Scholarship in Knowledge-Making in Australian Society

A postgraduate research scholarship
The Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Knowledge-Making in Australian Society: Sociology and its Impact supports PhD students in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy to undertake research into social knowledge.


Value Eligibility Open date Close date
Minimum RTP stipend rate (up to 2021)
  • Domestic student
  • PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy

How to apply

Apply here.


This scholarship provides a stipend equivalent to the minimum Research Training Program (RTP) stipend rate, up to 31 December 2021.

Who's eligible

You must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen
  • be enrolled or have an unconditional offer to study a full-time PhD in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy
  • be willing to undertake research in the field of sociology with a research focus outlined in the terms and conditions
  • hold an honours degree (first class or second class upper), master's degree with a substantial research component or equivalent qualification in sociology or a related discipline
  • demonstrate strong academic performance and interest in sociology
  • demonstrate competencies as outlined in the terms and conditions.


This scholarship is supported by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project.

1. Background

a. An opportunity is available for an outstanding PhD scholar to conduct research in Sociology on the topic of Knowledge-Making in Australian Society: Sociology and its Social Impact. The project will be investigating how social knowledge has been produced over the past 80 years, and how such knowledge has been circulated between the academy, the media, the policy community, parliament and the broader community.

b. This Scholarship is supported by an ARC Discovery Project.

2. Eligibility

a. This Scholarship is offered subject to applicants having an unconditional offer of admission or currently being enrolled for full-time studies in a PhD within the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, at the University of Sydney.

b. Applicants must be willing to undertake research in the field of Sociology and focus their research on the following:

I. the experiences of early career workers in sociology,

II. how their career trajectories, opportunities and challenges may have changed over the decades,

III. how these experiences may have impacted on the broader community discipline, and

IV. their impact on the discipline of sociology and social knowledge itself.

c. Applicants must also hold at least one of the following:

I. an Honours degree (First Class or Second Class upper),

II. a Master's degree at high academic standard (e.g. conferred with Distinction) with a substantial research component, or

III. an equivalent qualification in Sociology or closely related discipline.

d. Applicants must also demonstrate the following:

I. an interest and curiosity in the past, and how the present has come to be the way it is,

II. strong academic performance in subjects related to sociology and interest in the discipline,

III. experience in qualitative research methods or evidence of a capacity to develop such skills,

IV. a willingness to learn analytical techniques such as thematic analysis, content analysis, discourse analysis and basic statistical analysis,

V. keen eye for detail and a methodological approach to finding, organising and filing information,

VI. good investigative skills and competence in the searching of information from archives and library databases,

VII. high level of competence in writing, and

VIII. enthusiasm and high motivation to undertake further study at an advanced level.

e. Applicants must be an Australian Citizen, New Zealand Citizen, or Permanent Resident.

3. Selection Criteria

a. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship on the basis of:

I. academic merit,

II. area of study and research proposal,

III. curriculum vitae,

IV. published articles or other manuscripts,

V. feedback from two academic referees, and

VI. a covering letter which includes contact information and addresses interests, skills, background and proficiencies as required in Clause 2.d. (max 1,500 words).

b. Shortlisted applicants may also be requested to attend an interview.

c. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship on the nomination of the relevant research supervisor(s).

4. Value

a. The Scholarship will provide a stipend allowance equivalent to the minimum Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend rate (indexed on 1 January each year) up to until the 31 December 2021, subject to satisfactory academic performance.

b. An extension of this Scholarship may be granted if funding becomes available.

c. The successful recipient will also have $3,000 per annum available through their Research Supervisor to support their research project costs (e.g. field work or conference attendance). These funds will be accessed by the successful recipient through their primary supervisor and Faculty Finance Manager.

d. The Scholarship is for commencement in relevant research period in which it is offered. Deferral of the Scholarship for up to two research periods may be considered with prior approval of the relevant research supervisor(s).

e. The Scholarship cannot be transferred to another area of research.

f. No other amount is payable.

g. The Scholarship will be offered subject to the availability of funding.

