University of Melbourne School of Geography PhD Scholarships in Human Geography Commencing 2018, Australia

Publish Date: Sep 12, 2017

Deadline: Oct 06, 2017

School of Geography
The University of Melbourne

PhD Scholarships in Human Geography

The School of Geography at the University of Melbourne is looking for two outstanding scholars for full time PhD scholarships to work on a project that is exploring how new digital technologies are transforming how people work and move in cities. The successful applicants will be full team members of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship grant.


Australian Research Council and the University of Melbourne.


The principal supervisor for the PhD Projects will be Associate Professor David Bissell in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. Dr Ilan Wiesel will be secondary supervisor. Further supervisors will be nominated for each project according to the specific interests of the candidates.

Skills required:

It would be advantageous to have the following skills (or a strong interest in developing them): experience of social science methods (especially interviews, participant observation and archive research), interest and preferably experience in scholarly debates and social theories about cities, technologies, mobilities and labour. Excellent written and oral communication is also required. We encourage applicants with experience in one or more of the following areas to apply: human geography, mobilities research, urban studies, sociology, anthropology, or similar fields.


To be eligible to apply, applicants must have completed (or be completing in 2017) a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours, or a Master's degree with a substantial research component, or be regarded by the University of Melbourne as having an equivalent level of attainment; and intend on undertaking a full-time research higher degree in 2018. The scholarships are open to both domestic and international applicants.


The candidates will receive a stipend of A$26,916 per year for three years, with a possible 6-month extension. Candidates will also receive funding support from the School during their candidature for fieldwork expenses and to attend conferences.

Project description

These scholarships form part of an Australian Research Council-funded project that is investigating how new digital on-demand ways of moving people, goods and services in cities—often referred to as the ‘gig economy’—are dramatically changing the power relations between consumption and production, creating wide-ranging and uneven social, political and economic risks and opportunities yet to be comprehensively understood and responded to.

The PhD projects which these scholarships support will be self-contained, whilst also being an integral part of the wider project. As a starting point, we anticipate that one project may explore the policy mobilities associated with the rise of on-demand mobile work. The other project may explore the historical emergence of on-demand mobilework. However, there is sufficient conceptual and methodological flexibility within the wider project to enable the candidates to develop an original contribution along avenues of their choosing relating to urban mobility, labour and technology. Appropriate fieldwork methods, sampling strategy and analytical techniques suited to exploring on- demand mobile work will be developed during the first year of the candidature.

Research Environment

The PhD candidates will be based in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne, Australia’s largest geography program. They will be part of a lively and supportive postgraduate community of over 60 PhD students, and will be an integral part of the Urbanisation and Geographies of the City and Urban Life research cluster. The School has an outstanding research culture, multiple seminar series and reading groups, and it regularly attracts high profile international visiting fellows.

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

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