HDR Scholarship - First Nations and Museum Collections

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'First Nations and Museum Collections'.

Research topic

In recent years Australian museums have put increasing emphasis on engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their staffing, collection management, programming and audience strategies. This has been transformative in many respects but much remains to be done to understand collections in their care. With issues of decolonisation, repatriation, and the recognition of Aboriginal knowledge still being core issues, this is an opportunity to work with collections, communities and museum staff, to research an agreed aspect of collections in a relevant museum.

Project aim

The ADI scholarship is for candidates interested in undertaking research that engages Aboriginal communities in the production of new knowledge about under-studied Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander collections in museums. Candidates may have backgrounds in Indigenous studies, anthropology, archaeology, art, history, historical geography, archives or a related field. Potential topics might focus on particular types of material culture, specific geographic regions, or approaches to museum exhibitions, research, curation or other museum practice which challenge conventional perspectives. This might include interdisciplinary topics that address Indigenous knowledge embedded in natural history collections (‘biocultural collections’).

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Friday 30 June 2023


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • 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. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • 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.

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

Indigenous applicants are preferred, however, non-Indigenous candidates will also be welcomed.

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Gaye Sculthorpe

Prof Gaye Sculthorpe
Email Prof Gaye Sculthorpe
+61 3 92445909