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Scholarship details

2022 RTP Exploring the Digitisation of Childhood through Video Ethnography

Status: Open

Applications open: 12/07/2021
Applications close: 30/08/2021

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

An integral element of any social science research, and specifically research investigating the digitisation of childhood, is the unobtrusive viewing of young children, their families and educators lived experiences through cameras that enable objective data collection. The quality video data collected in this PhD project, will enable an ethnographic study of young children’s creativity and connectedness in their digitised world.  
Video ethnography involves naturalistic observations, which in this project includes filming of children, families and education practitioners. A fundamental objective of this PhD project is to ensure naturalistic data from mobile cameras is ethically captured, managed and surfaced for research purposes. With ethics approval and informed consent from all participants, including children, video cameras will be placed in formal and informal learning environments and home settings. The successful PhD researcher, will use portable wireless video cameras with integrated audio, to capture children’s engagement with digital technologies in the selected contexts. 
Methods for video data capturing, linking, surfacing and analysis will be developed and refined in practice through this PhD program.  Innovative design features of camera’s and their video analytics capacity will be investigated for effectiveness in supporting analyses of children’s access to age appropriate digital devices and the nature of their use. Quality video capturing will enable multimodal analyses of the data and an exploration of  the nature of children’s engagement with elements of the setting, and observed characteristics of their creative thinking with the digital devices.  In addition, allowing participants to view the video recorded material and then critically reflecting and discussing their experiences, should lead to greater awareness and potentially the transformation of practices with digital technologies.  
The PhD researcher would be housed within the Curtin node of the ARC Centre of Excellence (CoE) for the Digital Child ( to ensure ethical collection, management and analysis of video data capturing young children’s digitised lives and experiences.  Using a video-ethnographic method will illuminate how digital technologies are used and are impacting on childhood; from the perspective of the child, their family and educators. This important PhD research program will contribute to building the capacity for ongoing and critical appraisal of the digitisation of childhood. 

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • 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 $28,597 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

Applicants are encouraged to apply from a range of fields including education, technology and media studies. A background and or interest in audiovisual systems and recording equipment is beneficial but not essential. The PhD candidate should have an inquiring mind, as they will be engaged with problem-solving, and pragmatic decision-making in relation to the video capturing of children’s digital play and learning with technologies. The successful candidate should have strong communication skills and a high standard of academic writing. Their qualitative research skills should include the ability to conduct a comprehensive literature review, manage video camera set up and digital file manangement and, an openness to learning and using multimodal analysis software. 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should email the project lead, expressing your interest (EOI) in this project.

Your EOI email should include your current curriculum vitae, a summary of your research skills and experience and the reason you are interested in this specific project.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2022


To enquire about this project opportunity contact the Project lead (listed below).

Name: Associate Professor Karen Murcia 


Contact Number: 9266 2150

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