Current Opportunities

MSDI is recruiting PhD students for the following programs


Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) Program 

PhD Scholarship – Comparative analysis of interventions for sanitation-based health improvements in urban informal settlements

The aim of this PhD project is to develop a rigorous understanding of the benefits and limitations of a range of interventions for urban informal settlements and the factors that influence efficacy, longevity and system change in the context of advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The project will involve developing and applying a multidimensional analytical framework to evaluate and quantify exemplars of interventions (e.g. WASH, WASH+, WASH Benefits, RISE, SHINE, others) using published data and new data and insights from the RISE program.

The PhD project will make a significant and novel contribution to understanding the factors that influence that influence efficacy, longevity, implementability and system change for such interventions, which will help inform international development aid policy and support innovation in urban informal settlement upgrading.

Find out more and apply here


PhD Scholarship – Adaptation, localisation and performance of nature-based wastewater treatment systems in urban informal settlements

The aim of this PhD project is to study the performance of the RISE sanitation interventions and the local adaptations required for application of a water-sensitive cities approach in urban informal settlements. The PhD project will make a significant and novel contribution to understanding the factors that affect the performance of nature-based wastewater treatment systems in a global context, with particular emphasis on the application and implementation of such approaches in urban informal settlements, in which a billion of the world’s poorest people currently reside.

The PhD student will work alongside other RISE academics and practitioners as the program designs and builds these interventions in communities in Indonesia and Fiji. The student will be supervised by a team comprised of water-sensitive cities, water quality, implementation and transdisciplinary specialists.

Find out more and apply here


PhD Scholarship – Factors affecting longitudinal health and wellbeing outcomes in informal settlements in Fiji and Indonesia

RISE is trialling a new water sensitive approach to water and sanitation management (the “intervention”) in 24 informal settlements across Makassar, Indonesia and Suva, Fiji. Underpinned by the emerging discipline of ‘planetary health’, RISE is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) which will measure the health and well-being of residents and the ecological diversity of the surrounding environment following introduction of location-specific green infrastructure that is co-designed with communities (see https://www.rise-program.org/ for information about the RISE program). RISE data collection commenced in 2018.

This PhD project will focus on analysis on longitudinal data capture within the RISE RCT. Specific foci of work will be on the following: - population movement into, out of and within the RISE settlements - changes in health and wellbeing over time, including COVID impacts - differential changes in health, wellbeing and attrition between RISE communities allocated to receive the intervention early versus later.

Applications close 17 December 2021.
Find out more and apply here


MSDI collaborators are recruiting PhD students for the following programs


Net Zero Precincts Linkage PhD - AI for understanding and reducing passenger mobility emission impacts of the Net Zero Precinct

A competitive scholarship is available to undertake Full-time PhD research as part of the ARC Linkage project ‘Net Zero Precincts: an interdisciplinary approach to decarbonising cities’, based at the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT) at the Clayton campus in Melbourne.

This PhD is part of the ARC Linkage project Net Zero Precincts that aims to help cities and urban regions reach net zero emissions by taking the precinct as an optimal scale for urban sustainability transition. Net Zero Precincts brings together a new approach to transition management by using design anthropology to engage with the precinct community and consider their lived experiences. This will be tested over the next four years in an action-oriented case study in the Monash Technology Precinct through three Living Lab experiments across energy, mobility and buildings.

The ARC Linkage project is led by Professor Rob Raven and an interdisciplinary team from Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash Art, Design and Architecture, Faculty of Information Technology and Faculty of Arts. External Partner Organisations include ENGIE, City of Monash, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and CSIRO. Net Zero Precincts will enable industry partners to create integrated urban solutions and deliver a framework for urban transition management that aligns with the everyday experiences and visions of precinct community members, providing guidance for local government and state-level policy actors with commitments to net zero. The outcomes will benefit citizens and the broader community by making urban transitions socially and economically beneficial to future users of net zero precincts.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop data science methods to advance the state of the art in transport research. The candidate will develop new methods for analysing existing and new transport needs and availability in relation to net-zero emissions, such as public transport, active transport, micro-mobility, shared mobility, and electrification of private transport.

Applications close 18 February 2022.
Find out more here


PhD Scholarship in Indigenous Knowledge: Bushfire Recovery/On Country Design/Learning and/or Caring for Country

The Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research Lab along with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) invite applications for a fully funded, 3.25-year PhD scholarship for commencement in 2022 offered by Monash University. The successful applicant will be based at the Caulfield campus (Melbourne), of Monash University Australia.

The PhD candidate will contribute to Fire to Flourish, a 5-year partnership program between Monash University, the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Metal Manufactures Pty Ltd, and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. The Program was formed in response to the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires and aims to build resilience in communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage that were affected by the bushfires. Transdisciplinary research teams from Monash University’s Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous research lab and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) are leading this program in collaboration with partner communities.

The Fire to Flourish Program will develop an inclusive, participatory and evidence-based model for strengthening resilience across social, built, natural, institutional and economic domains. The Program has a significant focus on supporting communities to lead their own local initiatives and connect with each other to create the capacity, conditions and solutions for their long-term resilience. The underlying principles for the program are to: be community-led; foreground Indigenous Knowledge, enhance inclusion and self-determination; be strengths-based and trauma-informed; be holistic and impactful; learn, adapt and evolve.

The PhD candidate will design their own research project under the broader objectives and principles of the Fire to Flourish Program, which builds on their previous experience and established strengths in research, community development, co-design and/or creative practice. Indigenous research methodologies and ways of knowing will ground this PhD project, and may include fieldwork with bushfire-affected communities, collaboration with Indigenous Knowledge holders, and/or creative practice/co-design research methods and outputs.

Applications close 26 January 2022.
Find out more here


Citarum Program

This program has proposed to recruit a PhD student in 2022. Please contact Jane Holden for further information and find out how to apply here.


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