PhD Position in Social Science

Monash University School of Social Sciences


PhD Scholarship in Social Science – Lived experiences of bushfire affected communities with a focus on how granting and funding during and following disasters affect individual and community resilience

Job No.: 634489

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3-year and 3-month fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive a Research Living Allowance, at current value of $30,000AUD per annum 2022 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at: A tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) will be provided for a successful international awardee.

The Opportunity

This PhD scholarship is funded to support research in several Australian regional/rural communities that have been impacted by bushfires. Working in conjunction with the communities and the supervisory team, the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Faculty of Arts to undertake a project that will make an important contribution to the Fire to Flourish Program.

The Fire to Flourish Program is a partnership between Monash University, the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Metal Manufactures Pty Ltd, and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. It was formed in response to the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires which aims to build resilience in communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage that were affected by the bushfires. The Program brings together a consortium of partners with the University’s transdisciplinary research capabilities to work with these communities over a 5-year program to build resilience and develop the connections and leadership to shape their trajectories towards a thriving future through community-led processes. The Fire to Flourish Program will develop an inclusive, participatory and evidence-based model for strengthening resilience across social, built, natural, institutional and economic domains. The Program has a significant focus on supporting communities to lead their own local initiatives and connect with each other to create the capacity, conditions and solutions for their long-term resilience. The underlying principles for the program are: be community-led; foreground Aboriginal wisdom; address inequities, enhance inclusion and self-determination; be strengths-based and trauma-informed; be holistic and impactful; learn, adapt and evolve. For more information visit:

Lived experience of granting and funding through disasters - opportunities for strengthening community resilience

The PhD research opportunity involves qualitative social science research into lived experiences of bushfire affected communities with a focus on how granting and funding during and following disasters affect individual and community resilience and how they might support strengthening of community resilience.

Undertaking this PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda and will have access to funding to support fieldwork, transcription, travel, and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision from research leaders in social science, and from entering a PhD with a pre-existing structure. Finally, the candidate will benefit from being part of outcomes from the research, which may include co-authored publications (where the candidate’s contributions will be recognised through co-authorship), funded symposia, school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. Social Science at Monash is diverse and vibrant, including research expertise in geography, sociology, politics and sustainability transitions. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in Social Science. Competence in qualitative research methods is essential.

In its assessment, the selection committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian (or equivalent international) Honour’s or Master’s degree (both in a relevant field), with a significant research component and with first-class Honours/H1 awarded.

Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at Applicants should ensure they familiarise themselves with these requirements before deciding whether they should apply.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enrol by 1 August 2022. However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broad project aims and objectives, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • Contact details of two academic referees
  • Copy of your current passport (if available)

It is important that you contact Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, School of Social Sciences, prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Once you have discussed your EOI with Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, EOIs should be sent, preferably in the form of a single attachment to an email, to Ms Kinda Say, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following email address State “EOI [your name] - PhD Scholarship in Social Science – Fire to Flourish Program” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (over Skype if necessary). The interviews will be conducted in English.


Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett (main supervisor)


Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, School of Social Sciences,

Closing Date

Monday 16 May 2022, 11:55pm AEST

In your application, please refer to


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