Rural Health Research Institute - International PhD Scholarship for Neonatal Health Research in Nepal

The project will employ a cluster-randomized trial design, involving 1,000 households and targeting pregnant women (approximately 1,000) for the study. The interventions to be tested include homecare, macronutrient supplementation, water, sanitation, and hygiene practices, and micro-enterprise initiatives. We will collect baseline data in the first year, gathering information through a comprehensive questionnaire. The clinical trial phase will commence in the second year, implementing the interventions among the selected households.

  • Eligibility
    • As per Charles Sturt University's standard eligibility requirements for entry to a PhD.
    • Master's degree (or equivalent) in public health, medicine, nursing, or epidemiology, with a strong emphasis on quantitative components such as epidemiology and biostatistics.
    • Proficiency in quantitative research skills, including design, analysis, and writing, along with a strong motivation to further enhance these skills.
    • Demonstrated track record of scientific publications in areas related to epidemiology and public health.
    • Working knowledge and understanding of neonatal health or women's health.
    • Previous experience in conducting community-based studies in rural and remote areas.
    • Candidates who can demonstrate excellent written and spoken English proficiency will be given preference (Internationally accredited English tests taken within the last two years).
    • Candidates with a good command of the local Nepali language will be given preference.
  • Award value

    The scholarship provides the following benefits:

    Stipend: This scholarship is valued at $29,863 per annum (2023 rate) payable in fortnightly instalments.

    Tuition Fees:
    Fee exemption for a period equivalent to 3.5 years (seven sessions) for PhD at full-time study.

    Operating Funds: Scholarship candidates are allocated an overall allowance of $6,000 to assist with the reimbursement of costs associated with a candidate’s research

    Relocation Allowance: Scholarship recipients may be eligible to receive a relocation allowance for the cost of relocating themselves, their spouse, and dependants, to a maximum of AUD $5,000.

    Overseas Health Cover: An International scholarship holder may be entitled to have the University pay the premium for their Overseas Student Health Cover.

  • Scholarship duration

    The scholarship is tenable for 3.5 years for Research Doctorate studies subject to satisfactory progress.

    Scholarship candidates are entitled to 20 paid annual leave working days per year and 10 paid sick leave days per year, however, are not eligible for paid primary parental care leave or additional personal leave.

  • How to apply

    Applicants must submit a completed Rural Health Research Institute (RHRI) International PhD Scholarship for Neonatal Health Research in Nepal Expression of Interest form, along with a copy of their two-page CV, to

    Shortlisted applications will need to then apply for enrolment.

    Prospective Higher Degree by Research candidates can apply for a Rural Health Research Institute Scholarship  when completing their Charles Sturt course admission application. When given the option to apply for a scholarship select 'Yes'; 'Full-time AGRTP' and 'Other'. Under 'Other' enter RHRI - Neonatal Health Research in Nepal

Application timelines

Expressions of interest close Monday 31 August 2023


Dr. Subash Thapa, Senior Research Fellow, Rural Health Research Institute at