HDR Scholarship - Student climate justice activism

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Student climate justice activism'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Prof Gabrielle Fletcher (NIKERI) – Co-supervisor

Prof Julian Sefton-Green (REDI) - Associate supervisor


Melbourne Burwood Campus or Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus (Flexible)

Research topic

A full time PhD scholarship is being offered as part of a three-year Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) project titled: Striking voices: Australian school-aged students’ climate justice activism, led by Deakin researcher Dr Eve Mayes.

This project aims to foster understanding of students’ climate justice activism through exploring how Australian young people are taking action on climate change, the supports for their activism, and educational conditions of and responses to their climate concerns, using participatory methods. Expected outcomes include online student-curated accounts of social movement participation, and a co-produced teaching and learning framework for schools. Anticipated benefits include a greater understanding of emerging patterns of political engagement, and the development of educational capacity to engage young people and face urgent environmental challenges. The project is being undertaken with the support of a First Nations Critical Reference Group (with representatives from First Nations educational and climate justice organisations) and a Stakeholder Reference Group (with representatives from climate organisations and education groups).

This PhD scholarship is an identified Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander position. The PhD candidate will be part of Deakin’s research centre Research for Educational Impact (REDI) and National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation (NIKERI) Institute. The candidate will be co-supervised by Dr Eve Mayes (REDI) and Prof Gabrielle Fletcher (NIKERI). The project will commence in late February 2022, with the PhD candidate to be appointed by April 2022.

Project aim

The PhD candidate will undertake a specific project that will likely involve exploration of how school-aged students have taken action on climate change within and beyond schools through public strikes and in informal ‘everyday’ activism, online and offline. The PhD project will likely analyse, with young people, their creative uses of social media for activism. The candidate will have the opportunity to refine a topic that aligns with their specific interests, while fulfilling the requirements of the larger project.

The candidate will receive significant research training and mentoring by the research team in terms of project management, budgeting, data generation and analysis, report writing and research publication. The PhD candidate will be part of Research for Educational Impact (REDI) and National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation (NIKERI) Institute, and co-supervised by Dr Eve Mayes (REDI) and Prof Gabrielle Fletcher (NIKERI). NIKERI supports its Higher Degree Research candidates with opportunities for vibrant, located support and research workshops, further galvanising possibilities for the candidate to build a community of practice and networks of support with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR candidates, and cultural and academic mentors and Knowledge Holders.

The successful candidate will also receive an additional top-up scholarship of $5,000 per annum for the first 3 years funded through the Mary MacKillop Today First Nations Scholarship Program.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Sunday 30th January 2022


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Top-up scholarship of $5,000 per annum
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic candidate currently residing in Australia and identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person and be accepted as such by your community. Pursuant to a Section 50 (d) of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, only applications from suitably qualified Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander candidates will be considered.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component in one or more of the following areas: Media/ Cultural Studies, Education, Sociology and Indigenous Studies.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Knowledge and/ or lived experience of climate justice activism
  • Enthusiasm for and/ or research skills with social media, digital platforms and technologies
  • Experience in research with young people

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Eve Mayes or Prof Gabrielle Fletcher

Dr Eve Mayes
Email Dr Eve Mayes
+61 3 5247 9551

Prof Gabrielle Fletcher
Email Prof Gabrielle Fletcher
+61 3 5247 9470