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Scholarship details

RTP2021 R2 Tracking Australia’s Research Response to the COVID Pandemic

Status: Open

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

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the world. At the centre of responding to these changes are questions of knowledge. Not just how our existing research systems can respond faster, but how knowledge is used, and how it reaches the right location, what are the risks to our institutions and what needs to change? These are not merely questions of medical research but issues in economics, public policy, management, media and communications.

Australia’s research and knowledge creation communities, like those around the world, has risen to the challenge of providing information. At the same time those same communities are at risk of substantial damage due to the massive changes that will arise from changes in funding, from the effects of  the lockdown, and from government changes in response. For instance it has already been widely reported that submissions and publications from women have dropped massively during the lockdown. Changes in the profile of student bodies and revenue are likely to have many more substantial effects on the shape of Australian research, from its funding sources, to its subjects to the demographics of researchers.

As part of the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative we have developed one of the largest and most complete data sources on Australian research ever compiled. This data warehouse allows us to track research funding, outputs, and some impacts, as well as staff demographics, university aspirations and finances. This project will leverage this dynamic data source to track in detail the changes that arise in Australia as they feed through these systems.

The project will focus on identifying, interpreting and understanding changes in our research production and communication systems and organisations. We expect to see changes in production (type, number and subject of outputs), rhetoric (what universities say about how what they do matters), economics (both finances and systems of resource allocation), and policy. The effects of these changes will be tracked throughout the course of the project during this unprecedented time.

Our group applies a mix of data science, policy and management, and critical cultural studies approaches to examining the question of how knowledge is created and used. This project can be shaped to fit the experience and knowledge of the successful applicant as well as their interests in learning new tools and techniques. The set of techniques that could be applied include critical theory, philosophy of knowledge, data science, textual analysis, visualisation and communication of results and more. This combination of technical and critical skills is increasingly in demand in the wide range of settings where technology and society meet and this project offers a unique opportunity to see both aspects of data intensive research.

  • 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: Cameron Neylon


Contact Number: +61(0) 8 9266 7057

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