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Academic Freedom Supporting Science and the Public Good


   The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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  Prof Robyn Bartel, Prof Don Driscoll  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New England, Armidale NSW, is offering a unique and exciting opportunity for a motivated Domestic PhD candidate.

The PhD scholar will initiate and conduct research into academic freedom and evaluation of university academic freedom policies for their capacity to support and promote academic freedom. The project will investigate whether academic freedom policies deliver their desired outcomes for researchers, research and - ultimately - for Australian society.

In particular, the successful candidate will focus their research on evaluating the ability of academic freedom and related policies to ensure that science is free from suppression, especially in relation to high profile and often also contentious environmental topics including climate change, biodiversity loss and natural resource management.  The evaluation will be based on evidence-based criteria, empirical survey and comparative analysis, as well as review of documented instances of suppression internationally, and also take into account the operating and funding environment for research.

The position is an exciting opportunity to contribute to scholarship in a topical area of enduring concern. Academic freedom in science is essential for knowledge generation and communication, development of sound public policy, and achievement of public good outcomes.

The project is supported by the University of New England, in collaboration with the Ecological Society of Australia and Deakin University. The project is based at UNE in Armidale and includes a three-year targeted domestic stipend scholarship funded by the University of New England, with top-up funding from the Ecological Society of Australia.  The project will be supervised by 'legal geographer' Professor Robyn Bartel at UNE, with co-supervision from ecologist Professor Don Driscoll at Deakin University.

The successful candidate will have (essential):

  • First-class Honours or equivalent;
  • Experience in conducting data collection and analysis;
  • Capacity to work professionally, collaboratively and to meet deadlines;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.be interested in natural history and conservation

The successful candidate may have (desirable):

Strengths in one or more of the following fields would be an advantage but are not essential:

  • One or more peer reviewed publications;
  • Experience in social data collection and analysis;
  • Knowledge of ecological, environmental, biodiversity and/or climate-change-related research, policy and/or management;
  • Engagement with the media;
  • Project management

The successful candidate will have Professor Robyn Bartel (UNE) and Professor Don Driscoll (Deakin) as part of their supervision team.

Scholarship Information

AU$30,000 per annum tax-free for full-time domestic students, paid in fortnightly instalments with an additional $5,000 top-up per annum scholarship provided by Ecological Society Australia (ESA). The top-up is paid yearly from commencement and conditional upon satisfactory progress as determined by the supervisors.

The scholarship is for three years full-time for a doctoral degree. The duration of an RTP stipend scholarship cannot be extended.

For more information regarding the Research Training Program (RTP) and the scholarship terms and conditions please visit the following website.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship, applicants must complete and submit a candidature and scholarship application. All required supporting documentation as mentioned in the application form including the following:

  • Include in your application a brief cover letter and a CV;
  • Address the selection criteria above in no more than three pages;
  • Write up to half an additional page (up to 300 words) describing your ideas for exploring the problem of suppression of academic freedom in ecological, environmental, biodiversity and/or climate-change-related research (any citations may be included in addition to the half page).

For more information on submitting a candidature application please see our web page on how to apply/enrol for candidature.

General Enquiries

General enquiries should be directed to Professor Robyn Bartel:

School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Email: [Email Address Removed]

This scholarship closes 30 September 2022.

Scholarship ID: S22-06

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