Law Research News

Dr Elizabeth Rowe and her PhD journey

I started my PhD in 2013, after completing a Bachelor of Justice (Honours) at QUT. Doing a PhD through the School of Justice at QUT offered unique opportunities to work with experts in social justice and human rights. My PhD research examined the decision-making process of people seeking asylum and the people I spoke to for my research—people seeking asylum in Australia—inspired me to write a thesis that would do their stories justice. In the space of a few years while conducting my research, their stories changed the way I viewed the world.

The PhD program offers training and development and provides support for students to attend academic conferences. Without the network of supervisors, lecturers and mentors in the Faculty of Law and School of Justice, I would not have had the opportunity to take a full time role in the Queensland Government in the final year of my PhD research project.

Working for the Queensland Government has allowed me to use skills developed through the PhD program to create positive outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. I have worked in strategic policy in the Queensland Family and Child Commission where I was involved in systemic reviews of Queensland’s child protection system, working with young people and non-government and government partners to improve the child protection system.

More recently, I have been working in the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors leading major legal policy and legislative reforms across the disability sector as Queensland transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

You can start a PhD without knowing what career path you’ll take. The experience gained and the skills learned throughout the PhD program at QUT are just as valuable outside of academia. Every day I use the critical lens I developed and the writing skills perfected to provide the best policy advice I can. Every day I am thankful for the discipline and drive I developed in the hours, days and weeks researching my thesis and listening to people share their stories.

There’s not that many times in your life you can dedicate years to educate yourself, and hopefully others, on a topic you are passionate about. And I’m thankful I chose to spend this time doing it at QUT.

In the wise words of Oscar Wilde – “You can never be overdressed or overeducated”.

More information about a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with the QUT Faculty of Law

We recommend that you discuss your research interests with your proposed supervisor early in the application process.

As a PhD student, you’ll have the support of our academics and industry professionals throughout your studies to ensure your research is relevant and insightful.

As part of your application, you must propose a research topic and develop a research proposal. You can search our student topics for available research projects or propose your own research topic. You may ask a supervisor to help you identify or refine a research topic.

Find out more about the entry requirements and course details for a PhD with the QUT Faculty of Law.

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