Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Forced displacement is a major contemporary global challenge. It demands responses based on enhanced understanding of its complex and multifaceted causes and consequences. This interdisciplinary PhD program addresses the contemporary issues of asylum-seeking and enforced migration across the areas of law, health, culture, education, creative arts, history, social policy, housing, social sustainability, community wellbeing and mental health. It includes advanced research training informed by a range of disciplinary, theoretical and philosophical perspectives. Ethics and research methods will be key components of the program, as will approaches for communicating research to diverse audiences across and beyond the academy.

A suite of focussed study circles will allow students to extend their knowledge in specialist areas. Students will be supported to build networks across the University and with relevant external organisations and to develop their research in reference to current real world challenges. The program will enrich the PhD experience by creating a strong cohort and intellectual community that assists students in developing their post-doctoral pathways.

Program activities will comprise a mix of required and optional seminars, student presentations and skills workshops with a commitment of approximately 2 hours every 2-3 weeks during each academic semester.

In addition to attendance at seminars and participation in a reading group, planned activities for 2017 include:

  • August: Introductory full-day workshop on Friday 11 August (mandatory)
  • September skills workshop: Research Communication (half-day – Friday 8 September)
  • October skills workshop: Writing your abstract and presentation skills (half-day – Friday 13 October)
  • November: Researchers for Asylum Seekers full day conference (Thursday 16 November)

Eligible students can be at any stage of their PhD candidature and must have at least one supervisor based at the University of Melbourne. Their doctoral research must also be related to refugees and forced migration. Students accepted into the Program will remain enrolled in their current departments.

Timely completion of a PhD thesis remains the priority, with the Program intended to enhance the experience of advanced research training and aid post-PhD pathways.

Initial expressions of interest to join the program closed on Thursday 1 June 2017.

If you have any questions about the Interdisciplinary PhD Program or the EOI process please contact:

PhD Program contact
Dr Karen Block
+61 (3) 8344 0862

Please note: If you are not a current student at the University of Melbourne and would like information about how to apply to become a PhD candidate at the University, please visit the Future Students website.

If you are a staff member at the University of Melbourne and would like to receive updates about Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, please email