Per annum for three and a half years. Fee relief additional.

Opening date

Closing date



Who is it for?

Future PhD candidates, Australian Citizen, International Student, New Zealand Citizen, Permanent Resident

Where is it available?


How is it paid?

Fortnightly stipend


This prestigious scholarship, established by La Trobe University in partnership with Medibank, will be awarded to an outstanding applicant who is interested in improving the clinical care and outcomes for people with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

ACL reconstruction surgery was traditionally considered necessary for adolescents and young adults to achieve a good outcome following an ACL tear. In Australia, ACL reconstructions have increased by 74% since 2000 (now the highest rate in the world), resulting in direct hospital costs >$142 million annually. This contrasts current clinical trial evidence that indicates no added benefit of reconstruction compared to active rehabilitation (e.g., exercise-therapy) for most ACL injured individuals. An estimated ~$80 million is being spent each year in Australia on ACL reconstructions that may be unnecessary.

The proposed PhD program will be an Australian-first to address this evidence-to-practice gap by: i) exploring facilitators and barriers to non-surgical care;

ii) designing and evaluating the effect of a consumer-informed best-practice rehabilitation intervention to improve uptake of appropriate non-surgical care for ACL injuries; and

iii) developing an implementation tool-kit to enable up-scaling and tailoring of the intervention in different settings.

This program will provide evidence to support, and strategies to enable quality care for ACL injuries that can influence future management pathways of these injuries. The findings can help to keep young adults, who are typically active and healthy prior to injury, from becoming major participants in our future healthcare system.

As an applicant you should have an interest in surgical and non-surgical treatments for ACL injuries. Your project will explore decision making pathways for ACL injury management, facilitators and barriers to non-surgical care of ACL injuries, and design and evaluate an implementation toolkit to improve uptake of non-surgical ACL care in Australia.

Benefits of the scholarship include:

  • A La Trobe Research Scholarship for three and a half years, with a value of $32,500 per annum, to support your living costs (2022 rate)
  • A fee-relief scholarship for up to four years
  • Relocation allowance and publication/thesis allowance
  • Opportunities to work with La Trobe’s outstanding researchers, and have access to our suite of professional development programs.

Are you eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship, applicants must:

  • meet the entrance requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • not be receiving another scholarship greater than 75% of the stipend rate for the same purpose

In selecting successful applicants, we prioritise applications from candidates who:

  • will be enrolled full-time and undertaking their research at a La Trobe University campus
  • have completed a Masters by Research or other significant body of research, such as an honours research thesis or lead authorship of a peer-reviewed publication, assessed at a La Trobe Masters by research standard of 75 or above

How to apply

If you wish to apply for this scholarship, follow Step 3 on our research application page – please ensure you submit a full application for scholarship and candidature

As part of your application, you aren’t required to identify a potential supervisor – Dr Adam Culvenor is the designated supervisor for this project. Professor Kay Crossley will also be part of the supervisory team.

Please contact project supervisor Dr Adam Culvenor ( with any enquiries or to express an interest in the project.

When you have received in-principle agreement for supervision, complete and submit your application for admission into La Trobe’s PhD program.

In your application, clearly indicate that you wish to be considered for the La Trobe University Industry Research Scholarship Medibank - La Trobe (ACL project)

Selection process: The University will carefully review your application and consider you for this scholarship. If you are shortlisted you will be invited to an interview.

Who to contact for further information

Dr Adam Culvenor,