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Scholarship details

RTP2021 R2 Diversity, Equity and Impact: Exploring the Open Knowledge performance of Universities

Status: Open

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

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About this scholarship

The higher education and research landscape is peppered with a growing number of examples of grass-roots efforts to transform universities into institutions that both represent and include the diversity of the communities they serve; and to find better ways to mobilise the knowledge that universities create in order to maximise its positive impact. As digital technologies create new possibilities for the ways in which data can be gathered and shared, the scope for communities to become active partners in the research process is growing. Researchers and universities are experimenting with new approaches to working with communities to help shape research directions and questions, as well as the scholarship, and education, that research enables.   

However, the open knowledge aspirations and practices of research communities exist in tension with the ways in which university performance is measured and rewarded (Benneworth et al 2019). In spite of a growing list of genuine, thoughtful, and often creative efforts to ensure that knowledge generated within universities benefits the widest possible communities, universities themselves continue to be assessed, ranked and evaluated according to narrow measures of performance that depend on limited data sets and ignore the value of open knowledge. The absence of evaluation frameworks capable of recognising or capturing open knowledge efforts within universities makes it difficult for university administrators to systematically support open knowledge across an institution; or to engage effectively with the challenges and opportunities that universities face in the context of rapid social and technological change.  

This PhD project engages with this gap: exploring the potential for new approaches to tracking and exploring the open knowledge efforts of universities in order to support diversity, equity and impact in higher education and research. The project will contribute to a larger program of work being carried out by the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative: a major strategic project combining cloud-based computing approaches with critical perspectives.

Questions that the project will seek to answer may include:

·         How do the diverse, large-scale, and dynamic data sources influence our views of the open knowledge and open science landscapes?

·         How do teaching, learning, research production, methodologies, epistemologies and faculty/staff reflect institutional student diversity?

·         Are we able to measure and track the effectiveness of policies and investments on making positive changes to open knowledge production and dissemination? 


  • 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: 6.5

·         Future Higher degree by research applicants

·         Research experience gained through academic or professional work

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: Lucy Montgomery


Contact Number: +61 (0)8 9266 4992

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