Doctoral Academy

For each Doctoral Academy, the Melbourne Social Equity Institute selects a cohort of research higher degree students from across the university to share their research, knowledge and ideas on social equity issues.

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute's Doctoral Academy began in 2014. Each year the Institute selects a cohort of research higher degree students from across the University of Melbourne to share their research, knowledge and ideas on social equity issues.

The Doctoral Academy aims to support students through peer-learning opportunities and mentoring from experienced academics. Membership of the academy will expose doctoral students to different disciplinary perspectives and research methodologies that can inform the development of their own research.

In 2018 the Doctoral Academy will be conducted as a one-week intensive for the first time, running from Monday 24 to Friday 28 September.

2016 Doctoral Academy Members*

  • Zoe Aitken
    Project: How does acquiring a disability in adulthood affect people's mental health?
  • Tamara Borovica
    Project: Becomings of moving bodies: young women, bodies and affect
  • Tania CaƱas
    Project: Theatre of the oppressed and conscientisation
  • Angeline Ferdinand
    Project: Transferring international models of Aboriginal-centred health care to Australian settings
  • Anna Dabrowski
    Project: Imagining global citizenship: policy, curricula and the role of the teacher
  • Rebecca Fairchild
    Project: Collaborating with children in the homelessness and family violence context to understand the significance of music in their everyday lives
  • Sarah Green
    Project: A safe and necessary coherence: the experiences of Bosnian child refugees in Australia
  • Thea Hewitt
    Project: Locating the city of refuge: institutional support for humanitarian migrants in Melbourne, Australia
  • Kelly Hutchinson
    Project: Social impact of technology: digital social innovation in Australia
  • Hesam Kamalipour
    Project: Urban informalogy: the morphologies and incremental transformations of informal settlements
  • Lauren Kosta
    Project: Parenting after a disaster: experiences since Black Saturday
  • Ingrid Landau
    Project: Contextualising or constructing compliance? The rise of human rights due diligence and its implications for the protection of workers' rights in the global economy
  • Matthew Mabefam
    Project: Witchcraft and development in Africa: a case study of northern Ghana
  • Frankline A. Ndi
    Project: Land grabbing and community resettlement within the context of development projects in south west Cameroon
  • Renee Miller-Yeaman
    Project: Home, hospitality and confinement: the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre and Migrant Hostel
  • Emily Porter
    Project: Youth labour market transitions during the Great Recession: assessing the role of institutions
  • Amita Tuteja
    Project: Understanding the needs of migrants from Burma: reproductive health and contraception in the Australian healthcare context

* The Doctoral Academy program was not offered in 2017.


This compilation of working papers written by the 2014 Doctoral Academy cohort reflects critically on the process of researching for social change and the dilemmas and challenges of that work. Edited by Cherry Hense, Gemma McKibbin, Julie McLeod, Caroline Phillips and Sophie Rudolph.

Time Commitment

The 2018 Doctoral Academy will run as an intensive series of workshops held each day from Monday 24 to Friday 28 September. There will be daily workshops between 10am and 3pm (with a break for lunch).

It is not a requirement that members are present for every session. However, regular participation is expected and candidates should only apply if they can attend at least 80% of the program.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Melbourne and are expected to have completed their doctoral confirmation process.

Applications will be reviewed by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute executive staff, who will assess the applications against the following criteria:

  • Does the applicant’s research project address social equity issues?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated an interest in working across disciplines?

In determining successful applications, the institute will seek to bring together a mix of students from a diverse range of disciplines.

Students who have participated in a previous Doctoral Academy or who are part of the Institute's PhD Program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies are ineligible.

Application Process

Applicants are asked to provide the following information via an online form. We strongly recommend that you prepare your answers offline (in Microsoft Word or similar) and save a copy for your own records.

Students who have been allocated an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship through the Institute qualify for automatic entry into the academy once they have completed confirmation. These students should still complete the application form but letters of support and a CV are not required.

  • Name, enrolment and contact information
  • Thesis title
  • Confirmation and expected completion dates
  • Principal supervisor's name and contact information
  • Co-supervisor's name and contact information (if applicable)
  • Research Summary
    Please provide (up to 500 words):
    (a) a brief summary of your research thesis and key research questions; and
    (b) an outline of how your research aims contribute to advancing the social equity agenda
  • Personal Statement
    Please tell us in up to 500 words or less:
    (a) why you would like to become a member of the academy;
    (b) what you would bring to the group; and
    (c) any further information about yourself and your research interests not covered elsewhere
  • A current CV (upload attachment)
  • A letter of support from your supervisor, indicating their support for your participation in the program if accepted (upload attachment)

Applications close at midday on Monday 2 July 2018.

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

Dr Piers Gooding

+61 3 8344 0910

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