PhD scholarship - Improving regional secondary students’ learning and wellbeing

A PhD scholarship is available in Deakin University's Research for Educational Impact (REDI) strategic research centre. REDI is aligned with the School of Education in the Faculty of Arts and Education. 

The PhD student, under the guidance of the Chief Investigators, will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Digital tools, pedagogies and practices to improve student learning and wellbeing’.

Value and duration


  • A stipend of $26,682 per annum tax exempt (2017 rate)
  • A relocation allowance up to $1,500 (2017 rate) awarded to students who are moving from interstate or overseas in order to study at Deakin
  • Paid sick, maternity and parental leave


  • Three years


Aim of the project

The project provides an exciting opportunity to a prospective PhD candidate to work with leading researchers in Education, as well as innovative teachers and students with diverse backgrounds. The project is located within REDI, one of Deakin's strategic research centres. 

The study will be part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project, ‘Improving regional secondary students’ learning and wellbeing’. The project focuses on the ways in which pedagogies, practices and resources (i.e. digital tools) can support personalised learning approaches both within and beyond the school setting. 

More broadly, the project includes researchers from Deakin University, La Trobe University and the University of Tasmania. It also has multiple partner organisations that support our work, with schools in Bendigo, Launceston and Geelong. 

The setting for this specific part of the project will be in a multi-campus Geelong school that is a leader in the provision of flexible learning spaces and digital technology in ways that seek to support personalised learning. 

The nature of the specific area of focus for the PhD study is to be negotiated with the successful candidate.

Project leaders

The Chief Investigators based at Deakin involved in the project include: 

  • Professor Vaughan Prain, a leading science and literacy educator with a wealth of research experience in the role of representation in learning science, disciplinary literacies, writing to learn, and research into collaborative teacher use of flexible learning spaces. 
  • Professor Russell Tytler, an esteemed Alfred Deakin Professor, is a passionate advocate of, and has researched extensively on, learning and teaching school science. He pioneered an innovative school-based approach to pre-serviced science education and has published widely on student learning and pedagogy.
  • Associate Professor Damian Blake, a leading researcher in innovative teaching and learning practices that support student achievement. He has published widely in the area of applied learning, youth engagement, learning and school-based practices and research that support this.
  • Dr Amanda Mooney, a researcher in Health and Physical Education and Student Wellbeing and has published works that examine the connections between pedagogies and school-based practices and the effect this has on student wellbeing. Her work has been largely based in regional and rural contexts.

Important dates

Closing date

1 March 2017


  • Domestic candidates  only (Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizenship)
  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master's degree with a substantial research component in a related field. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.
  • The successful candidate will also have strong familiarity with Victorian curricula prescriptions and school-based approaches to research.

How to apply

Please refer to the How to apply for a research degree page for application information.

Further information

If you'd like to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, get in touch:

Contact Dr Amanda Mooney
+61 3 5227 3285
Email Dr Mooney

Contact A/Prof Damian Blake
+61 3 5227 1440
Email A/Prof Blake