5. Eligibility for Progression

a. Progression is subject to passing the annual progress review.

6. Leave Arrangements

a. The Scholarship recipient receives up to 20 working days recreation leave each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued. However, the student will forfeit any unused leave remaining when the Scholarship is terminated or complete. Recreation leave does not attract a leave loading and the supervisor's agreement must be obtained before leave is taken.

b. The Scholarship recipient may take up to 10 working days sick leave each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued over the tenure of the Scholarship. Students with family responsibilities, caring for sick children or relatives, or experiencing domestic violence, may convert up to five days of their annual sick leave entitlement to carer’s leave on presentation of medical certificate(s). Students taking sick leave must inform their supervisor as soon as practicable.

7. Research Overseas

a. The Scholarship recipient may not normally conduct research overseas within the first six months of award.

b. The Scholarship holder may conduct up to 12 months of their research outside Australia. Approval must be sought from the student's supervisor, Head of School and the Faculty via application to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC), and will only be granted if the research is essential for completion of the degree. All periods of overseas research are cumulative and will be counted towards a student's candidature. Students must remain enrolled full-time at the University and receive approval to count time away.

8. Suspension

a. The Scholarship recipient cannot suspend their award within their first six months of study, unless a legislative provision applies.

b. The Scholarship recipient may apply for up to 12 months suspension of the Scholarship for any reason during the tenure of the Scholarship. Periods of Scholarship suspension are cumulative and failure to resume study after suspension will result in the award being terminated. Approval must be sought from the student's supervisor, Head of School and the Faculty via application to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC). Periods of study towards the degree during suspension of the Scholarship will be deducted from the maximum tenure of the Scholarship.

9. Changes in Enrolment

a. The Scholarship recipient must notify HDRAC and their supervisor promptly of any planned changes to their enrolment including but not limited to: attendance pattern, suspension, leave of absence, withdrawal, course transfer, and candidature upgrade or downgrade. If the award holder does not provide notice of the changes identified above, the University may require repayment of any overpaid stipend.

10. Termination

a. The Scholarship will terminate:

I. on resignation or withdrawal of the student from their research degree,

II. upon the student having completed 4 years equivalent full time study for a PhD,

III. upon submission of the thesis or at the end of the award,

IV. if the student ceases to be a full-time student and prior approval has not been obtained to hold the Scholarship on a part-time basis,

V. if the recipient receives an alternative primary stipend scholarship. In such circumstances this Scholarship will be terminated in favour of the alternative scholarship where it is of higher value,

VI. does not resume study at the end of a period of approved leave, or

VII. If the student ceases to meet the eligibility requirements specified for this Scholarship, (other than during a period in which the Scholarship has been suspended or during a period of approved leave).

b. The Scholarship may also be terminated by the University before this time if, in the opinion of the University: I. the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the terms of this offer, II. the student fails to maintain satisfactory progress, or III. the student has committed misconduct or other inappropriate conduct.

c. Stipend payments will be suspended throughout the duration of any enquiry/appeal process.

d. Once the Scholarship has been terminated, it will not be reinstated unless due to University error.

11. Misconduct

a. Where during the Scholarship a student engages in misconduct, or other inappropriate conduct (either during the Scholarship or in connection with the student’s application and eligibility for the Scholarship), which in the opinion of the University warrants recovery of funds paid to the student, the University may require the student to repay stipend amounts and any other payments made to the student in connection with the Scholarship. Examples of such conduct include and without limitation; academic dishonesty, research misconduct within the meaning of the Research Code of Conduct (for example, plagiarism in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, or failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interests), breach of the Code of Conduct for Students and misrepresentation in the application materials or other documentation associated with the Scholarship.

b. The University may require such repayment at any time during or after the Scholarship period. In addition, by accepting this Scholarship, the student consents to all aspects of any investigation into misconduct in connection with this Scholarship being disclosed by the University to the funding body and/or any relevant professional body.