PhD Scholarship Opportunity – Multicultural Education Aides Supporting Students from Refugee Backgrounds

University of Melbourne


October 3, 2022


PhD Scholarship Opportunity – Multicultural Education Aides Supporting

Students from Refugee Backgrounds

https: // multicultural-education-aides

This Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship is provided by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, in partnership with Foundation House, and will be located within the Centre for Health Equity in the School of Population and Global Health under the primary supervision of Dr Karen Block and co-supervision of Dr Julie Choi.

The Project

Students from refugee backgrounds have different educational starting points compared with other students. The effects of disrupted schooling, past traumatic events and current settlement challenges mean students often require additional support. Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs) and other bicultural workers in Victorian schools play a critical role supporting students and families from refugee backgrounds. However, their complex roles are often undervalued and their impact unmeasured. MEAs often undertake extra responsibilities for supporting students and families – sometimes exceeding their roles, responsibilities and working hours. This investigation will generate new knowledge about the impact of MEAs supporting students and families from refugee backgrounds in Victorian schools.

The successful applicant will be interested in the dynamics of bicultural work in schools and the schooling experiences of students from refugee backgrounds. Candidates with lived experience of forced migration are encouraged to apply for this position.

The research is likely to include the development of evidence of the impact of MEAs through data collection with multiple stakeholders including: MEAs working in Victorian Schools; school principals and teaching staff; and families and students from refugee backgrounds. The research will be conducted in collaboration with the Foundation House School Support Program.

Participation in the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Migration, Statelessness and Refugee Studies is also expected.

Scholarship Benefits

The scholarship benefits include:

  • Full exemption from payment of student fees at the University of Melbourne;
  • A stipend of $32,400 per annum (2022 full-time rate, tax-free) for three years, with a possible extension to 3.5 years;
  • Allowances as per the Graduate Research Scholarship Terms & Conditions.
  • The Melbourne Social Equity Institute will also provide an additional $2000 per annum (a maximum of $6000 during candidature) in research support funds.

    The successful candidate will also receive automatic entry into the Institute's interdisciplinary PhD Program in Migration, Statelessness and Refugee Studies.


    The scholarship is only available to Australian and New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents. The scholarship is conditional upon acceptance into a PhD program at the University of Melbourne. Applicants must be eligible for acceptance by the University of Melbourne into a PhD program (see eligibility requirements).

    By the commencement of the program applicants must have completed a Postgraduate degree and/or an accredited fourth-year program at Honours 1 or Honours 1 equivalence level, or at an Honours 2 level with an outstanding record of professional or research achievements since graduation.

    Applicants should possess excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, the ability to work independently as well as part of a team and excellent written and verbal communication skills.


    Please complete the Expression of Interest Form and include the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae (up to 2 pages)
  • A brief research proposal (up to 4 pages). Outline preliminary ideas, key research questions, methodologies, relevant conceptual and theoretical approaches; address how the project fits into the specific research program
  • Academic transcripts
  • If applicable, include Masters/honours thesis examiners' reports
  • Following an initial short-listing, you may be invited to submit a full, formal application to the relevant Faculty. Any decisions based on this Expression of Interest and subsequent interviews will be conditional on you submitting a formal application and meeting all of the University's eligibility requirements.

    Download the EOI Form

    All Expressions of Interest must be received by 12.00pm AEDT (midday) Monday 3 October 2022. Please send your completed form tosocial-


    If you have any questions about the application process or the PhD program, please contact Dr Karen Block,

    About Melbourne Social Equity Institute

    Melbourne Social Equity Institute is one of four Interdisciplinary Research Institutes at the University of Melbourne. Each operates with a small directorate and supports and encourages research across disciplinary boundaries.

    The Melbourne Social Equity Institute supports collaborative research between academics, members of community organisations, policy makers and people with lived experiences to help build fairer societies.

    About Foundation House

    Foundation House delivers specialist trauma focussed services that work with the strengths and resilience of refugees, their families and communities, to rebuild lives shattered by refugee experiences. Foundation House are supported by the Victorian Department of Education and Training to build the capacity of schools to promote the wellbeing, engagement and achievement of students from refugee backgrounds.

    Advertised: 04 Aug 2022 12:05 AM AUS Eastern Standard Time

    Applications close: 03 Oct 2022 12:00 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time

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