PhD Scholarship in Social Science

Monash University School of Social Sciences

PhD Scholarship in Social Science – Creating Transformative Policy Contexts for Advancing SMES’ Sustainability Practices

Job No.: 612270

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3-year 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 at: here 

The Opportunity

This Monash-funded PhD scholarship will contribute to an international research collaboration referred to as TRANSFORM ( TRANSFROM is a global research partnership that seeks to advance sustainability entrepreneurship and transform local contexts. The successful applicant will join the Australian research team to undertake their own distinct PhD project, while contributing to the international research program. Working with Associate Professor Megan Farrelly and Associate Wendy Stubbs, the PhD candidate will examine the enabling policy environments that support small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt more sustainable business practices.

The details of the PhD project are open to negotiation, but should involve an international comparative analysis of policy initiatives that target SMEs and their sustainability practices. The successful applicant will be expected to draw upon key areas of scholarship including, among others, sustainability transitions, policy innovations, policy mobilities, multi-level governance, and organisational change. Fieldwork will involve engaging directly with a variety of SMEs, as well as policy and government decision-makers. While contributing to scholarship, this PhD will also actively seek to develop practical insights to inform policy and guide future governance pathways.

Undertaking this PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research program and will have access to funding to support fieldwork, transcription, international travel, and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision from research leaders in social science, and have access to guidance and mentorship from international research collaborators across the four other research hubs (Canada, Sweden, Germany, U.S.A.). Finally, the candidate will benefit from existing professional and academic networks, and from contributing to co-authored publications, recognised through co-authorship and participating in industry engagement and outreach activities.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. Social Science at Monash is diverse and vibrant, including research expertise in geography, sociology, politics and sustainability transitions. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in either Social Sciences and/or Geography. Demonstrated competence in qualitative research methods is highly desirable.

Applicants will be considered provided that they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University which includes English language Proficiency skills. Details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at here 

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enrol in the research by 5th February 2021 (an earlier starting date can be arranged).


Associate Professor Megan Farrelly, School of Social Sciences,

Submit an Expression of Interest

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broad project aims and objectives, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • Contact details of two academic referees

It is important that you contact Associate Professor Megan Farrelly, School of Social Sciences, prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Once you have discussed your EOI with Associate Professor Megan Farrelly, EOIs should be sent, preferably in the form of a single attachment to an email, to Ms Kinda Say, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following email address State “EOI [your name] - PhD Scholarship to Advance SMEs Sustainability” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (over Zoom/Skype if necessary). The interviews will be conducted in English.

Closing Date

Friday 13 November 2020 11:55 pm AEDT