Current HDR Opportunities

We are now offering a number of research scholarships to highly motivated PhD candidates as part of the ICS 2020/2021 program. If you are interested in applying for one of the opportunities listed please get in touch with the relevant contact person.

We encourage candidates to check this page regularly as scholarships may be added throughout the year as projects are awarded. Please note that some scholarship applications may have closed.

Place-Making, Cultures and Communities in Parramatta

We are offering a doctoral research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a collaborative project funded through the Australian Research Council in partnership with the Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences. The project’s significance lies in exploring the concept of the ‘collaborative museum’ as a synergising agent, proposing an invaluable, ground-breaking framework for establishing community-embedded cultural infrastructure.

We are seeking a candidate with academic qualifications in Anthropology, Heritage Studies, Sociology, Cultural Studies or related disciplines to conduct research into the changing physical, cultural, and social spaces of Parramatta. The candidate is expected to explore Parramatta’s urban transformations with a focus on place-making, cultures and communities.

Contact: Dr Malini Sur

Network Analysis of Musical Improvisation in Australia

We invites applications from highly motivated graduates seeking to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree to work with Professor Roger Dean, Dr Sandy Evans (UNWS), A/Prof Liam Magee and Dr Simon Chambers. This will concern selected aspects of a newly-funded Australia Research Council project that aims to investigate the nature and development of Australian improvised music since 1970. In particular, the project will examine the evolving relationships which emerge between the social networks of musicians and the musical styles they draw upon in their improvisatory practise. The project utilises both quantitative (temporal network modelling, music feature analysis) and qualitative (focus groups, interviews, surveys, as well as musicological analysis) research methods. The project is thus at an interface between social science, music and musicology and candidates will develop critical understanding of these facets. The project will allow scope for innovation by the PhD candidate beyond the prefigured bounds of the ARC project.

Contact: Associate Professor Liam Magee

Risk and Ethics in the use of Synthetic Biology to Address the Climate and Ecological Crisis

We are offering a PhD position to work with The ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (opens in a new window) (CoESB). The PhD Candidate is aligned to the ‘Technoscientific Interventions in The Ecological and Climate and Crisis’ Project within the Social Dimensions capability in the CoESB. The candidate will undertake qualitative research on the ethical, social and/or cultural dimensions of technoscientific responses to the ecological crisis and the climate crisis, with a particular focus on synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation, and/or climate change mitigation.

Contact: Dr Josh Wodak

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Autonomy, Disability, Diversity: Everyday Practices of Technology.

We are offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a research team on the project Autonomy, Disability, Diversity: Everyday Practices of Technology (ADDEPT).

The ADDEPT Project investigates how current and emerging consumer autonomous technologies (AT) can work to strengthen or impede inclusive participation for culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CaLD) living with disability in urban Australia.

The PhD project will be based at ICS with the opportunity to work with ICS-based supervisors, Associate Professors Karen Soldatic, Liam Magee and Shanthi Robertson on any specific dimension of the role of AI and autonomous technology in the lives of people from CaLD backgrounds who are living with disability.

Contact: Associate Professor Karen Soldatic 

Urban Care Geographies: Sustaining Life in Post-welfare Cities - AWARDED

We are now offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a research team on an Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project, Shadow Care Infrastructures: sustaining life in the post-welfare city.

Mounting evidence points to the difficulties faced by Australians reliant on government income support in meeting the market costs of essential needs. Informed by feminist care ethics this ARC Discovery Project investigates whether and how ‘shadow care infrastructures’ - a wide range of formal and informal material and social supports – address these difficulties to enable the survival, well-being and flourishing of very low-income people in western Sydney. The study evaluates the benefits and harms such infrastructures produce for those receiving and providing care, and the wider community. It examines risks and opportunities to scale up emerging care infrastructures identified as critical to making ends meet for income support recipients in contemporary cities. It brings a focus to urban care practices, including for instance, food or housing initiatives, or other supports that people generate or participate in to make ends meet. The PhD project will expand this program of research into urban care geographies in new directions.

