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Scholarship details

RTP2021 R2 Animalities

Status: Open

Applications open: 15/07/2020
Applications close: 1/09/2020

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About this scholarship

Over the last few decades, the status of ‘the human’ has been challenged on a number of fronts. Scientific knowledge of animal culture, mind and behaviour has questioned presumptions of human uniqueness. New media, robots and other technologies have transformed our sociality, producing new ways of living, dying and communicating with nonhuman others. Climate change and the Anthropocene thesis have brought to the fore our embeddedness in a wider environment subject to entangled processes of construction, destruction and extinction. And with these reconfigurations of the place of the human come questions about the capacity of traditional humanities scholarship to adequately account for these new dimensions to its object of study.

Aiming at understanding these challenges to the status both of the human and the humanities, the Posthumanities, Animalities, Environments research program is dedicated to identifying the constraints and the opportunities these cultural and intellectual developments broach. Working at the overlap of three fields of contemporary scholarly innovation — the posthumanities, the animalities, and the environmental humanities — the program seeks to develop transformative concepts and methods for humanities research in the Anthropocene.

Key problems tackled by this program include:

·         understanding the role, status, potential and limits of human values and human agency in today’s changing world of new relationships, technologies, knowledge and risks.

·         formulating and assessing new methodological practices appropriate to the changing human condition and to the changing demands of humanities research.

·         identifying how to anticipate and respond to the challenges posed to contemporary political, social, economic and conceptual systems by an increasing recognition of human entanglement with nonhuman systems, forces and entities.

·         determining the potential to compose new relations with various others—animals, machines, things, environments—and how to anticipate and evaluate the effects of these relations.

Applications are sought from candidates with Honours level undergraduate training in concepts and methods from cultural studies, critical theory, posthumanism, science and technology studies, animal studies, and/or the environmental humanities to engage in research one of the following areas:

·         Multispecies ethnography/etho-ethnology: ethnographies of worlds produced not only by human agents but in collaboration with nonhuman actants such as animals.

·         Philosophical ethology: exploring the lessons the humanities and social sciences can learn from ethological experiments in animal behaviour and human-animal collaboration—and vice versa.

·         Extinction studies: engaging both with discourses of conservation significance and with entangled material processes of death and generation in order to trace the unravelling of social and ecological communities and newly generative modes of attachment and reworlding.

Expressions of Interest are also sought from suitably qualified applicants looking to draw on the philosophy of biology, biopower, animality, or ethology (from Canguilhem and Foucault to Lestel and Despret) in order to conduct research on related problems within the scope of the Posthumanities, Animalities, Environments program.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • International Student
  • Merit Based

Total value of the annual scholarships (stipend and fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.

Curtin PhD Stipends are valued at $28,092 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years.

Successful applicants will receive a 100% Fee offset.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

·         English language IELTS level of 7.5 (minimum 7.5 for Reading and for Writing)

·         MPhil or First-class Honours in literary studies, cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology or related discipline

·         Strong grounding in critical theory, poststructuralism and/or posthumanism

Application process

To apply for this project opportunity applicants must submit an email to the contact Project lead listed below. The email must include their current curriculum vitae, a summary of their research skills and experience and the reason they are interested in this specific project.

The Project Lead will select one preferred applicant for this project and complete a Primary reference on their behalf. 

After confirmation from the Project Lead that they will receive a primary reference for this project the applicant must submit an eApplication for admission into the applicable HDR course no later than 1st September 2020.

All applicants must send an external referee template to their chosen external reference. 

All references are confidential and must be submitted by the referee directly to no later than 1st September 2020.

Scholarship applications submitted without a primary reference or a completed application for admission will be considered incomplete.

For further information on the application process or for more RTP2021 Round 2 scholarship project opportunities visit: 

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2021


To apply for this project opportunity email your current curriculum vitae, a summary of their research skills and experience and the reason you are interested in this specific project to:

Name: Matthew Chrulew


Contact Number: 08 9266 7804

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