HDR Scholarship - Social contexts for youth offending

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Social contexts for youth offending'.

Research topic

We are looking for a highly skilled and motivated PhD student to work on an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project led by Dr Molly McCarthy which aims to identify “Contemporary social and environmental risks for youth offending”. While social and technology changes have led to reductions in low-level youth offending, chronic youth offending has not reduced notably, and is growing in areas of Australia. This project aims to generate new knowledge on underlying social and ecological risks for chronic youth offending in Australia to improve the effectiveness of crime prevention and desistance strategies to reduce reoffending.

This project will use longitudinal survey and youth justice data, and interviews with young people, to identify key social and environmental risks for chronic youth offending. Factors such as peer networks, drug and alcohol use, school exclusion, experiences of discrimination and marginalisation, and use of social media will be examined in this project. The project aims to generate evidence to inform effective crime prevention and desistance strategies for young people ‘at risk’ or engaged in chronic offending. This project is funded by an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher grant awarded to Dr Molly McCarthy. This research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council

Project aim

The PhD scholarship project will contribute to the aims of this ARC-funded research project, by identifying the role of social and ecological contextual factors in the onset of, or desistance from, high frequency or serious youth offending. The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to shape their project within this broad topic area. The PhD project will require advanced quantitative analysis of longitudinal datasets, so skills in quantitative data analysis are highly desirable.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Friday 26 April 2024.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 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.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Have, or be able to obtain, a Working with Children Check.
  • Quantitative data analysis skills

How to apply

Please email a CV, cover letter and one page proposal to Dr Molly McCarthy. The CV should highlight your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience. The proposal should include your proposed approach for this PhD project. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact:

Dr Molly McCarthy

View Molly's profile