Contact:  Dr Emma Power

ARC Centre of Excellence in Automated Decision-Making and Society: Diverse Experiences of ADM - AWARDED

The PhD Candidate is aligned to the ‘Diverse Experiences of ADM ‘Project within the People research program in the ARC Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S).  The candidate will undertake ethnographic or qualitative research on the emergence and use of automated decision-making systems in diverse communities. Based upon the linguistic and cultural expertise of the candidates, projects may focus upon communities of cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD) within or across Australia.

Contact: Professor Heather Horst

Fashioning Fiji: Investigating Creative Industries in a Developing Context - AWARDED

This PhD scholarship project will focus upon the development and changes in the Fijian fashion industry across regional (Sydney, Auckland) sites, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic. It will focus on two of three areas: the use of digital and social media to build and expand markets, new approaches to production, consumption and waste (including recycling and second hand clothing) and/or the relationship between fashion and design as a source of national and regional identity

Contact: Professor Heather Horst

Enabling Planetary Health in the Blue Mountains - AWARDED

This project is based at ICS and is funded in partnership with Blue Mountains City Council. At ICS the scholarship is placed within the Urban Futures research group and the Sustainable Transitions Engaged Research Hub (SISTER-Hub) strategic initiative. The project looks at frameworks for enabling a culture of sustainable socio-ecological transitions in the Blue Mountains region and is also being developed in partnership with Monash Sustainable Development Institute (Monash University)

Contact: Professor Juan Francisco Salazar

Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity Scholarship 
Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity: Asian Migration and Australian Education - AWARDED

Asian migration is transforming many aspects of life in migrant-based societies such as Australia. In education, an arena of aspiration and anxiety for many parents, social anxieties are increasingly ethnicised drawing on simplistic stereotypes of ‘Asian cultures’. The children of Asian migrants are disproportionately successful in Australian education, but are there different Asian and Western approaches to parenting? Domestic education policies are an important part of this social context. The acceleration of Asian migration has coincided with changes in Australia’s education system such as the greater prevalence of selective schooling and the marketization of education.

The PhD project will be geared towards how parental influence extends into students’ choice of tertiary study focusing on the impact of Asian migration at this level of education, with the successful candidate having the flexibility to develop a project that aligns with the aims of the broader study.

Contact: Professor Megan Watkins

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New Chinese Migrants and Everyday Citizenship in Sydney Suburbs - AWARDED

We are offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a research team on the project 'Civic Sinoburbia? New Chinese Migrants and Everyday Citizenship'. The project is funded through the Australian Research Council.

The Sinoburbia Project examines everyday, local civic participation in three Sydney suburbs with a high proportion of China-born residents. It focuses on how new Chinese migrants participate in everyday civic spaces in Sydney’s suburbs, assessing the barriers and opportunities they face and examines how local organisations representing everyday civic spaces (e.g. schools, libraries, sports clubs, churches, cultural venues, care facilities and community centres) across different domains of suburban civic life are adapting to and being transformed by the presence and participation of new Chinese migrants. The project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in sociology, cultural studies, urban studies or ethnic and racial studies who have skills or interests in qualitative or quantitative social research. Bilingual skills in Mandarin/English would be desirable.

Contact: Associate Professor Shanthi Robertson

Australia a Space-faring Nation Awarded 
Australia a Space-faring Nation: Imaginaries and Practices of Space Futures - AWARDED

The Institute for Culture and Society is seeking applications for a PhD scholarship on ‘Australia a space-faring Nation: Imaginaries and Practices of Space Futures’ with Professor Juan Francisco Salazar.

The project is funded through the Australian Research Council and investigates the challenges, opportunities and implications of outer space as a site of economic, political, environmental and cultural interest. Combining ethnography, science and technology studies, and creative practice, the project analyses how a range of imaginaries of outer space are produced through a series of case studies including: the development of Australia’s National Space Agency; the role of new venture capital firms; scientific research on alien life in terrestrial analogue sites; and Indigenous imaginaries of outer space.

Contact: Professor Juan Francisco Salazar

Visit the Graduate Research School for other current opportunities.