Work with me

Higher Degree Research (HDR) Scholarships (AUD $35,000/annum) are available to complete a postgraduate degree with me at UNSW Canberra. Note that you can self-assess your eligibility for a UNSW scholarship here:

If you are considering an HDR degree (PhD, Masters), are interested in my areas of research, and have read some of my website, the tips below, and maybe an article or two I’ve authored, please get in touch and include:

  • the outcomes of your self-assessment (email me even if the results say you’re non-competitive – it is a guide only)
  • what degree you plan to study, and when you hope to start
  • a brief CV, including referee contacts and your undergraduate/Masters final grade (tell me what scale the grades are on, e.g 1 to 7 or 1 to 4 or otherwise)
  • what research idea(s) you might have – it’s ok if these are vague, but they need to be in my general area of research and ideally related to my current project
  • any other details you think are relevant (e.g any professional career experience, what you hope to do after the PhD/Masters by research)

You can find all of the procedural details at the UNSW Canberra website – be sure to read this carefully, including the key dates. Note that applications for UNSW HDR scholarships are highly competitive, and you will need excellent grades (at least a distinction average),  ideally peer-reviewed publication(s), and research/professional experience. If you don’t think your record is up to standard but you’re still keen, still contact me, as there may be some casual academic work opportunities available with me that can be used to build up your CV prior to applying for a scholarship.

So you want to do a HDR degree?

Completing a PhD or Masters by research degree is a huge investment – of time, emotional and mental energy, and financial. It’s crucial that you think very carefully before embarking on this journey, to ensure it’s the right option at the right time for you and your circumstances.  I encourage you to read widely, talk to peers who have completed/area completing an HDR degree, and even contact current students at the university and department/school your are looking into to seek their views on supervision, available support, organisational culture etc. Below is a non-exhaustive list of questions to consider, based on my own experience, as well as links to some further resources. I’ll update this list periodically (last updated 19th June 2020). 

  • why do I want to do a HDR degree? (there could be multiple reasons, but they need to provide sufficient motivation to get you through the degree)
  • what job/career do I hope to pursue afterwards? How can I craft an HDR degree to facilitate this?
  • what skills, networks, areas of knowledge do I want to develop as part of the degree? 
  • if applicable, how can my previous career experience inform my research?
  • can I incorporate any industry/policy/practical experience into my degree?
  • what are my expectations from a PhD/Masters supervisor, what are their expectations of me, do they match and/or are they willing to work with me to align those expectations? See this great template I used during my PhD.
  • can I afford to live on an HDR scholarship ($35,000 per annum, tax free) for 3.5 years? e.g can I/my household afford rent/mortgage/childcare etc?
  • what is the opportunity cost of me completing an HDR degree (i.e will the potentially higher salary I could earn after completing the degree offset the loss of wages over the 3.5 of a degree, and if not, is it still worthwhile for me?)
  • what additional funding could/should I apply for to support my research? (e.g travel, conferences, research expenses)

Further reading


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