Enhancing Lifeguard Performance: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Enhancing Lifeguard Performance: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Programs Available

PhD or MRes Y2 + PhD 

Reference Number


Opening Date

01 Oct 2019 12am AEST 

Closing Date

01 Dec 2019 12am AEDT 

Scholarship available to



We are looking for an excellent candidate to fill a fully-sponsored 3-year PhD position or a fully-sponsored 4-year combined Master of Research/PhD position to explore the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that underpin the recognition and detection of targets in complex dynamic environments. In particular, this work is aimed at addressing the issues confronting lifeguards who must maintain public safety at swimming pools.

The PhD project is part of an Australian Research Council and YMCA organisation-funded research program taking a multidisciplinary approach to investigating how the performance of lifeguards can be enhanced. Lifeguards are vital for maintaining public safety at aquatic venues. However, their task is extremely challenging and little is known about the factors that affect vigilance, scanning and sustained attention in such a complex, dynamic environment. The successful candidate will be guided to develop and pursue distinctive research relevant to the perceptual and cognitive factors impacting the performance of lifeguards, including studies utilising virtual reality technology.

The student will be supervised by Dr. Kim Curby and Prof. Barbara Griffin from the Department of Psychology and A/Prof. Rich in the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University.

Macquarie University has an excellent environment for research, with well-structured support schemes for PhD students, including conference and research funding.  The student will also be a member of two thriving research centres, the Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise and Training (CEPET) and the Perception and Action Research Centre (PARC), providing a dynamic and exciting environment to complete a PhD.

Start dates are negotiable, but must be before 15th December 2019.


This scholarship is available to eligible candidates to undertake either a direct entry 3-year PhD program or a 4-year MRes (Y2) + PhD program.

Scholarship Components

The scholarship is comprised of a Tuition Fee Offset and a Living Allowance Stipend. The value and tenure of the scholarship is a full-time stipend rate of $28,092 per annum (in 2020, tax exempt for up to 3 years and indexed annually).

Contact Details

Name: Dr Kim Curby
Email: kim.curby@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 98504153

How to Apply

For information on how to apply, select the "How to Apply" button below.

Please note, at the start of your application you should select the scholarship type of "HDR Project/Supervisor Specific Scholarship".

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