HDR students

PhD scholarship opportunity – Investigating ethical consumerism to combat modern slavery

About the scholarship

This PhD Scholarship is part of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) project investigating the role of non-government organisations (NGOs) in combating modern slavery with ethical consumerism. Through a world-first study of Australia’s anti-slavery advocacy network, this project aims to develop recommendations for how NGOs can work in concert with the state to mobilise ethical consumers and investors, and engage corporations, to address complex global problems such as modern slavery.

While there is some flexibility in the specifics of the PhD project to be undertaken, it is intended that the successful candidate would focus on consumers and investors, and the factors that mobilise their participation in marketplace political activism to prevent modern slavery.

For more information about the project, click here.

Applications close: 26 March 2021

 What you’ll receive

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship, tax exempt and indexed annually of $28,597 per annum for a period of three years, with a possible six-month extension, subject to satisfactory progress.

International students will also receive either:

  • an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) fees offset (International) or
  • a QUT research degree (HDR) tuition fee scholarship.

The Scholarship will be governed by QUTPRA Scholarship rules.

Additional funding to support fieldwork and research dissemination may also be available.

The successful candidate will work within QUT’s Centre for Justice, a vibrant and collaborative research centre with a strong focus on achieving social justice in a globalised world.


As we are seeking to recruit a student as soon as possible, consideration will be given to an applicant’s ability to be on-shore prior to July 2021, taking into account Australia’s current COVID-19 border restrictions.

To apply for this scholarship, you must meet the entry requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at QUT, including any English language requirements for international students. In addition, you must have an Honours or Research Masters degree in Political Science or a related field.

Ideally, you will have undertaken previous studies at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level in political science, public policy, sociology, critical criminology, business management, law or a related field.

Scholarship applicants should have a strong interest in political participation and social movements, and a desire to study the intersections between government, civil society, corporations and the public in addressing complex global problems.

 How to apply

You should contract Dr Erin O’Brien via E-Mail (erin.obrien@qut.edu.au) to discuss your application prior to submitting an Expression of Interest.

Interested applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration prior to applying for this scholarship, as per QUT’s how to apply website.

For this Scholarship, your Expression of Interest must also include:

  • a cover letter
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), including recent IELTS or equivalent for international applicants
  • a sample of your academic or research writing
  • details of three referees (email, address and contact number).

The EOI must indicate that you are applying for this scholarship, and must have Dr Erin O’Brien listed as your proposed principal supervisor.

What happens next?

Applications for this scholarship will close at 5pm on Friday 26 March 2021.

The start date for the successful applicant is negotiable, up to a latest possible start date of 31 July 2021.

For more information about the scholarship project please contact Dr Erin O’Brien.

For questions about the application process please contact hdr@qut.edu.au.


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