to assess the comparative impact of policy interventions on issues such as stress, burnout, and retention. Sophisticated quantitative and qualitative analysis of our extant database and new data will map policy interventions to changes in school principal motivation and wellbeing as value-added, natural experiments. New knowledge about the most productive and cost effective of these interventions will then be mobilized to all key stakeholders across the country.
Academic Researchers/PhD Supervisors:
Prof Herbert Marsh; A/Prof Philip; Prof Richard Ryan; Dr Theresa Dicke; Prof Robert Vallerand; Dr Philip Parker; Dr Paul Atkins
Australian Primary Principals Association; New South Wales Secondary Principal’s Council; Teachers Health Fund; Catholic Church Insurance; Association of Heads of Independent Schools Australia
PhD Project 1: Quantitative
The first project will be a quantitative study, interrogating the extensive, extant database and extended new data collected over the next three years. Analyses will involve newly developed approaches to factor analysis, latent profile analysis, person-environment fit and the degree to which characteristics of individual school principals match characteristics of their schools. Quantitative analyses will be repeated for data based on the new, extended Principal Survey and data from the MySchool website that will be integrated into the data archive each year of the study.
PhD Project 2: Qualitative
The second project will be a qualitative study on person-environment fit, the degree to which characteristics of individual school principals match characteristics of their schools, and the policy settings in which they operate. The scholarship recipient will collect and analyse new policy interventions designed, directly or indirectly, to improve the health and well-being of school principals. Intended outcomes of these policy initiatives and interventions will be mapped onto measures from our principal survey and MySchool data.
IPPE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT
IPPE’s PhD program will provide you with:
- Competitive PhD scholarships; financial support to attend training courses and present papers at conferences; advanced technological facilities and fully-equipped research laboratories.
- A world-class research training environment; a lively international intellectual environment; intellectual and social network of postgraduates; interaction with leading international scholars from IPPE and around the world.
- Experienced supervisors who are leading scholars; supervision to completion within minimum time periods; mentoring to create publications of international repute; support for writing successful research grants.
- An outstanding foundation from which to launch an academic career.
ACU is undergoing significant research transformation and intensification, providing substantial funding to position it as a leader in selected areas of national and international strategic research. Due in part to this research intensification and the contribution of IPPE, ACU is now ranked as equal first in psychology among Australian universities (an ERA ranking of 5) by the Australian Government
This project is central to the strategic research plan of the IPPE, a flagship research institute of the ACU. Institute status at ACU continued our established reputation as a world-class research centre that is internationally recognised for: substantive and methodological advances in positive psychology, wellbeing, resilience, motivation, self-determination and self-concept research; advanced quantitative analysis; developing psychometrically sound measures of important psychosocial outcomes. IPPE also leads the international SELF Research Centre (founded in 2000 by Craven and Marsh), and is closely aligned to the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPE member Vallerand is a past president). The researchers on this proposal are part of IPPE’s integrated team of outstanding researchers, which currently holds 24 ARC grants. Large-scale studies such as the proposed research are supported by substantial research facilities, infrastructure and personnel (e.g. 14 tenured research-only academics—including such notables as Richard Ryan, Ed Deci, Felicia Huppert, Robert Vallerand, Ralf Schwarzer, Herb Marsh, and Rhonda Craven; 15 FTE professional staff with specialised research administration skills, most with doctorates; 7 post-docs, and 29 PhD students). IPPE’s recent success in being short-listed in the current round of the ARC Centre of Excellence proposals demonstrates its research strength.
This project further builds on IPPE’s track record of successful ongoing collaboration with high-profile partners in addition to those on this grant (e.g. NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, NSW Aboriginal Education Council, NSW Department of Education, NSW Catholic Education Commission, NSW Police, Peer Support Foundation, Learning Links, Black Dog Institute) as well as international partners (e.g., Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, German Max Planck Institute, German Institute for International Educational Research, UK Higher Education Academy, UK Centre for Multilevel Modelling, OECD PISA, Pearson Research and Assessment, National Institute of Education Singapore).
- Each PhD scholarship recipient will receive a tax free stipend of $36,288AUD per annum for three years.
- Funding for project costs.
- A Commonwealth-funded place for domestic research candidates.
- A tuition fee waiver and Overseas Student Health Care Policy for international research candidates.
For more information about the project please visit: http://www.principalhealth.org
For more information about IPPE, please visit: http://www.acu.edu.au/research/research_institutes_and_programs/ippe
How to apply:
Applicants should also include a cover letter of not more than two pages providing evidence of:
- academic excellence, including, but not limited to, academic awards, grants, or professional attainments;
- skills in quantitative/qualitative research methods;
- alignment of research experience and interests with the overall project; and
- coursework/experience/research in positive psychology and well-being.
1 October 2016 or until there is a suitable pool of candidates.
For more information:
Applications should be forwarded to:
Australian Catholic University
P.O. Box 968
North Sydney NSW 2059