PhD Scholarship Opportunity – Regional Refugee Settlement: A Longitudinal Study

A new scholarship is being offered to undertake a quantitative study exploring regional humanitarian settlement from the perspectives of refugees and destination communities.

Expressions of interest close on Friday 10 June 2022 at 11.59pm AEST.

This Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship is provided by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and will be located within the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health under the primary supervision of Dr Karen Block and co-supervision of  Associate Professor Celia McMichael and Dr Ankur Singh.

The Project

Humanitarian settlement in regional areas of Australia, including via direct (primary) settlement and voluntary (secondary) settlement, is a key priority across all levels of government in Australia. The ARC Linkage Project, Settling Well: A Longitudinal Study of Refugees in Regional Australia, will provide a longitudinal assessment of how regional humanitarian settlement impacts both humanitarian migrants and destination communities in Australia.

It will use a mixed-methods, participatory design and a multi-sited approach (across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria) to generate new knowledge of the opportunities and challenges for sustainable regional settlement of humanitarian migrants. The project’s purpose is to provide rigorous evidence to enhance community, organisational and government decision-making and program implementation regarding regional humanitarian settlement.

The project team is comprised of academic researchers at four Australian universities (University of Wollongong, University of Melbourne, University of Newcastle and Western Sydney University). The ARC Linkage Project is supported by the following partners: the Australian Red Cross Society, AMES Australia, Multicultural Australia Ltd, Multicultural NSW, and the Department of Home Affairs.

This is one of four PhD projects being offered in connection with the above ARC Linkage Project. This PhD project will contribute to the main ARC project through a specific focus on collecting and analysing longitudinal quantitative data from six regional case study locations.

Surveys will collect data from i) people from refugee backgrounds who live in the six regional case study communities to explore their experiences of regional settlement and ii) other members of the six regional case study communities in order to gauge broader community attitudes and experiences of regional settlement. This may be complemented by analyses of existing datasets, such as BNLA (Building a New Life in Australia) and HILDA (the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia).

The PhD scholar will be expected to develop and carry out a project that aligns with the broader purpose of the ARC Linkage Project: to provide rigorous evidence to enhance community, organisational and government decision-making and program implementation regarding regional humanitarian settlement.

This is an exciting opportunity to undertake cutting edge research as part of a collaboration between academics, industry and community partners, and a cohort of PhD students working on diverse aspects of regional refugee settlement under the umbrella of the broader Linkage Project. Collaboration and cooperation between PhD students will be critical to the success of the overarching project.

The successful applicant will be interested in interdisciplinary research and the experiences of migrant and/or culturally diverse communities. Participation in the Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Migration, Statelessness and Refugee Studies is also expected.

Candidates with lived experience of migration are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Essential selection criteria to be addressed in the application:

  • Well-developed skills in quantitative analysis (knowledge/ experience of regression modelling and dealing with population-based data is desirable)
  • Experience in design and implementation of questionnaires
  • A relevant postgraduate or Honours level degree
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Scholarship Benefits

The scholarship benefits include:

  • Full exemption from payment of student fees at the University of Melbourne;
  • A stipend of 32,400 per year (2022 full-time rate for University of Melbourne PhD stipends, tax free) with possible extension to 3.5 years;
  • Allowances as per the Graduate Research Scholarship Terms & Conditions.

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute will also provide an additional $2000 per annum (a maximum of $6000 during candidature) in research support funds.

The successful candidate will also receive automatic entry into the Institute’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Migration, Statelessness and Refugee Studies.


The scholarship is only available to Australian and New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents. The scholarship is conditional upon acceptance into a PhD program at the University of Melbourne (see eligibility requirements).

By the commencement of the program, applicants must have completed a Postgraduate degree and/or an accredited fourth-year program at Honours 1 or Honours 1 equivalence level, or at an Honours 2 level with an outstanding record of professional or research achievements since graduation.

Application Process

Please complete the Expression of Interest Form and send it to

All Expressions of Interest must be received by no later than Friday 10 June 2022 at 11.59pm AEST.

Download the EOI Form

Further Enquiries

If you have any questions about the PhD Program or the application process please contact Dr Karen Block

About the Melbourne Social Equity Institute

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute is one of four Interdisciplinary Research Institutes at the University of Melbourne. Each operates with a small directorate and supports and encourages research across disciplinary boundaries.

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute supports collaborative research between academics, members of community organisations, policy makers and people with lived experiences to help build fairer societies.