Call for Applications: DOST-PCHRD and JCU Cohort Doctoral Studies Program


The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and James Cook University (JCU)  offer a Cohort Doctoral Studies Program that will allow professionals to continue addressing health system needs and saving lives in the Philippines while pursuing a doctoral degree in JCU, a world-class teaching and research institution. 

The PhD program will allow clinicians to benefit from the expertise of a JCU-based supervisor while conducting his/her research in the Philippines. Clinicians will be fully-registered as JCU students while spending the majority of their research in an approved institution in the country, away from the University.  Students will have access to high-quality online resources and training provided by JCU and scholarship privileges provided by DOST. 

The program is a flexible part-time program where students are expected to remain in their current healthcare employment throughout their studies. Students will spend the majority of their research program at the remote location site and should not spend more than one visit in Australia annually during the course of their doctoral degree. 

Cohort Doctoral Studies Program

The Cohort Doctoral Studies Program was established in 2011 within the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU. The program was developed to address a number of graduate research challenges including that medicine and health research candidates often return to study after varying lengths of time in the workforce, frequently combine research degrees with part or full-time work, often lack peers undertaking research degrees in their discipline and are sometimes studying at a distance from the university due to their work. As the Cohort Doctoral Studies Program is specifically aimed at practicing health professionals already engaged in the health sector, the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) projects frequently have health industry relevance. The research findings will be applied in real-life settings and in some cases will improve patient outcomes and healthcare policy. The Cohort Doctoral Studies Program therefore supports candidates to contribute to evidence-based practice and translate research findings into practice in the healthcare industry. 

PhD Programs Under the Scholarship Program

  1. Disease Modelling/Infectious diseases 
  2. Molecular Biology
  3. Public Health and Health Systems/Health Workforce

Eligibility Criteria 

The applicant must:

  • Be a Filipino citizen;
  • Be in good health condition;
  • Not be more than 45 years old at the time of application;
  • Hold a medical degree (Medical degree should have at least 6 months of research project);
  • Have an outstanding academic record;
  • Must meet the IELTS Band 2 English Language Requirements or equivalent (i.e. Certificate of English as Medium of Instruction for degrees completed not more than two years before application)
  • Passed the interview and other screening procedures;
  • Have research interests which are aligned with the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) and Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda (HNRDA)
  • Must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Doctoral level by attaining at least one of the following:
    • A Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division A Honours (*awarded to students in a Degree with Honours or an Honours Degree who have achieved results in the range 75-84% or WGPA 5.50 to 5.99) in a degree program that included a total of at least a semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the Honours grade;
    • A postgraduate qualification which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least one semester or equivalent and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Distinction or better, and (b) at least one research methods subject;
    • A Research Master’s degree, where at least two thirds of the degree consisted of a supervised research component and resulted in the production of a thesis or equivalent; and
    • A combination of qualifications, research training and experience, considered equivalent to the above by the Dean of the College to which the Candidate is applying, e.g., senior authorship of at least one peer-reviewed publication plus completion of an appropriate research methods subject. 
  • Be willing to render the required service obligation for a period equivalent to twice the length of time or a fraction thereof that they enjoyed the scholarship
  • Be allowed by their current employer to be enrolled in the program


Selection Procedure/Timeline

Call for applications/Submission of application 1st-2nd week of October
Initial Screening (by DOST-PCHRD) October 17, 2022
Announcement of selected scholars

Endorsement to JCU 

October 30, 2022
Submission of application to Graduate Research School (GRS) and relevant College in JCU November – December 2022
Submission of application to JCU Doctoral Cohort Program
Start of the program January 2023

*For shortlisted applicants, please visit JCU’s website to check your eligibility for a higher degree by research at JCU. 

How to apply

For interested applicants, please submit your CV to to signify your interest in applying for the scholarship program on or before October 15, 2022. 

*Please check the eligibility criteria in this Call before submitting your application. Only eligible applicants will be entertained. *Eligible applicants will be asked to submit the following documents for the initial screening: 1) Application Form and 2) Re Entry Action Plan

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