ARC PhD: Progressive Education and Race

The Melbourne Graduate School of Education seeks expressions of interest from eligible graduates for a PhD position on the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery project, 'Progressive Education and Race: a Transnational History of Indigenous Education in Australia and Oceania 1920s-1950s'. There remain few historical studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in Australia. The successful PhD candidate will develop a research project aligned with the project’s investigation of the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in Australia. The student will be supported to narrow this broad field of inquiry, potentially by regions with an emphasis on a specific Australian state or region. The PhD will suit a candidate with an interest in history, Indigenous studies, and the broader humanities or social sciences and an interest in archival research methods. We especially encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students interested in the history of education to apply. Indigenous peoples from across Oceania are similarly encouraged to apply.

Applications open

30 Aug 2020

Applications closed

10 Oct 2020

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

General allowance
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student

Applicable study areas

Education, teaching and training

Number of scholarships awarded


  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you need to:

    • satisfy the school’s PhD entry requirements, which typically include completion of at least a four-year honours degree at H2A (75%) standard from an Australian university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications (such as Masters, with a research component) considered by the RHD Committee to be equivalent
    • have undertaken qualifications in a humanities or social science discipline; or be able to demonstrate directly relevant professional experience

    *Preference will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants or other Indigenous applicants from across Oceania.

    *Full time enrolment is a condition of the University of Melbourne RTP scholarship.

    Selection criteria

    The PhD must fit within the research agenda of the ARC Discovery project.  The award will be offered to the student based on their ability to complete a research higher degree through a combination of academic study, research experience, professional experience and overall knowledge of the proposed area of study.

    Possible topic areas may include but would not be restricted to:

    • history of mission education
    • history of Indigenous childhoods and family life
    • Indigenous Education Activism

    The PhD will complement the project’s broader transnational focus inquiring into debates about the education of Indigenous peoples in the Pacific region, and the candidate can expect to develop research skills and academic networks across Australia and Oceania. The PhD candidate will be jointly supervised by Prof. Julie McLeod and A/Prof Sana Nakata, with Prof Fiona Paisley (Griffith University) as panel chair, and with international support provided by Prof Tony Ballantyne (University of Otago).

    Applicants will be considered based on:

    Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview.

    For application, research project enquiries and support for applicants, please contact: Prof. Julie McLeod ( or Assoc. Prof. Sana Nakata (

  • Application process

    To express your interest in the first instance please contact: Prof. Julie McLeod ( or Assoc. Prof. Sana Nakata (

  • When will I know the outcome?

    Candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application by email as soon as possible.

What are the benefits?

Benefits include:

  • a PhD stipend, currently at $31,200 per annum
  • a $10,000 fund for travel and related research costs during the course of the PhD
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The information listed here is subject to change without notice. Where we have listed information about jointly run scholarships programs, please also see our partners' websites. Information describing the number and value of scholarships awarded is indicative.