PhD Scholarship: Urban Resilience and Innovation in Melbourne

This scholarship supports a PhD candidate to undertake research on resilience and innovation in Melbourne.


In the face of growing climate, economic, and social risks, urban resilience is increasingly important. The complexity of these challenges require innovative approaches across government, the private sector and local communities.

The Urban Resilience and Innovation Program at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute is underpinned by a strong partnership with the City of Melbourne. The successful PhD candidate will join a vibrant, interdisciplinary team working across the City and the University of Melbourne. Research undertaken by the candidate will support the City of Melbourne to better understand the resilience challenges they face and the opportunities for innovation in policy and practice.

We welcome applications from candidates who bring experience and interests in topics including:

  • Indigenous knowledge, innovation and resilience
  • Community resilience and disaster preparedness
  • Community engagement with infrastructure
  • Sustainable development and resilience in cities
  • International comparative studies

The candidate will be primarily supervised by Prof. Sarah Bell, with co-supervision as appropriate for the research topic. Candidates will propose their own research topic, which will be assessed as part of the scholarship selection criteria. Prospective candidates are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Prof. Bell’s research, including her use of qualitative social research methods. Please contact her directly to discuss potential research topics to ensure a good alignment with her research expertise and the Urban Resilience and Innovation program.

Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students, including those with a specific interest in Indigenous Knowledge in the built environment, are strongly encouraged to apply and to contact Prof. Bell to discuss their application and research ideas and experience. See here for further information about Indigenous graduate researcher support at the University.

Stipend amount and duration: APA rate of $32,400 pa (2022 rate, then indexed). Access to standard fieldwork and conference support.

Other allowances: The Faculty’s normal allowances will be offered to the successful candidate. These include fieldwork funding, conference grants, a computer, office space etc.

Fees: This scholarship is open to domestic/local candidates only (RTP covers fees)

Preferred commencement date for successful candidate: Semester 1, 2022

Application process:

  • Progress to the application form here
  • Supply all requested detail, including a research proposal (up to 2,000 words) and current CV
  • Ensure you submit a formal application for PhD candidature through the University of Melbourne application system (application for candidature is essential, and separate to this application for scholarship. Further details regarding eligibility and other requirements can be found here)
  • Applications will be considered by both the Faculty and City of Melbourne. Applications close 31 October 2021

Project Sponsor: Melbourne Sustainable Society InstituteFaculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

Research Associations: Melbourne Sustainable Society InstituteMelbourne Centre for CitiesCity of Melbourne Chair in Urban Resilience and InnovationCity of Melbourne

For enquiries and further information please contact Prof. Sarah Bell at

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