UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarships

UNSW announces new PhD scholarships commencing in 2018.

The UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme is a cornerstone of the UNSW 2025 Strategy, and aims to attract new PhD scholars to undertake projects in strategic research areas. 125 Scholarships are available this year, with five targeted at Indigenous students. Nura Gili, in collaboration with scholars from the faculties of Engineering, Science, Law and Arts and Social Sciences are currently advertising four scholarships for specified project areas. If you would like more information on these specific projects or more information about the Scientia PhD Scholarship scheme, please click here.

To learn more about the strategic research areas being offered by Nura Gili please browse below.


Compulsory Racial Segregation, Rugby League and Aboriginal Identity

Supervisory Panel: Associate Professor Reuben BoltDr Paul Kildea and Professor Megan Davis

Australia's period of compulsory racial segregation for Aboriginal people is a lesser known era in Australian history that profoundly shaped Aboriginal experience and identity. It involved complex statutory regimes of "care and protection" restricting Aboriginal freedoms. The introduction of rugby league into NSW and QLD provided an avenue for Aboriginal people to leave the confined boundaries of the reserve system, culminating in the annual NSW Aboriginal Knock Out: the largest gathering of Aboriginal people in Australia. As a PhD researcher you will explore the legislative conditions surrounding this earlier period that ultimately influenced the development of Aboriginal culture and identity.

Redefining Indigenous Self-Determination in Australian Public Policy 

Supervisory Panel: Dr Chrisopher WalkerDr Diana Perche and Associate Professor Reuben Bolt

Self-determination remains a key priority for Indigenous communities and organisations across Australia. Governments are repeatedly called upon to engage directly with Indigenous experiences and knowledge when formulating policy, however consultation is often criticised as cursory or inappropriate. This project explores the potential for genuine self-determination and the pursuit of Indigenous policy priorities from inside and outside government, and reflects on changing expectations among both Indigenous and government actors. It considers the impact of Indigenous public servants in key agencies and the role of representative and advisory bodies including the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and the Indigenous Advisory Council.

 Closing the Gap? Critical Perspectives on Health Policy and Indigenous Self-Determination

Supervisory Panel: Associate Professor Christy NewmanDr Diana Perche and Associate Professor Reuben Bolt

Australian governments have devoted substantial resources to the problem of “Closing the Gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, particularly in relation to health outcomes, over the past decade. We seek proposals from students interested in critically examining health policies linked to “Closing the Gap”, and documenting accounts of Indigenous self-determination, health and wellbeing which provide alternatives to a deficit model of policy ‘failure’. Taking a national perspective, the doctoral candidate will be expected to reflect critically on the diverse contributions and perspectives of Indigenous leaders, community organisations, service providers and service users on enacting effective policy change in this area.

Exploring the capacity of tourism activities for Indigenous heritage sites

Supervisory Panel: Dr Taha Hossein RashidiDr Tay Koo and Associate Professor Reuben Bolt.

Tourism and Indigenous communities have separate and often conflicting concerns regarding tourism activities on traditional lands. To appropriately unlock the huge potential of tourism requires in-depth understanding of both perspectives. This research aims to develop a new and eclectic set of capabilities for building sustainable tourism development in Indigenous heritage sites. A mathematical system of models of tourist flow and spending in Indigenous heritage sites will be developed. You will be part of an interdisciplinary team that will be the first to attempt to formalise the multifaceted, social, spatial and temporal tourist choices and their inter-relations using a technique known as activity-based modelling at a national scale.


For more information and to express your interest please visit UNSW Scientia Scholarships.