PhD Scholarships in Public Policy

The Public Service Research Group (PSRG) at UNSW Canberra invites expressions of interest in two PhD scholarships to work as part of our major new research initiative – Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) – funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The Public Sector Research Group

 The UNSW Canberra Public Service Research Group (PSRG) is an interdisciplinary team that spans a range of disciplines including: economics, public policy and public management.  PSRG was established to undertake applied work in partnership with end users in order to produce new insights into effective public service implementation. PSRG holds a wide range of grants and contracts with federal and state governments producing high quality research outputs that also contribute to policy and practice. Research within the PSRG broadly focuses on issues of policy implementation in a public service context. Our research crosses a number of different disciplinary, methodological and subject boundaries. Our themes:

  • Large scale systems change and reform
  • Diversity equity and inclusion
  • Public service capability
 About the CRE-DH

The first research centre of its kind internationally, the CRE will generate the evidence required for policy reform to improve the health of Australians with disabilities.  The CRE-DH involves leading researchers from across Australia (University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, UNSW, Monash University and RMIT) and internationally with expertise in epidemiology, health economics, health and social policy, psychology, psychiatry, public administration and public health and the CRE will further develop the future research leaders in disability and health. The CRE-DH has four work programs:

  1. Mapping inequities in social, economic and health outcomes between people with and without disabilities
  2. Identification of the social determinants of health of people with disabilities
  3. Health economic analysis and modelling of health and social policies for people with disabilities
  4. Policy research to identify the key emerging issues in health and social policy related to people with disabilities
The PhD Scholarships

Your research will primarily be part of Work Program 4 which is being led by Public Sector Research Group but you will also collaborate with other staff and PhD students of the CRE. The project would suit someone with a strong research background in methodology, public policy and public management.


Scholarship One

One scholarship will focus on methodological advances in the public policy space, using the CRE-DH’s unique public policy Delphi model as a case study. The Delphi design seeks to allow stakeholders to hear views and ideas from different sectors and settings, and gain information about issues that need to be on the policy agenda. In doing so it generates new ideas and increases depth of understanding.

Within the CRE-DH, the Delphi-methodology functions as a ‘policy lab’, supporting research translation and enabling innovative solutions to come to the fore.

Scholarship Two

A second scholarship is offered that utilises the data generated by the Delphi study. Example topics include:

  • The role of policy networks in agenda setting and/or policy change
  • Novel ways to potentially build consensus amongst policy stakeholders

Applicants must have an Honours 1 or Honours 1 equivalence in a relevant discipline. Applicants will need to be competitive for an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship or UNSW scholarship.

People with lived experience of disability are encouraged to apply.

Expression of interest

To express your interest in these PhD Scholarships please send:

  • your CV including details of two referees
  • a copy of your academic transcripts and
  • a 1-2 page cover letter which outlines your research skills, experience and why this PhD in the public policy, public management and disability interests you to:
  • Those interested in Scholarship Two should also include an indication of the types of issues they would like to explore using the data from the CRE-DH.

Further enquiries

If you have any questions about the PhD Program or the application process please contact Associate Professor Helen Dickinson

Closing date: Friday 29 September 2017.

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