Scientia PhD Scholarship

UNSW announces new PhD scholarships commencing in 2019.

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 three scholarships for specified project areas.

If you would like more information on these specific projects or more information about the Scientia PhD Scholarship scheme, visit the Scienta website.

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

Exploring the Capacity of Tourism Activities for Indigenous Heritage Sites

Supervisory Team


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.

The ideal candidate will have: 

  1. Strong mathematical background
  2. Strong background in statistics
  3. Good understanding about economics and behavioural sciences 
  4. Solid understanding about survey design and data analysis
  5. Some programming capacity

Stories of Strength in Aboriginal People’s Experiences of Substance Use  

Supervisory Team


Drug and alcohol use has had devastating effects on Indigenous communities around the world. The most innovative responses to this have come from communities themselves, who seek to draw on cultural strengths and resources to reduce harms and support treatment. We seek applications from students interested in exploring the role of social, cultural and personal resources in the lives of Aboriginal people who use alcohol or drugs, and how these can work to reduce harm and support treatment. Such an approach contributes to the critical effort to address substance use as a social problem, one which requires community-led, socially-located responses. 

The candidate will be an Indigenous person with training in any of the critical social sciences such as anthropology, sociology, social psychology, Indigenous studies, critical public health or others.

Redefining Indigenous Self-Determination in Australian Public Policy

Supervisory Team


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. We seek proposals from students interested in exploring the potential for genuine self-determination and the pursuit of Indigenous policy priorities reflecting changing expectations both inside and outside government. The candidate will consider 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. 

This project will suit an applicant who has completed Masters or Honours level studies in political or policy studies, Australian studies, Indigenous studies or legal studies, and has an in-depth understanding of Indigenous politics and public policy processes. It would particularly suit applicants with previous experience in the public sector or with experience in working in Indigenous organisations or non-government organisations with a focus on Indigenous service delivery or advocacy. While the ideal candidate will have experience in the Australian setting, applicants with relevant experience in other locations will be considered (for example, New Zealand, Canada or other similar settings).