Laureate Graduate Research Scholarships Program in Comparative Constitutional Law 2017, Australia

Publish Date: Jun 14, 2017

Deadline: Jul 09, 2017


Applications are invited from suitably qualified scholars for two PhD scholarships to undertake a higher degree by research, and join Professor Adrienne Stone’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship Program in Comparative Constitutional Law.   Successful candidates must commence the scholarship between December 2017 and February 2018. The program is establishing an interdisciplinary research team based at Melbourne Law School, and is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) from 2016 to 2021.


Melbourne Law School (MLS) is Australia's first all-graduate law faculty. Melbourne Law School was the first faculty in Australia to teach law, and awarded this country's first law degrees. The Law School is now fully graduate with its Juris Doctor for admission to practice recognised as a high level qualification in Australia and beyond. Coupled with the unrivalled excellence of Melbourne Law Masters and its excellent Graduate Research Degree programs, the Law School offers a unique opportunity for the integration of scholarship and teaching.

Its faculty is a vibrant community of creative scholars, committed to a highly collegial, research-intensive institutional life. The Law School has particular strengths in comparative analysis. It aims to integrate teaching with research and engagement activities and to engage with local, national and global communities. It is a centre for international collaboration, regularly bringing leading international scholars to Australia to teach, participate in conferences, and conduct master classes for doctoral students. The Law School is a single department faculty located in a custom designed building in University Square. The Law School has approximately 2,200 graduate students (including JD, Melbourne Law Masters and PhD).


The Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law aims to address a problem for liberal democracies: the need to reconcile the tensions between the pursuit of diversity and the promotion of social cohesion. The critical problem is becoming increasingly urgent as nations grapple with the challenges of highly diverse multi-cultural societies. The team working on the Fellowship will draw on the experiences of constitutionalism throughout the world to investigate how Constitutions, in their design and in their application, can serve as a unifying force while still nurturing the diversity appropriate for a complex, modern society.

This program will develop a new and comprehensive framework in which to understand how constitutions should balance the achievement of social cohesion while nurturing social diversity. Its core elements are in:

  1. Identifying and developing the understanding of how constitutions balance their unifying role with the need to foster diversity;
  2. Explaining and justifying the mechanisms by which constitutions balance these; and
  3. Using a broad comparative study of these phenomena to generate progress in the development of methodologies in comparative constitutional law.

In order to offer an excellent research training environment, the program will include a regular series of seminars, workshops, and reading groups designed to discuss work in progress, recent literature, and methodological and theoretical developments. These meetings will enable scholars working across disciplines to establish a shared interdisciplinary framework and language, and integrate perspectives and approaches across law, constitutional law, and related fields.


Eligible applicants must:

  • have an Honours 1 or high 2A (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in law;
  • be available to undertake research full-time;
  • not be receiving similar funding or stipend from another Commonwealth programme;
  • not have completed a degree at the same   level or at a higher level in the same field of endeavour;
  • not have previously held a Research Training Program Scholarship (RTPS), Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or Australian Postgraduate Award Industry (APAI) unless it was terminated within the first six months of the earlier award.


Applications for the Laureate Graduate Research Scholarships must include the following:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • All prior undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts
  • Research proposal (maximum 2,000 words)
  • Statement outlining reasons for seeking to participate in the Laureate program (maximum 250 words)
  • Information on prior research completed (e.g. Honours thesis, Masters thesis).


The successful applicants will be part of a team of internationally recruited early career academics, with two postdoctoral researchers and a research fellow employed by the program to work with Professor Stone. Further, the award of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship allows Professor Stone to undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research by providing visiting fellowships for outstanding female early career researchers in constitutional law and related fields, and is designed to build international collaboration with influential and innovative scholars and practitioners in order to make important contributions to central questions of constitutional governance.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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