NICM HRI & Jacka Foundation: PhD Scholarship in Integrative Medicine

About the project

(Scholarship code: 2020_028)

NICM Health Research Institute (NICM HRI) at Western Sydney University is Australia's leader in complementary and integrative medicine research and policy. Established in 2007 by the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments, the Institute provides leadership and support for strategically directed research into integrative medicine, to promote the translation of evidence into clinical practice and develop relevant policy to benefit the health of all Australians. As an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 5rating institute, NICM HRI is globally recognised for its world-class research and innovations in complementary medicine.

An exciting opportunity exists for a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate to work within NICM HRI addressing integrative medicine research in Australia. The scholarship is funded jointly by NICM HRI and the Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies, a not-for-profit charitable fund. The vision of the Foundation is “a society where natural therapies are the first choice for people seeking informed control of their health and wellbeing”.

Based at NICM HRI at the University’s Westmead campus in Sydney, the project will be under the primary supervision of Dr Carolyn Ee, GP and Jacka Foundation Senior Research Fellow (or a nominated supervisor from NICM HRI).

The scholarship project can be explored with Dr Ee and other co-supervisors, but must address an important aspect of integrative medicine research with the aim of expanding the evidence base in integrative medicine through rigorous research, and ideally would explore one or more of the following: naturopathic research, chronic disease management, lifestyle medicine. It is anticipated that the research project should make a significant contribution to evidence-based practice within integrative medicine.

Suggestions for the research topic include:

  • Standard setting within naturopathy practice and research
  • Interprofessional education within integrative medicine
  • Implementing a naturopathic/lifestyle medicine program in an academic integrative medicine centre
  • Examining the efficacy and safety of specific naturopathic or integrative medicine treatments for chronic disease

The successful candidate will study in new state-of-the-art facilities, with a friendly, collaborative and innovative environment, gaining hands-on experience for future careers in natural and traditional medicine, pharma, biotechnology and academia.

Westmead is one of the largest highly specialised health, research and education precincts in the world, in addition to boasting the largest concentration of biomedical, scientific and healthcare focused minds in the nation.

*Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is a national evaluation of research quality in Australian universities conducted by the Australian Government. It is administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). ERA5 is the highest rating, characterised by evidence of outstanding performance well above world standard presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation. NICM HRI has rated 5 for each of the last three trienniums: 2012, 2015, 2018.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by the Institute.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a naturopathic background, who are committed towards expanding the evidence base in integrative medicine. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in health services research, interprofessional communication and education, and clinical trials/systematic review methodology.

The successful applicant must:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) a Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • be considered a domestic student for admission purposes, meeting one of the following criteria (i) an Australian citizen, (ii) New Zealand citizen (or dual citizenship holders of either Australia or New Zealand), (iii) Australian permanent resident, or (iv) Australian humanitarian visa holder.
  • hold qualifications in naturopathy.
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to research.
  • understand the importance of evidence-based practice, the role of research in integrative medicine, interprofessional collaboration especially collaborating with the medical profession, safety and quality in integrative medicine.
  • be willing to learn.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

International applicants are not eligible to apply for this scholarship.

How to apply

1. Contact Dr Carolyn Ee ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.

2. Review the research scholarships frequently asked questions.(opens in a new window)

3. Submit an online application for admission.(opens in a new window)

4. Complete the project scholarship application form (PDF, 89.74 KB).(opens in a new window)

5. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.

6. Submit your scholarship application form and any supporting documentation to the Graduate Research School as follows:

  • Use the email subject line: Application_2020_028_NICM
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.

Applicants who do not submit an online application for admission will not be considered.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 29 February 2020

Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).