PhD Scholarships – Science Education

MGSE Science Education Scholarships 

The Melbourne Graduate School of Education seeks expressions of interest (EOI) from eligible graduates for two PhD positions in Science Education. The projects are a component of a larger collaboration between These two funded PhD projects are a remarkable opportunity to study science education in the context of an international physics research science education academics at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics and the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL). SUPL is located 1km underground at the Stawell Goldmine in Stawell, Victoria. This multi-year international research project incorporates an investment in science outreach with the Stawell community and schools, giving rise to a remarkable opportunity to undertake science education research in a setting that is rare in scale, education investment and provision of access to cutting edge physics research.

The projects will investigate:

Project one, Science Outreach and Identity (supervised by Professor Jan van Driel and Dr Victoria Millar)
Low and declining participation in science has been an ongoing concern for a number of decades. The formation of students’ aspirations and science identity are often used as a way to understand why students do or do not pursue science and also the pathways to increased student participation in science. In order to better understand the influence of science outreach on science aspirations and identity, this project will investigate how the SUPL outreach program provided to local schools can influence young people’s science identity with a particular focus on underrepresented groups. This project would suit a candidate with a background in science, science education, science communication, psychology or sociology who is interested in promoting science participation. An understanding of science identity and issues around science participation particularly by underrepresented groups would be beneficial.

The candidate would be willing to work collaboratively with a team of interdisciplinary researchers from education and science and available to travel to regional Victoria for data collection. Experience with science education research and its methods is desirable.

Project two, Contemporary Physics in Schools (supervised by Dr Victoria Millar and Dr Maurice Toscano)
Dark matter is theorised to make up 80% of the mass in the universe and is the subject of much current physics research. Such contemporary areas of physics tend not to be included in traditional secondary school physics curricula. However, in recent years there have been international moves to do so in an attempt to reflect current research and engage students. The SUPL outreach program provides an opportunity to explore how such concepts can be included in the secondary school physics curriculum, how teachers can be supported in introducing contemporary physics ideas and how they are perceived by young people.
This project would suit a candidate with a background in physics and teaching. An understanding of secondary physics curricula would be beneficial. The candidate would be willing to work collaboratively with a team of interdisciplinary researchers from education and science and available to travel to regional Victoria for data collection. Experience with science education research and its methods is desirable.

Both PhD projects will be supervised by science education academics at MGSE and it is imagined that this collaborative project will provide a rich interdisciplinary research environment for PhD students. The PhD candidates will be situated in the Mathematics, Science, Technology Education Academic Group (MSTEG), where they will benefit from connecting with other PhD candidates and the range of research seminars that MSTEG runs.

Benefits

The successful candidate will receive a Melbourne Strategic Scholarship (MSS) of approximately $31,200 pro rata per year for 3.5 years of the PhD (full time).

Eligibility

To be eligible or considered for this scholarship, you must:

o satisfy the School’s PhD entry requirements (as per University Handbook).
o receive a University of Melbourne scholarship score of 80 (H1) equivalent or above.
o must commence by the end of 2021.
o submit a research proposal with their application that meets the quality standards of a PhD.

Full-time enrolment is a condition of the MSS scholarship.

EOI

Prior to submitting a formal application, applicants will need to submit an EOI to Victoria Millar vmillar@unimelb.edu.au. The EOI should include:

o Academic Transcript

o CurriculumVitae
o An outline of why you are interested in undertaking your project/s of interest.

Outcome

Candidates will be advised of the outcome of their EOI by email as soon as possible and if deemed suitable will be encouraged to submit a formal application.

Enquiries

For enquiries, please contact: Victoria Millar at vmillar@unimelb.edu.au

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