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Doctoral Scholarship

23.8.10 |

Doctoral Scholarship
Children's mobility and physical activity in higher density urban neighbourhoods
Auckland University of Technology - Health Research

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for a Health Research Council of New Zealand funded PhD scholarship. The successful applicant will join an established team of researchers from Massey University, University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology (AUT), in Auckland, New Zealand. The student will be based at the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at AUT. The scholarship is valued at NZ $25,000 p.a. (tax exempt) for three years. A full or partial tuition fee waiver may also apply.

Study overview

This research will be located in Auckland, New Zealand and is concerned with understanding how neighbourhood environments can foster children's independent mobility- outdoor play and active transport (e.g. walking/cycling) - to increase physical activity and participation in urban life. At issue is the recursive relationship between place and wellbeing, with everyday practices affected by both the nature of urban spaces and perceptions of them as safe and desirable, or otherwise. The study aims to understand how urban design factors influence children's wellbeing by investigating the neighbourhood experiences, independent mobility, and physical activity of children 8-11 years living in higher deprivation Auckland neighbourhoods of differing dwelling density.

The successful candidate will work with children aged 8-11 years and their parents, to understand how urban design factors influence children's physical activity and independent mobility. It is envisaged the area of PhD study will focus on independent mobility and physical activity and the relationships between these variables and children's social and/or built environments. The successful applicant will share responsibility for the collection and analysis of data, including fieldwork and the use of accelerometry and global positioning systems.

Applying for the Scholarship

It is expected the candidate will hold an Honours or Masters degree in human movement science, exercise science, health promotion, epidemiology, geography or a related area and be able to demonstrate previous research experience.

Applicants must meet the University's selection criteria for entry into the PhD. Advice on these can be found at:

Information for international students can be found at:

Curriculum vitae and covering letters are to be received no later than Friday 27 August 2010, 5pm NZT and should be sent to Dr Melody Oliver either by email ( , or post:

Dr Melody Oliver Mail #A-24, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Auckland University of Technology Private Bag 92006 Auckland 1142 New Zealand

Queries related to the project and the position can be addressed to Dr Melody Oliver by email (

Children's mobility and physical activity in higher density urban neighbourhoods

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