Understanding resistance to sustainable travel

This PhD project will explore community resistance to policies and initiatives that promote and support sustainable travel (walking, cycling and public transport).

The use of sustainable modes of travel (walking, cycling and public transport) has important health and social benefits and is also a climate change mitigation strategy. While these benefits are increasingly acknowledged, it can be a challenge for all areas of government to prioritise policies that support sustainable travel when often these policies face substantial community detraction.  

Methodology may include:

  • Interviews with policy makers and elected officials to understand decision making processes around sustainable travel policies and initiatives
  • Interviews with residents and business to understand how sustainable travel policies are experienced
  • Qualitative exploration of paid and social media to understand how stories about sustainable travel are constructed and framed

Funding for this PhD is provided by Deakin’s Sustainable Health Network and the candidate will sit within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition.


Applicants will have an undergraduate degree with Honours (First class) or Masters by Research (>80%) in a relevant discipline, such as Exercise Science, Health Science, Health Promotion, Political Science.  Applicants should have an interest in sustainable travel. Applicants should be eligible for enrolment in a PhD program at Deakin University and eligible to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award or equivalent. Applicants must meet Deakin’s PhD entry requirements.

Scholarships available – open to domestic and international students living in Australia.

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