PhD Scholarship in Anthropology – Global Dementias


Monash University Arts Graduate Research is funding a PhD scholarship as part of the Australian Research Council funded project ‘Global Dementias: Examining structural vulnerabilities and dementia outcomes’, 

Job No.: 604509

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time 

Duration: 3-year and 3-month fixed-term appointment

Remuneration:  The successful applicant will receive a Faculty of Arts Research Living Allowance, at current value of $29,000 per annum 2020 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at Faculty will provide the tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) for successful international awardee.

The Opportunity

Monash University Arts Graduate Research is funding a PhD scholarship as part of the Australian Research Council funded project ‘Global Dementias: Examining structural vulnerabilities and dementia outcomes’, which is led by Dr Narelle Warren and Dr Sara Niner (School of Social Sciences, Monash University), Dr Chris Barton (School of General Practice, Monash University) and Dr Darshini Ayton (School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University). The Australian Research Council funded this project under its prestigious Discovery Project scheme.

The larger project, of which the PhD project is part, examines how dementia is conceptualised and responded to in diverse geographic, cultural and social settings. It also seeks to explore how structural vulnerabilities – the inequalities produced by a person’s social location – shape the experiences of dementia for people so diagnosed and their family members. A comparative ethnographic approach will be employed across four research sites: Australia, Malaysia, India, and Nepal. This is a highly relevant topic given the actual and projected increases in dementia rates in low- and middle-income countries and the challenges faced by individuals, families, communities, and nations in responding to these increases.

The larger project is designed to make significant contributions to knowledge by examining how social, cultural, economic, political and environmental contexts shape people’s decision-making about dementia-related disability and associated care. This has relevance for the diverse communities that comprise Australian society and internationally. It will provide new insights for the delivery of care at the community level and will provide policy insights for the delivery of age-related social services. The Chief Investigators are mid-career researchers in their fields: Warren in Medical Anthropology, Niner in Development Studies, Barton in General Practice, and Ayton in Public Health. Each have strong international networks from which the PhD student will benefit, and they are supported by Partner Investigators located in Australia at the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Taronga Zoo, in Bangladesh at ICDDR,B, and in South-East Asia at Monash University’s Malaysia campus.

The successful candidate will contribute to the wider project and develop their own research program that fits the broad parameters of the project. We envisage that the student will focus on experiences of dementia in Nepal, including knowledge of dementia, understandings of age-related cognitive change, care practices, and conceptualisations of wellbeing. We would also consider a PhD project located in another low-income country. The details of the PhD research are flexible and can be tailored to meet the successful applicant’s expertise and interests.

Working on a PhD as part of a larger project has major advantages. The successful candidate will be integrated into a successful research agenda that has been funded by a prestigious and highly competitive funding scheme. They will have access to funding to support fieldwork, travel, and conference attendance. The candidate will also receive expert supervision from research leaders in relevant fields. Furthermore, we envisage that the PhD candidate will co-author with the chief investigators. The candidate will participate in funded conferences, and further research training tailored to their needs.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in the US (including with UCSD), Europe and Asia. The PhD student will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. Anthropology at Monash has research expertise in Medical Anthropology and South-East Asian area studies. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognized scholars who are successful in attracting national and international competitive funding. We envisage that the PhD student may spend some of their time at NARI or visiting our partner academic departments at some point during their studies.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an outstanding academic track record in Anthropology, Sociology, or other relevant disciplines (e.g. Global Public Health). Competence in qualitative research methods is desirable.

Applicants will be considered if they meet the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University. In its assessment, the Committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian or New Zealand bachelor’s degree with first-class honours or qualifications (including international) and/or research experience deemed equivalent by the University. Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus.

Applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

This opportunity is open to candidates of any nationality.

Successful applicants will be expected to enrol by 31st October 2020, but there may be some flexibility regarding the date of commencement.


Dr Narelle Warren, School of Social Sciences,

Submit an Expression of Interest

EOIs shall comprise of:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability
  • A brief research proposal, not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broader project, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience such as research assistantships
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • Contact details of two academic referees


You may contact Dr Narelle Warren ( prior to the submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

How to Apply

Your EOI should be sent in the form of a single attachment to an e-mail to Ms Samantha Lee, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following e-mail address: State “EOI [your name] Global Dementias” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (by video call if necessary) in April or May.

Closing Date

Thursday 30 April 2020, 11:55 pm AEST