Doing a PhD with the Emerging Technologies Research Lab
The Emerging Technologies Research Lab is a supportive and stimulating intellectual environment, working across the social sciences, design and human-computer-interaction fields. PhD candidates’ work can be focused within any one or all of these areas.
Join a diverse interdisciplinary and international community, whose research addresses the social, cultural and experiential aspects of technology and design. The Lab enjoys an extensive network of scholarly collaborators and visitors from around the world, as well as industry and public sector partners in Australia and overseas. Our students present at national and international conferences and are encouraged and mentored to develop a track record in peer-reviewed publications.
View our Faculty of Information Technology research opportunities here (please search by supervisor name).
We offer a lively and collegial environment for world-leading interdisciplinary research training at the intersection of social science, design and human-computer-interaction fields. For our PhD candidates, this includes:
- Coursework modules in design ethnography developed by Lab members who are experts in this approach, specifically for our students;
- Access to Monash University’s extensive professional development and academic training modules to support writing, fieldwork, promotion and presentation activities;
- A rich program of talks and seminars, part of the ongoing public program of the Lab;
- Opportunities to present work-in-progress, organised by the PhD community and supported by Lab members;
- Connections to our extensive research and industry networks in Australia, Europe, the UK, US and Latin America, including the possibility of international visits with our partners;
- Opportunities to meet and collaborate with the Lab’s international network of visiting students and scholars;
- Dedicated Lab space and equipment to conduct research activities;
- Faculty support, subject to availability and approval, for conference travel and some other expenses such as fieldwork or scholarly exchanges; and
- Access to Monash’s wider PhD and academic community across the social sciences, humanities, design and technology disciplines.
*In Australia PhD students are also sometimes called Higher Degree by Research, or HDR, students to encompass PhD and Masters by Research degrees.
PhD Candidates in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab must apply through either the Faculty of Information Technology or Art, Design and Architecture. Your individual choice will depend on your project and supervisor, although you will still benefit from a community of other students based in both Faculties.
You can enrol to do a PhD in two modes: by Thesis or by Studio Research. Candidates must decide which form their project will adopt when they apply. A full-time PhD in Australia usually takes three years and as with any PhD, the main requirement is to make an original contribution to knowledge. Although you must enrol in one of these two modes, there are three ways a PhD is examined:
- A PhD by Thesis means that the main outcome is a research thesis of no more than 80,000 words. This document explains their original research, the scholarly literature that it builds on, and the methodology, analysis and research findings.
- You can also choose to be examined via publication, which is called a ‘Thesis including published works’. This means the candidate must have published (or have had accepted) a number of peer-reviewed journal articles or a monograph based on their original research. Candidates must also produce a framing document that draws this work together. The criteria vary slightly, with the specific requirements for Art Design and Architecture here.
- A PhD by Studio Research includes a written exegesis (critical explanation of the body of work) of between 30,000 and 50,000 words and a documented record of your visual or creative work. The final examination is usually an exhibition of visual work accompanied by the written exegesis. The works in the exhibition will not only be new but will also result in a doctoral-level contribution that has substantial cultural significance - these are more common for candidates enrolled through MADA than through FIT.
You should indicate whether you intend to apply via the FAculty of Art, Design and Architecture or the Faculty of Information Technology when you contact us, and this choice will depend on who would like to supervise your PhD. More information on Lab members, their research interests, Faculty affiliations, and contact details is available on our People page.
Browse current opportunities by supervisor name, here.
The PhD application process begins by sending your potential supervisor a short research proposal. This will help us decide if your project is a good fit for the Lab and the individual supervisor, and also identify other possible supervisors who we might suggest you contact. Please do this as soon as you can - the more time we have to consider your proposal and, if appropriate, make suggestions for revisions, the better!
The research proposal should be no longer than five pages and should include:
- the research questions you want to investigate;
- a brief review of the relevant background literature;
- an overview of your proposed methodology explaining why it is the best approach to your research questions;
- the anticipated benefits or outcomes you think the research will generate;
- a rough timeline of how you will structure your project; and
- a statement on how the project aligns with the projects and goals of the Lab.
This will start a conversation with a potential supervisor about how your project might fit with the Lab’s research agenda - please allow plenty of time to revise your proposal. At this stage you also need to check your eligibility to apply to study at Monash, and your eligibility for a scholarship.
If we decide to support your proposal, the next step is to submit an Expression of Interest, which may lead to an Invitation to Apply. An explanation of the application process and the Expression of Interest form and requirements are here for Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and here for Faculty of Information Technology. Please read these in detail and contact the respective research office for further help with the process.
If you don’t require a scholarship, applications for candidature only are accepted year-round in both Art, Design and Architecture and Faculty of Information Technology.
Some scholarships are available to help cover living costs for outstanding candidates. There are four scholarship rounds a year and the application closing dates are in the table below. The processes differ slightly for Faculty of Information Technology and Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture:
- Faculty of Information Technology: you can submit your EoI at anytime. If it is approved for a scholarship, you then receive an Invitation to Apply and make your application for admission.
- Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture: submit your EoI by the EoI deadline, receive an Invitation to Apply, and make the application for admission, all before the scholarship application closing date. See table below:
Scholarship Applications Close