Indigenous Australian Governance PhD Scholarship

Indigenous Australian Governance PhD Scholarship cover image


The National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS) and the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI) at The Australian national University are excited to announce their partnership in establishing a new PhD Indigenous Governance Scholarship that will provide talented Indigenous Australians with the opportunity to undertake a PhD Program as part of a ground-breaking national research project: Indigenous Governance for Self-Determined Development (IGSD).

The anticipated PhD scholarship research will focus on field based, interview and survey investigations of how governance arrangements are being designed and implemented at the local level, in order to secure Indigenous people’s self-determined development aspirations.

The successful candidate will form part of a team of experienced researchers, and conduct their own PhD thesis research whilst also contributing their insights to the IGSD project’s overall research agenda. That will include participation in project planning, workshops, conferences and publications.

Reference Document: Conditions of award


Applications are only open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians. In their application, candidates will need to demonstrate that they identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and, are accepted by their community as such.

Candidates will also need to demonstrate their experience and commitment to researching and supporting the practice of Indigenous First Nations governance in Australia at the regional, community or organisational level.

The scholarship will only be offered to a candidate who is accepted into postgraduate studies by ANU, and be full-time, commencing 2019 based in Canberra at the ANU where the NCIS and AIGI are co-located.


The scholarship is high-value, comprising an Australian Government Research Training Plan scholarship grant (approx. $27,000) allocated by the ANU to the NCIS; plus, an industry top-up provided by AIGI to the total value of $20,000 totalling up to $47,000. The PhD scholarship also includes additional NCIS and AIGI funds for fieldwork, travel and conference participation.


The scholarship will run for 3 years with a possibility of a six-month scholarship extension.

How to Apply

You are invited to submit an Expression of Interest for this scholarship including:

  • A written PhD Research Proposal (10 pages approx.) outlining the scope of your ideas for undertaking governance research, including a particular topic, location, methods, contribution and so on;
  • Full Academic transcripts;
  • A written Statement of relevant professional experience, including an example of research or report writing;
  • A Curriculum Vitae; and,
  • Two written referee reports.

Submit application to Dr Diane Smith (; or on 02-61 250 160) for further information.

Updated:  23 July 2018/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer