Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Migration, Statelessness and Refugee Studies

This program program brings together doctoral candidates from across the University of Melbourne to focus on issues related to migration, forced migration and statelessness.

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute's Interdisciplinary PhD Program is open to graduate researchers in any faculty undertaking a PhD related to migration, refugee studies or statelessness.

Students are supported to build networks across the University and with relevant external organisations and to develop their research in reference to current real-world challenges. Masterclasses, workshops and seminars will include a focus on ethics, research methods and approaches for communicating research to diverse audiences across and beyond the academy.

The program enriches the PhD experience by creating a strong cohort and intellectual community that assists students in developing their post-doctoral pathways.

Eligible students must have commenced a PhD and have at least one supervisor based at the University of Melbourne.

The program is giving me the opportunity to expand my understanding of the field beyond my own research interest and to reflect more deeply on significant research issues. I particularly appreciate getting to know PhD students from other disciplines, learning more about their work and experiencing the interconnectedness of our research topics. This program opens up possibilities for future collaborations and significant ongoing conversations, which I believe is very exciting and sustaining. Sarah Strauven, University of Melbourne Phd Candidate
As a supervisor it's been a joy knowing that a PhD candidate I am supervising is able to be part of this Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. It's also made it possible for us to create an interdisciplinary supervisory team. Three cheers for interdisciplinary team work! Dr David Denborough, University of Melbourne PhD Supervisor

Upcoming Events

Wednesday21 August

Masterclass with Dr Ibi Losoncz (ANU) on Unforced Migration

Friday20 September

Activism and Academia Workshop

Thursday17 October

Masterclass with Carolina Gottardo (Jesuit Refugee Service) on Global Compacts and Regional Refugee Processes

Tuesday19 November
All Day

Migration, Refugees and Statlessness Interdisciplinary Conference

Past Events

Wednesday29 May 2019

International Fieldwork Workshop

Monday25 March 2019

Ethics Workshop

Thursday14 March 2019

Welcome Event 2019

Thursday21 February 2019

Workshop on Responsibility for Refugee and Migrant Integration

Friday7 December 2018

Masterclass with Associate Professor Val Colic-Peiske, Migration and Mobility Research Network, RMIT

Thursday15 November 2018
All Day

Researchers for Asylum Seekers Interdisciplinary Conference

Friday6 October 2018

Share Your Research Session

Thursday16 August 2018

Study Circle led by Shannon Owen: The Research Encounter

Friday10 August 2018

Masterclass with Associate Professor Eva Alisic (Melbourne School of Population and Global Health) on children and trauma

Friday13 July 2018

Study Circle led by Anh Nguyen: Refugee Mobility, Framework and Purpose

Friday29 June 2018

Masterclass with Gillian Triggs, Vice Chancellor's Fellow and former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission

Friday8 June 2018

Masterclass with Professor Nick Haslam, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Friday18 May 2018

Skills Workshop: Writing and Responding to Journal Review with Professor Julie McLeod, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability)

Friday11 May 2018

Masterclass with Erika Feller, Vice Chancellor's Fellow and former Assistant High Commissioner (Protection) at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Friday23 March 2018

Welcome Social Event at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute

Tuesday & Wednesday13 – 14 February 2018
All Day

Refugee Alternatives Conference

Thursday16 November 2017
All Day

RAS Postgraduate Conference

Friday13 October 2017

Abstract writing and presentation skills workshop

Friday8 September 2017

Research translation and communication workshop

Friday11 August 2017
All Day

Introductory full day workshop and launch of the PhD Program

Students enrolled in the PhD program come from schools and faculties from across the University of Melbourne including Law, Education, Architecture, Fine Arts and Population Health.

Photograph of approx 20 people outside smiling at the camera. In the background are buildings on the University campus.
Students from the PhD program at their first meeting in August 2017.

