Apply for our PhD scholarships

Join our internationally respected team!

The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates for two PhD scholarships related to Australian Research Council-funded qualitative sociological research projects in the area of alcohol and other drug use. The scholarships will be awarded to support projects that address the following issues:

  1. Performance and image-enhancing drug (PIED) use: Use interview-based, observational and other qualitative methods to investigate meanings, practices and contexts of PIED use [One scholarship];
  2. Overdose: Use interview-based, observational and other qualitative methods to investigate experiences of opioid overdose, and responses to overdose [One scholarship].

The projects are based at the National Drug Research Institute, Melbourne. Strengths in the Melbourne office include:


  1. Expertise in a range of qualitative methods and cutting edge social theory;
  2. Experience in developing policy-relevant high-impact research linked into national and international research, policy and service provision collaborations;
  3. Extensive experience in supervising students to successful higher degree completion;
  4. Exceptional international reputation for high quality world-leading research.
  5. Opportunity to network and collaborate with researchers from other institutions and disciplines, including law, criminology, medicine and policy, and with Australia’s leading experts in drug use in society.

The two scholarships will each support the overall aims of the respective projects. Successful applicants will collaborate with the chief investigators to identify thesis projects able to contribute to the aims of the larger projects while also reflecting the interests and aspirations of the students.

Each scholarship carries an annual tax-free stipend starting at $26,682 per year for three years. Students can apply for additional research support funds up to $1,400 per year, and additional opportunities to apply for travel funding also arise from time to time. Both scholarships start in late 2017 (although exact timing negotiable), and are based at NDRI’s Melbourne offices, currently located on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. PhD candidates may also have access to additional paid work.

NDRI is a centre for excellence in alcohol and other drug research and receives core funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. It is one of the largest centres of alcohol and other drug research expertise in Australia, employing about 30 research staff in Perth and Melbourne across a range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, epidemiology, psychology and public health. It has a strong national and international profile, and is involved in collaborative research in Australia and overseas.

Successful applicants will:

  • be Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian Permanent Residents;
  • hold or expect to obtain First Class or Upper Second Honours or equivalent results and experience in sociology, gender studies, anthropology, or a related discipline (e.g. youth studies);
  • be able to undertake field research (interviews, observation) or other empirical research.

Experience of qualitative research in a relevant field will be highly regarded.

Expressions of interest should comprise a current CV, academic transcripts, and statement of interest comprising a brief description of: 1. relevant research interests and experience; 2. theory, method and approaches of interest (two pages maximum including references).

CV contents:

• Personal details (name, address, email and phone contact)
• Citizenship
• Tertiary (university) qualifications
• Current study (if applicable)
• Evidence of research ability and qualifications to undertake a PhD
• Summary of original research, such as a thesis, dissertation or research project (not coursework essays or assignments);and research methods subjects/units completed
• Any research employment experience
• Any research publications, such as in refereed journals, conferences papers, books with original research or research reports in industry
• Scholarships or awards received, including where and when you received the award
• Names, position and telephone contacts for two referees who can comment on your research ability. If your application is successful, referees will be asked submit a written reference to be sent directly to the university.
Academic transcripts:

Please supply a scanned copy of your full academic record comprising transcripts of all of your tertiary education studies. These should indicate the name of the qualification, the institution of enrolment, the years of study, the subjects/units undertaken, the grades achieved, explanatory notes concerning the grades.

Successful applicants will be required to also submit a formal application for entry into the PhD program at Curtin University.

 Applications should be emailed to Professor Suzanne Fraser at:

Please consult Curtin University’s guidance on preparing PhD scholarship applications for information about structuring your CV and statement of interest.

For further information, contact Professor Suzanne Fraser at: