Post-Graduate Research Degree
SSGM attracts outstanding graduates to work for post-graduate research degrees. We offer supervision and training of the highest quality to equip scholars for careers as independent thinkers and world-class researchers. We provide a supportive environment that encourages students to pursue rigorous, innovative research, to undertake in-country fieldwork, and to share ideas with other students, staff and visiting fellows. SSGM welcomes applications for PhD study from graduates with excellent academic records and with degrees in political science, anthropology, geography, law, development studies, or gender-studies. Prospective students must be willing to conduct fieldwork-based research in a country in the region. Interdisciplinary and comparative research perspectives are encouraged. Before applying, please look carefully at the profiles of SSGM members and our research clusters to ensure that SSGM is best suited to your study goals.
The PhD program in SSGM consists primarily of independent research by the candidate on a topic developed in consultation with her or his supervisor. Students may be required to do relevant coursework, particularly in research methodologies, depending on their research experience. The outcome of the PhD program is an original thesis incorporating the research conducted during the program and its results. The thesis must make a substantial contribution to knowledge in the chosen field and must relate the research undertaken to broader debates within the scholarly and disciplinary literature.
Our current PhD students are working on the following topics:
Kerryn Baker – Experiments with Quotas for Women Legislators in the Pacific.
Stephen Blair – The Role of the PNGDF within the State of PNG.
Claire Cronin – Speaking Suffering: Narrative and Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Solomon Islands.
Cara Heaven – Governance Aid in Papua New Guinea.
Sue Ingram – From Colonialism to Development: Continuity and Divergence in the Theory and Practice of Statebuilding.
Stephanie Lusby – Men’s Engagement with Discourses of HIV and Gender-Based Violence Prevention in Papua New Guinea.
Armindo Maia – The Role of Education in Nationalism and Nation-building in Post-Independence Timor-Leste.
James Scambary – Youth Groups, Gangs and Informal Security Groups in East Timor.
Terence Wood - Informal Institutions, Ethnicity and Voter Behaviour in Solomon Islands.
Recently completed theses:
Jane Anderson – A Kundu Relationship: Translating Development in the Papua New Guinea Church Partnership Program.
Jone Baledrokadroka – Sacred King and Warrior Chief: The Role of the Military in Fiji Politics.
Pyone Myat Phu – Negotiating Displacement: A Study of Land and Livelihoods in Rural East Timor.
For more details, see Students
A full-time PhD program takes a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years to complete. It is important to note that scholarships are usually available for three years. Students with scholarships are strongly encouraged, therefore, to complete their program within that time. Each research candidate at the Australian National University works under the direction of a supervisory panel intended to bring together expertise tailored to the specific needs of the topic. The supervisory panel consists of three to five academic staff members, one of whom will be the chair of the panel or chief supervisor. The chair of panel must be a member of SSGM; other members of the panel may come from elsewhere in the University or occasionally from other institutions in Australia.
The progress of research students is closely monitored in accordance with University, College and School policies. Students will be required to complete various milestones during their candidature, including several presentations, to ensure that they are meeting progress expectations. Unsatisfactory progress may result in the removal of the student from the program. For further information consult the Higher Degree Research
Guide at: The Higher Degree Research Guide,
To apply for admission as a PhD scholar with SSGM, applicants should contact SSGM with:
- A letter of application specifying intended timing, source of funding and an explanation of why you hope to study with SSGM;
- Evidence of an outstanding academic and/or applied research record;
- A research proposal (1-2 pages) identifying the subject of the proposed research, the main questions the research seeks to answer, an outline of the proposed methodology, and an indicative timetable for completion within 3 years consistent with university requirements.
Admission will occur only after extensive consultation between the applicant and the postgraduate studies coordinator, who will consult closely with other members of the program about potential supervisors. Decisions regarding admission will be taken by the SSGM Teaching Committee. Potential applicants are strongly recommended to submit their application three weeks before the university deadline and to have commenced discussions with the postgraduate studies coordinator well before this submission. The SSGM coordinator for postgraduate studies is Jack Corbett: email@example.com