PhD Scholarship in Evaluating the Challenge of Fake News and Other Malinformation

Monash University


PhD Scholarship in Evaluating the Challenge of ‘Fake News’ and Other Malinformation

Job No.: 610109

Location: Caulfield campus

Employment Type: Full-time

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

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive a Faculty of Arts Research Living Allowance, at current value of $29,000 per annum 2020 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at Faculty will provide the tuition fee scholarship.

The Opportunity

Funded by an ARC Discovery project, this PhD researcher will use qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate ‘discourses of fake news’ and responses to this. Topics might include the weaponisation of ‘fake news’ language to attack journalists and undermine trust in the media, or how journalists and the media negotiate and respond to fake news and fake news discourses, including via fact-checking. Drawing on a range of potential methods including content analysis, interviews, and various digital methods, the PhD researcher could examine the actors that promote (or challenge) such discourses, the forms of language that are used, and the drivers of, and responses to this.

The scholarship is funded as part of an Australian Research Discovery Project: Evaluating the Challenge of ‘Fake News’ and Other Malinformation. The project includes a world-leading interdisciplinary team of researchers in Journalism, Communication, and Computational Social Science, and intends to produce findings that inform public discussion and policy debates about the extent, nature and impact of misinformation in Australia. Working in the discourses of fake news stream, the student will devise their own topic and develop it in consultation with the research team. The student will be a member of the research team and, where relevant, contribute to public presentations and published outputs. The precise details of the PhD research are flexible and responsive to the successful applicant’s expertise and interests.

Undertaking PhD studies as part of a larger research project has many advantages, including working with a successful team on a high-profile topic of public significance; having access to the wider work of the ARC project including support for research; access to expert supervision from research leaders in their respective fields; and the potential for sole or co-authored publications and professional and public presentations.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. It has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Caulfield campus in Melbourne and will be based within the Research Unit in Journalism and Political Communication.

Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

Supervisors: Professor Scott Wright, Dr Stephanie Brookes, Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff)

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in the fields of political communication, journalism, or related disciplines. The successful candidate will have experience of research methods in one or more of the following areas: content analysis, interviews or qualitative close reading of texts (e.g. discourse analysis). Experience of, or interest in developing, computational research methods is an advantage. 

Applicants will be considered provided that they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University. Details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at Candidates will be required to meet Monash admission requirements which include English-language proficiency skills. Scholarship holders must be enrolled full time and on campus.

Successful applicants will be expected to enrol by 30th June 2021, but there is flexibility in this and candidates can start earlier if preferred.


Professor Scott Wright:

Submit an Expression of Interest

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

It is important that you contact lead CI Scott Wright prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Once you have discussed your EOI with Professor Scott Wright, 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 “Evaluating the Challenge of ‘Fake News’ and Other Malinformation” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (likely over Zoom or similar). The interviews will be conducted in English.

Closing Date

Friday 28th August 2020, 11:55 pm AEST

In your application, please refer to


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