Enhancing Critical Reading with Migrant and Refugee-Background Youth (2 Phd Projects Available)

Queensland University of Technology

Master Scholarship  
December 4, 2021


What you'll receive

We are seeking two full-time, motivated, domestic PhD candidates to perform cutting-edge research attached to an ARC DECRA grant in the field of critical literacy education with migrant youth. The successful candidates will be working under the direct supervision of Associate Professor Jennifer Alford (DECRA Fellow) in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice.

During the PhD program, each candidate will undertake one of two different but related projects:

Topic 1 - Investigating Australian migrant and refugee-background youth’s consumption and production of digital media out of school and how it impacts their language and literacy learning;

Topic 2 - Examining the design features and processes undertaken by Australian migrant and refugee-background youth when they purposefully design resources to support their own critical literacy.

These projects augment the work of the primary DECRA project (see below) and answer calls for research needed in the field. There is scope to further adjust the focus of the PhD research projects depending on the successful candidate’s interest and expertise and how this aligns with the overall DECRA project. It is expected that the new knowledge generated will contribute to high-quality publications and dissemination amongst professional associations for teachers.

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship, tax exempt and indexed annually of $28,597 per annum for a period of three years, with a possible 6 month extension, subject to satisfactory progress.

International students will also receive either:

  • an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) fees offset (International) or
  • a QUT research degree (HDR) tuition fee scholarship.
  • The Scholarship will be governed by QUTPRA Scholarship rules.


    As we are seeking to recruit a student as soon as possible, consideration will be given to an applicant's ability to be on-shore prior to July 2021, taking into account Australia's current COVID-19 border restrictions.

    To apply for this scholarship, you must meet the entry requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at QUT, including any English language requirements for international students.

    In addition, to the above, the successful candidates must:

  • Have, or be eligible to apply for, a Blue Card working with children check.
  • Be located in Brisbane or able to travel easily to Brisbane for field work.
  • Ideally, you will also have (preferred but not essential):

  • Experience in working with/teaching young people/youth, particularly migrant and refugee-background youth;
  • Experience in teaching literacy or English or Film, TV and New Media;
  • For topic 2 above, a background in New Media/digital design would be highly desirable.
  • How to apply

    Interested applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration prior to applying for this scholarship, as per QUT's how to apply website.

    The EOI must indicate that you are applying for this scholarship, and must have A/Prof Jennifer Alford listed as your proposed principal supervisor.

    What happens next?

    This scholarship will remain open until a suitable candidate is found, however we are seeking to fill the position as soon as possible.

    For more information about the scholarship please contact A/Prof Jennifer Alford.

    For more information about the application process please contact hdr@qut.edu.au.

    About the scholarship

    Critical literacy is the ability to read and view with a critical eye to understand how texts seek to represent, position and influence us as readers/viewers. It is an essential skill for all language and literacy learners, and it is especially important for migrant and refugee-background youth as they seek to learn English and settle into Australian cultural ways of life.

    The current DECRA project investigates how migrant and refugee-background youth learn to read critically in school, and in everyday, out-of-school contexts. Youth engage in the complex online worlds of websites, Apps, digital gaming and other media, posing both opportunities and risks. Their challenge is navigating learning to read English, and to read critically in English. Using qualitative methods, this study will identify the critical reading practices of these youth, and create resources to enhance their critical reading skills out-of-school. Drawing connections between in and out of school reading benefits migrant and refugee-background youth and teachers to strategically manage critical reading in complex, contemporary reading environments.

    The two PhD scholarships will seat within the wider context of the current project. The final decision regarding the topics of the PhD projects will be discussed/decided with the successful applicants.

    About the organization

    Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is one of Australia’s leading universities with a truly global outlook and focus on providing students with practical, relevant skills they can apply in the real world.QUT offers hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate study options...

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