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How do smokers become vapers: An analysis of identity transitions

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Friday, 5 April 2019
Academic background
Sciences, Business, Health Sciences, Humanities
Host campus
Public Health (Wellington)
Professor Janet Hoek


Please note this is also available from Dunedin, Department of Public Health, ASPIRE2025 research group.

Are you interested in public health, reducing smoking prevalence, and exploring how smokers adopt and use electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)? We are commencing a mixed-methods study examining whether and how smokers become “vapers” and would like a PhD student to join our team. The project involves longitudinal in-depth interviews that will explore identity transitions among people making quit attempts using ENDS. The project also involves videographies and daily diary surveys, and offers opportunities for a PhD student to develop skills in mixed-methods research.

Skill Development Opportunities: This project offers rich opportunities to develop or extend skills in qualitative interviewing and data analysis. Our PhD student will also learn to interpret and analyse videography data, and to test qualitative findings against data gleaned using daily diary surveys. The project also offers an opportunity to theorise and explain whether and how shifts from “smoker” to “vaper” occur.

Requirements: If the description above interests you, then you might like to consider joining our team. To fit with us, you will need to have a strong academic record – with demonstrated strength in public health, qualitative interviewing, and/ or survey research. You will need to have a GPA average in excess of 7.5 (i.e., between an A- and A average) according to the University of Otago GPA calculator. You will also need to be a NZ or Australian citizen or resident, or intending to become one.

What we offer: You will be supervised by academics with expertise in public health and consumer behaviour. You can see more about our wide-ranging research interests on our website: We offer a friendly and stimulating study environment, and the opportunity to work alongside researchers from the University of Otago’s ASPIRE2025 research theme.

Next steps: If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a copy of your CV, academic transcripts, and cover letter, in addition to a brief overview outlining your interest in this PhD thesis opportunity, to


Janet Hoek
Tel   +64 3 479 7692