Current Students

Adrienne Anderson
Every woman is an island: bridging the gap between ‘mainland’ refugee claims and women’s domestic abuse cases

Sayomi Ariyawansa Tackling the exploitation of migrant workers in the Australian agriculture sector

Deirdre Brennan
Campaigning for citizenship in Nepal (2006 – 2018): assessing how activism impacts upon law reform and the public perception of the stateless

Louisa Bufardeci
There's beige in brown: towards an aesthetic language to challenge white superiority

Jonathan Daly
Out-of-placeness: mediating intercultural encounter through urban design

Philippa Duell-Piening
The right to be counted for people with disabilities who are refugees and/or from backgrounds

Lukas Davis
Dealing with terror and insecurity in the contemporary city: assessing and operationalising adaptive-based urban resilience for urban security threats and challenges

Caitlin Douglass
Exploring alcohol and other drug use among migrant communities in Victoria

Shane Harrison
Humanitarian responses to the protection needs of adolescent boys in emergencies: A case study of the Rohingya crisis response

Rose Iser
Understanding Second-Generation African Australian (SGAA) students from refugee backgrounds in the classroom

Evan Jureidini
Trauma and the altered self

Sarah Khaw
Migrant and refugee mothers: putting cultural safety into Australian maternity care

Thomas McGee
The displacement-statelessness nexus: Syrians in limbo

Hala Nasr
Safe spaces as a response to gender-based violence in refugee settings: possibilities and limitations

Emily O'Kearney
Disability in the Australian CALD population

Shannon Owen
Projecting futures through documentary film

Jade Roberts
Beyond the state: an individual rights approach to recognising and protecting the rights of stateless people

Farnaz Shahimi
Identifying, improving and creating psychosocial resilience factors among refugee children survivors of sexual and gender-based violence

Kelly Soderstrom
The ‘I’ in Team: an analysis of the implementation gap in EU refugee policy. A case study of solidarity

Sarah Strauven
Exploring collective narrative work with traumatised refugees

Claire Sullivan
Syrian refugees adoptions, adaptions and rejections of legal responses to experiences of family violence and SGBV

Tamara Tubakovic
Responsibility sharing on refugees: an analysis of policy change to the Dublin system

Francisca Korantemaa Vaughan
Who is a Liberian anyway? The claim for formalised identity by diasporic Liberians

Max Walden
Where to now, if anywhere? The role of international NGOs and grassroots civil society actors in advocating on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia

Dana Young
"Peering into the black box": Understanding the contextual factors that generate social capital and promote health and wellbeing for refugee and migrant young people through sports participation.

Brandais York
The legal rights and protections of Cambodian women within international marriage migration to China

Completed Students

Rasika Jayasuriya
Protecting the right to family unity: the impact of low-waged labour migration on children left behind
Completed in 2019

Ebony King
The role of services in facilitating the resilience of unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors
Completed in 2019

Sanaz Nasirpour
Diasporic relations and women’s leadership: the question of women’s rights in Iran
Completed in 2018 

Anh Nguyen
Towards a new historical and psychological perspective of acculturation and success: an oral history of Vietnamese Australian child refugees as adults
Completed in 2019

Louise Olliff
Refugee diaspora organisations in the international refugee regime: motivations, modalities and implications of diaspora humanitarianism
Completed in 2017

Elham M Shoorcheh
Examination of key clinical, biological, psychological and social factors associated with post-pubertal anxiety in young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Completed in 2018

The Program is offered by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and students remain enrolled in their current departments. Eligible students must have at least one supervisor based at the University of Melbourne and be undertaking doctoral research on a relevant topic.

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.

Applications to join the program are called for twice per year, usually in January and July. To discuss joining the program outside of these times, please get in touch.

Students can join the program at any time during their candidature and remain part of the program until the completion of their doctoral studies.

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 have any questions about the PhD Program or the application process please contact:

Dr Karen Block

+61 3 8344 0862

For updates about our work in the area of refugees and migration, and the other activities of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, please subscribe to our email newsletter.