PhD Scholarship in Sociology Social Media and Employment

Monash University, Australia is inviting excellent candidates to apply for a PhD position in political science. The deadline for applying is June 30, 2019.

As part of the a successful Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (ARC DECRA) project, 'The impact of social media on the employment prospects of young Australians' (DE190100858), led by Dr Brady Robards (Sociology, School of Social Sciences), Monash University Arts Graduate Research is funding a PhD scholarship on the topic of young people's social media use. The research is led by Dr Brady Robards (Sociology, School of Social Sciences). The successful applicant will join Dr Robards' team and contribute to the wider project, but will also be responsible for the development of their own research program within the wider project. Both domestic and international students are eligible for this scholarship.

The wider project, of which this PhD will be an important component, aims to investigate how a) young people present professional identities on social media when preparing for employment, and b) how employers use social media in recruitment. For some young people who have grown up using social media, their entire lives have been recorded digitally which, presenting presents unique challenges as they prepare for career employment, particularly careers and as some employers use social media to vet potential employees. This study will produce insights into the positive and negative impacts of young people's social media use on employability, providing an evidence base and guide for schools, educators, parents, and young people.

The ARC application proposed project is interested in four groups of interest to be included in the wider project: high school students, young employed professionals, unemployed young people, and recruiters. The successful PhD candidate applicant for this position would ideally will lead the research design and data collection with of one of these four sub-groups, or may propose an alternate strategy that fits within the broad parameters of the project. The precise details of the PhD research are flexible and responsive to the successful applicant's expertise and interests. Final decisions on the project, and will be confirmed through discussions between the successful applicant and the supervisors.

Undertaking a PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages over a traditional and more independent PhD project. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda that has been funded as part of a highly competitive research grant, which has additional supplementary funding associated with it to support fieldwork, transcription, travel, and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision in a targeted research field that sits at the intersection of the sociology of youth and digital media studies. Dr Robards has developed a strong profile as a recognised global leader in this research area of research, and the candidate will benefit from entering the PhD with a pre-existing structure. At the same time, the candidate will also be supported and encouraged to develop their own independent research agenda, guided by their own expertise and interests within the broad parameters of the wider project, guided by their own expertise and interests. Finally, the candidate will benefit from being part of an active and ambitious set of outcomes from the DECRA which may include including co-authored publications (where the candidate's contributions will be recognised through co-authorship), funded symposia, and school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. Melbourne is frequently cited among the 'Most Liveable Cities in the World'.

The successful candidate will be supervised by researchers in Sociology within the School of Social Sciences. This is part of the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research Program. Sociology at Monash is diverse and vibrant, including research expertise in the sociology of youth, technology, gender and sexuality, health, and the environment. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding.

In addition to the scholarship, research candidates in the Social & and Political Sciences Research Program also have access to funding for research trips spanning conferences and major events relevant to their own independent research, as well as other research-related expenses.

Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in Sociology and/or Digital Media Studies or other relevant disciplines (e.g. cultural studies, education, social work, employment, human resources).

Applicants will be considered provided that they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University. Details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at

Candidates will be required to meet Monash admission requirements which include English-language proficiency skills. Scholarship holders must be enrolled full time and on campus.

Successful applicants will be expected to enrol by July September 2019. However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.

It is important that you contact Dr Brady Robards ( prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Once you have discussed your EOI with Dr Robards, EOIs shall be sent, preferably in the form of a single attachment to an e-mail, to Niki MacriMerci Ikeda, Graduate Research AdministratorOfficer, Faculty of Arts, at the following e-mail address:

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (this may be, over Skype if necessary). The interviews will be conducted in English.


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