Research projects are available in a number of fields and topics and vary each year.

Summer Research Projects (2017-18)

Physiotherapy research in neurological populations

Contact:      Professor Sandy Brauer
Duration:    8-10 weeks

Description:    

The scholarship student will work with staff (academic, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants) and PhD students to analyse data, assist with data collection and contribute to associated tasks across several funded physiotherapy trials in rehabilitation. It may include interaction with people with stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, hip osteoarthritis, and control subjects across both University and hospital sites. Data collection, entry, and/or analysis may include biomechanical data, motor control data, clinical physiotherapy assessment data, qualitative data, physiological and behavioural data. Students may be asked to assist with administrative tasks.

Individuals with excellent communication skills, high performance in physiotherapy coursework, initiative, independence, an interest in research and an ability to work well with others is sought.

Download further details

 


An exploration of the function of the deep hip muscles in response to different walking conditions
 

Contact:      Dr Natalie Collins
Duration:     10 weeks
 
Description:

Hip muscle activity is known to be altered in a range of pathological conditions affecting the hip, knee and ankle joints. Interventions aimed at improving hip muscle function in these conditions may therefore have significant clinical impact. This may include gait retraining strategies and devices such as foot orthoses. Foot orthoses can theoretically be prescribed to restore biomechanical deficiencies, unload proximal lower limb joints, or provide sensory feedback for improving motor control. However, their effect on activation patterns of the hip muscles is unclear, especially the deep stabilising muscles of the hip. This study will investigate the immediate effects of gait retraining strategies and foot orthoses on hip muscle activity in healthy young adults. Fifteen healthy young adults, aged 18-40 years, have undergone gait analysis, with muscle activity recorded from the deep and superficial hip muscles. Each participant performed walking and single leg squat tasks under different conditions, including at different speeds and with contoured and textured foot orthoses. The student will be involved in processing existing EMG data and will have the opportunity to assist with data collection for other studies.

Download further details


Enhancing language learning in ageing with exercise

Contact:      Professor David Copland
Duration:     4 weeks

Description:

Ageing is associated with cognitive changes such as memory decline, which influences the ability to learn new words. Acute exercise (one single session of exercise) is thought to influence cognition through a temporary increase in biomarker levels or through a generalised effect on arousal. The aim of this research project is to investigate the effects of acute exercise on new word learning in healthy older adults. This interdisciplinary research project combines the fields of language neuroscience, ageing and exercise. The first part of our project will consist of recruiting 75 healthy adults aged 60-85 meeting specific eligibility criteria. Participants will be asked to attend three visits and will undergo a cognitive and fitness assessment, blood draws, a stretching or exercise session (of either moderate or high intensity), a word learning task, and recall and recognition task.

Download further details


Addressing cognitive concerns for people with neurological conditions through telerehabilitation

Contact:      Dr Hannah Gullo
Duration:     10 weeks

Description:

Telerehabilitation technologies have the potential not only to optimise our conventional practice but to fundamentally revolutionise the way in which we deliver rehabilitation services (Russell, 2009). The aim of this research study is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of telerehabilitation, versus face-to-face delivery of cognitive rehabilitation, for improving memory, executive function, self-efficacy for daily living and community participation for people with cognitive concerns associated with multiple sclerosis. This project will lay the groundwork for a large-scale randomised controlled trial focussed on improving cognitive function in people with neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and acquired brain injury.

Download further details


Aphasia outcome measurement in clinical practice

Contact:      Dr Sarah Wallace
Duration:     4 weeks
 
Description:
 
The successful applicant will have the opportunity to be involved in a project which aims to explore aphasia outcome measurement in the Australian clinical context. Scholars will have the opportunity to be involved in tasks including literature searching and review, data collection and analysis.
 

*Projects are subject to change.