'Aphasia' is a communication disability caused by damage to the language processing centres of the brain.

An individual with aphasia may have difficulty understanding, talking, reading and writing, but their intelligence is not affected. The most common causes of aphasia are stroke and traumatic brain injury.

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  PhD Opportunities

The Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation is now seeking suitably qualified individuals to take up PhD scholarships and contribute to this Australian National Health and Medical Research Council funded centre’s influential and challenging research work.

PhD scholarships are available at a number of Australian universities as well as one of our partner Universities in the USA, within a broad range of research topics. A team of highly experienced PhD supervisors is available within the centre and can co-supervise across universities. Scholarship entitlements differ across institutions but are in the order of $22,000-30,000 tax free per annum allowing for a further 8 hours of paid employment per week above that rate.

Below are some of our available topics - for more information please see our list of contacts at www.ccreaphasia.org.au/Aboutus/Ourresearchteam.aspx  to contact specific investigators or for general enquiries please contact the CCRE Aphasia Rehabilitation Manager.

University of Queensland, Brisbane

Associate Professor David Copland

  • Brain mechanisms underpinning aphasia recovery and treatment
  • Effects of intensity and saliency on effectiveness of word retrieval treatments
  • Pharmacotherapy for aphasia

Dr Kyla Brown

  • Peer support for individuals with aphasia
  • Changes in family roles following onset of aphasia
  • Promoting a positive approach in aphasia rehabilitation

Dr Tanya Rose

  • Accessible stroke and aphasia information for people with aphasia, their family, and friends
  • Use of mobile technologies in stroke and aphasia health education
  • Access to appropriate services and support for people living with aphasia

Dr Anna O’Callaghan

  • Remediation of cognitive communication disorders following Traumatic Brain Injury.
  • Innovations in the delivery of services to isolated adults with communication impairments following acquired brain injury.
  • The impact of healthcare funding and policy on the delivery of adult speech pathology services.

Dr Amy Rodriguez

  • Effects of exercise on language learning and re-learning
  • Intensive comprehensive aphasia programs (i.e., Aphasia LIFT)
  • Increasing verbal communication in people with aphasia through goal-setting, monitoring, and feedback using a custom smart phone app

University of Newcastle, Newcastle

Professor Alison Ferguson

  • Interaction in rehabilitation for aphasia

University of Sydney, Sydney

Professor Leanne Togher

  • Effects of communication training for friends of people with TBI and/or aphasia
  • Sociolinguistic investigation of interactions of people with TBI
  • Return to work and communication disability after acquired brain injury
  • Computerised treatment of conversational skills

Associate Professor Kirrie Ballard

  • Accurate detection of Apraxia of Speech in individuals with aphasia: development of acoustic and kinematice assessments
  • Experience-dependent neuroplasticity principles/ principles of motor learning applied to treatments for stroke-related speech disorders
  • Influence of aphasia/motor speech disorder on prosody

Dr Emma Power

  • Translating research knowledge into everyday clinical practice in aphasia rehabilitation
  • Stroke clinical guidelines-implementation into clinical practice
  • Face to face and e learning aphasia training programs for health professionals

Dr Belinda Kenny

  • Longitudinal communication recovery following TBI
  • Ethical issues in speech pathology

Macquarie University, Sydney

Dr Kati Renvall

  • Extending assessment and treatment of word retrieval from concrete nouns to more abstract word classes

La Trobe University, Melbourne

Associate Professor Jacinta Douglas

  • Understanding the role of communication in maintaining and forming relationships following acquired brain injury
  • Improving social interaction by facilitating the use of productive communication-specific coping strategies
  • Social Linkage, Self-Concept and Well-being following acquired brain injury

Dr Miranda Rose

  • Effects of multi-modality treatments on word retrieval
  • Processes and outcomes of community aphasia groups
  • Gesture production in aphasia

Dr Robyn O’Halloran

  • Assessing communication disability in healthcare settings

Dr Zaneta Mok

  • Issues in service delivery for individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • Linguistic perspectives on interactions and relationships of people with aphasia

Edith Cowan University, Perth

Professor Beth Armstrong

  • Perspectives of Indigenous Australians with acquired communication disorders
  • The discourse deficits in people with mild aphasia
  • Early aphasia intervention
  • Expression of opinions and feelings in the everyday discourse of people with aphasia: A linguistic perspective

University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Bronwyn Davidson

  • Effects of interventions involving the family of people with aphasia
  • Social communication changes in friendships for people with aphasia
  • Mobile technologies: their use by people with aphasia

Southeastern Louisiana University, USA

Professor Nina Simmons-Mackie

  • Communicative access for people with aphasia
  • Communication support and aphasia
  • Conversation and aphasia/ management of group conversation therapy
  • Partner training in aphasia

Curtin University, Perth

Associate Professor Anne Whitworth

  • Narrative intervention in aphasia: Exploring the interaction between levels of language in therapy
  • Intervention with carers of people with aphasia: Evaluating content, timeliness and dosage through an innovative carer intervention
  • Telehealth services for people with aphasia: How, where, when and does it work?
  • Verb retrieval therapy in aphasia: The interaction between lexical and sentence level deficits
  • Where do people with aphasia go? A longitudinal study of people with aphasia to explore appropriate service delivery models for aphasia (with Linda Worrall)
  • The changing demography of aphasia? A systematic look at the language abilities, quality of life, perceived disability, co-morbidity, and of people with aphasia after stroke (with Linda Worrall)