TV, clock and artwork on a wall in a room

Queer TV

What makes television queer?
While the global streaming era has seen the rapid expansion of queer representation on TV, the current assault on LGBTQ rights and seismic shifts in algorithmic digital infrastructures signal imminent transformations that may reverse this trend.

We are working with other international experts in film, television and media studies on the state of play and future of Queer TV in all its manifestations. We are now seeking to build critical momentum via HDR projects in this space. Successful students will join a growing cohort of early career researchers. We are already supervising projects on trans video art, and queer friendship in transnational young adult television, and expect to onboard a new project soon on trans reception. We would welcome projects on other queer and trans media forms as they are emerging around the world. This could include projects relating to anything from production contexts (corporate, DIY, community television, transnational edutainment genres) through to exhibition sites (home, bars, streets, platforms) and reception practices and cultures (indie television, micro celebrity). We are also interested in projects that attend to queer TV’s history, its ongoing entanglements with film and, more recently, online media, and how this might frame its current and future transformations globally. We are particularly interested in expanding our current research area to include projects relevant to non-Western media contexts. 

The University of Sydney is a global flagship for research in queer media, production and creative practice. Via the Hunt-Simes Institute in Sexuality Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is generating new partnerships and community engagement in this area, including via initiatives such as CLOAK and Pride at Play, both of which featured in WorldPride Sydney. Any international students recruited via this call will immediately become part of a wider team dedicated to finding new and creative ways to collaborate on engaged research.

The supervisors are established collaborators. Professor Lee Wallace, current director of SSSHARC, has established expertise in sexuality studies, film and television studies, and queer media celebrity. Dr Susan Potter has complementary expertise in the history of sexuality and cinema, contemporary lesbian film, television and documentary. If necessary, we can include colleagues with additional disciplinary expertise on supervisory panels.

We are seeking exceptional international HDR students wanting to undertake projects on queer TV in the context of a broader team interested in new modes of research collaboration, engagement and dissemination. We are particularly interested in HDRs who bring media industry experience to our team, whether in film, television, or online web series, or those who have knowledge of media content creation in contexts that are not always queer friendly. We welcome interest from applicants with projects in trans media production, exhibition and/or reception.


  • Excellent supervision and mentorship from a multidisciplinary research team

  • Opportunities to include creative practice dimensions in your research

  • Support for the high-impact translation of research findings and protocols

  • Access to established research environments including SSSHARC and the Hunt-Simes Institute in Sexuality Studies 

  • Opportunities for research assistant roles in the context of externally funded projects

Applicants are invited to submit a proposal for PhD research that aligns directly to this project. 

Prospective candidates may qualify for direct entry into the PhD program if their research proposal (see above) is accepted and they satisfy at least one of the criteria listed below.

  • Bachelor's degree with first- or second-class honours in an appropriate area of study that includes a research thesis based on primary data not literature review

  • Master's degree by research in an appropriate area of study that includes a research thesis that draws on primary data 

  • Master's degree by coursework, with a research thesis or dissertation of 12,000–15,000 words that draws on primary data not literature review, with a grade-point average of at least 80 per cent in the degree.

  • Demonstrated appropriate professional experience and alternative qualifications in the field of study.

For more information regarding applying for a PhD refer to the course details for Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences).

Please also refer to guidelines for preparing a research proposal. 

A number of scholarships are available to support your studies.

Australian Government RTP Scholarship (International)

University of Sydney International Scholarship

University of Sydney Tuition Fee Scholarship


These scholarships will provide a stipend allowance of $37,207 per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

For other scholarship opportunities refer to FASS Research Scholarships (International) 

For further details about the PhD project contact Professor Lee Wallace and Dr Susan Potter

Please note that these opportunities are open to International students only.