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Enhancing students’ creative and critical scientific thinking skills

Project Description

A merit-based PhD scholarship is available for the holder to conduct research in a project funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project scheme (ARC DP180100143).

There is a growing demand to engage students in scientific thinking process and build their problem-solving capabilities through evidence-based teaching strategies. This project investigates how students develop creative and critical thinking skills as well as scientific understanding while constructing visual explanations in groups. The project will also develop and evaluate teaching strategies to support students’ scientific thinking skills and understanding.

The PhD student will work with secondary school science teachers and students, video-record classroom interactions, conduct interviews, analyse class videos and diagrams, write a doctoral thesis, and contribute to writing peer-reviewed journal articles.

The successful PhD student will be supervised by a team of experienced science education researchers (Dr Mihye Won and Professor David F. Treagust) from the STEM Education Research Group (formerly Science and Mathematics Education Centre—SMEC) at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Candidates for these PhD scholarships are expected to:

• Hold undergraduate or postgraduate degrees with research experience in science (e.g., physics or chemistry) or science education;
• Have strong understanding of relevant science concepts;
• Demonstrate an aptitude for research through their analytical skills and creative thinking;
• Be able to work in a team setting and take responsibility for their individual tasks;
• Be experienced in the use of digital technology and software packages;
• Possess excellent spoken and written communications skills.

Funding Notes

Value: This scholarship covers the tuition fees [$36,400/year] and the living stipend [$27,596/year] for three years.


Interested applicants should contact Dr Won with their CV, transcripts, and short statements of purpose (1 page), and English test results (IELTS or TOEFL for international applicants). Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to apply for interview.

Scholarship is subject to approval of admission at Curtin University in the Higher Degree by Research course.

Applications can be made immediately and will remain open until the position is filled.

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