PhD Scholarship in Social Science – Indigenous environmental leadership

Monash University
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Job No.: 609428

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3-years 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 here. For an international awardee, the Faculty will also provide a tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC). There may also be additional opportunities to work as a research assistant on the project (in addition to the PhD research).

The Opportunity

This PhD scholarship is funded by Monash University’s Faculty of Arts, in connection to an Australia Research Council (ARC) funded project – Indigenous Water Futures: Exploring new scenarios for sustainable and autonomous environmental governance – being conducted by Dr Julian Yates. Working collaboratively with Indigenous environmental guardians, the project asks: how can Indigenous environmental futures be secured for the good of both sustainable environmental management and Indigenous environmental sovereignty? The project aims to understand the impact of emerging ‘models’ of Indigenous environmental governance, particularly by focusing on the role of Indigenous environmental leaders. Through collaborative processes of co-learning across contexts, the project aims to support Indigenous environmental futures by generating policy recommendations that are co-produced with Indigenous leaders.

The successful applicant would contribute to the wider project but will also manage their own distinct project. The topic will reflect a discrete issue of relevance to the project, such as the role of youth leadership and inter-generational issues; women’s leadership roles; similar processes of co-learning and policy influence in different contexts; the role of customary institutions or traditional knowledge in supporting sovereignty in environmental governance. The precise focus will be determined by the successful applicant in collaboration with their supervisors (also determined as part of the application process). Due to current circumstances, much of the project will be conducted remotely; prospective candidates should propose a topic that either requires limited travel or can be conducted remotely.

Expressions of interest are invited from emerging researchers with interest in areas such as autonomy and sovereignty in environmental governance; collaborative governance and co-planning; Indigenous leadership knowledges, and traditional ecological knowledges (TEK); water cultures and values; critical approaches to community-based development and resource co-governance; water law and policy analysis; Indigenous protected areas establishment and management.   

Candidate Requirements

The PhD would be located within the Faculty of Arts Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program in Social and Political Sciences, with a disciplinary home in Human Geography. Scholarship holders must be enrolled full time.


Experience in working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia or with First Nations communities in Canada is highly desirable, as is broader experience working in Indigenous contexts. Experience conducting community-engaged work (academic or professional) would also be considered an asset.

It is essential that the successful applicant is in a position to conduct this research on an immediate ongoing basis, given the ongoing circumstances related to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. For example, this might mean being a member of an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or First Nations community, so that travel is not required, or  an individual who is able to demonstrate extensive experience in conducting research (or other relevant projects) remotely, using information and communication technologies.

This opportunity is open to any qualified candidate (of any nationality), and all applicants will be considered that meet the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University. Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available here.


Dr Julian Yates, Human Geography, School of Social Sciences:

Submit an Expression of Interest

Prior to submitting an EOI, please contact Julian Yates to discuss the project.

EOIs should comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work and research experience
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • An outline for a research plan that responds to the scholarship application
  • A copy of the applicant’s honours or masters thesis
  • Contact details of two academic referees

Once you have discussed your EOI with Julian Yates, it should be sent, preferably in the form of a single attachment to an e-mail, to Ms Kinda Say, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following e-mail address State “EOI-[your name]-Indigenous Water Futures” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to discuss the project (over Zoom/Skype). The discussions will be conducted in English.

Closing Date

Monday 10 August, 2020, 11:55 pm AEST