The evolution of disability arts in Australia: practices, legacies, and cultural heritage (PhD Scholarship)

Queensland University of Technology

Master Scholarship  
December 4, 2021


What you'll receive

You'll receive:

  • a scholarship of $28,597 per annum, tax exempt and indexed annually for 3 years
  • a full tuition fee sponsorship for international students
  • an opportunity to undertake your own innovative research in and across the fields of:
  • critical disability studies
  • arts, media, and cultural studies
  • oral history and archival studies
  • co-design.
  • The scholarship does provide a student travel allowance but does not cover relocation expenses or paid extensions.

    An extension of up to 6 months may be considered, subject to satisfactory progress and budget availability.


    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.

    You must also:

  • have recently completed qualification from a recognised institution and in a cognate discipline. The qualification can be one of:
  • a first-class honours degree
  • a research masters degree
  • a coursework Masters degree with a significant research component
  • be able to take up the scholarship and begin full-time study by the end of July 2021
  • have a strong interest in undertaking a three-year research project on the history of disability arts in Australia
  • develop a research proposal that responds to and aligns with the scholarship topic, that demonstrates your knowledge, understanding, and history of engagement with the topic area, and that clearly articulates the contribution your research will make to the project and the topic area
  • demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research.
  • This is a disability-led research project. The research team welcomes expressions of interest from suitable qualified applicants who:

  • have lived experience of:
  • disability
  • neurodiversity
  • chronic health conditions
  • mental health conditions
  • are d/Deaf
  • identify as:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • culturally and linguistically diverse
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or queer.
  • How to apply

    Before submitting an expression of interest, contact project leader Associate Professor Bree Hadley to discuss your application.

    If you're invited to apply, you can follow our steps to apply for a research degree.

    When submitting your expression of interest, include:

  • a cover letter
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), including recent IELTS or equivalent
  • your full academic transcript
  • a two-page research proposal addressing the scholarship topic
  • a writing sample (e.g., copy of an article, essay or thesis)
  • details of 3 academic or professional referees (email and contact number).
  • The expression of interest must indicate that you are applying for this scholarship and must have Associate Professor Bree Hadley listed as your proposed supervisor.

    What happens next?

    We are aiming to fill this scholarship as soon as possible, ideally by 30 April 2021.

    However, if a suitable candidate is not identified by 30 April 2021, the scholarship will remain open and continue to be advertised until a suitable candidate is found.

    For more information about the scholarship or application process, contact Associate Professor Bree Hadley.


    This scholarship will be governed by the QUT Postgraduate Research Award rules.

    Attribution of Intellectual Property (IP) will be governed by the project agreement between QUT and the project partners, including:

  • The University of Melbourne
  • Curtin University
  • The Australia Council for the Arts
  • Arts Access Victoria.
  • About the scholarship About the project

    Australian disability arts is recognised globally for its innovation and impact. However, the historical legacy this celebrated contemporary work builds on is largely undocumented.

    This project aims to address this gap by:

  • studying archival records
  • conducting oral history interviews
  • co-designing a disability arts archive with artists and other stakeholders.
  • The PhD student will contribute to this project, and the creation of the first archive documenting, analysing, and theorising the history of disability arts in Australia.

    Funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Initiative Project for Australia Society, History, and Culture, this project aims to work with the disability arts community to co-design an accessible online disability arts archive.

    The project will operate within a rights-based framework, aligned with The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which highlights the importance of cultural representation and access to cultural participation and employment opportunities in the realisation of human rights for people with disability.

    It will document the landmark body of work Australian disabled artists have produced since the 1970s, and provide artists, allies, policy makers, and the public at large with access to stories about the politics underpinning the development of this work.

    Having access to an archive will allow all Australians to understand the cultural legacy of these pioneers, honouring those who have worked to create a more inclusive image of Australia over the last five decades, and capitalising on what we can learn from them for art and activism today.


    The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to work with a team of leading researchers, including:

  • Associate Professor in Drama Bree Hadley (QUT)
  • Associate Professor in Michael Whelan (QUT)
  • Associate Professor in Design Janice Rieger (QUT)
  • Professor Kate Ellis (Curtin University)
  • Dr Eddie Paterson (University of Melbourne).
  • 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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