PhD Scholarships in Performance and Disability, and in Theatre for Young People

Type of post: Association news item
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, 15 Sep 2016

The School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne is seeking outstanding candidates for doctoral study connected with two exciting new collaborative research projects, one in Performance and Disability in Australia, and the other in Transmedia Performance for Young People in Regional Victoria. Both successful candidates will develop their research project as members of dynamic inter-disciplinary teams, working in partnership with theatre artists and cultural organisations. Details of these two ‘Linkage Projects’ are as follows:

1) ‘Disability and the Performing Arts in Australia: Beyond the Social Model’

Investigators: Dr Eddie Paterson, Dr Lachlan MacDowall, Prof Gerard Goggin, Ms Veronica Pardo.

In partnership with Arts Access Victoria, this project aims to explore the creative and aesthetic value of contemporary Australian disability theatre, dance and live performance. The project seeks to develop inclusive models for collaborating with artists with a disability and to map the field of current practice through investigation of arts and disability companies such as rawcus, Back to Back, Restless Dance, The Delta Project and others. The successful candidate will work with the research team on the topic of ‘Disability and the Performing Arts in Australia: The Last Avant-garde?’ and investigate the innovations of contemporary artists with a disability and their impact on Australian cultural life. Lived experience of disability, and knowledge of disability theory, performance practice and performance studies, would enhance an application. People with disability are encouraged to apply.

2) ‘Creative Convergence: Enhancing Impact in Regional Theatre for Young People’

Investigators:  Dr Jennifer Beckett, Prof Rachel Fensham, Associate Prof Paul Rae, Mr Jeremy Rice.

In collaboration with a variety of theatre companies and cultural institutions working in regional Victoria (Arena, Arthur, Bell Shakespeare, Hothouse, Melbourne Theatre Company, Creative Victoria, GPAC and Theatre Network Victoria), this project seeks to understand and enhance the personal, affective and social impact of contemporary theatre for youth audiences by developing social media strategies and knowledge networks. The successful candidate will work with the research team to analyse the conceptual requirements for impactful audience engagement, establish how online spaces can serve as sites of creative interaction and theatrical remix, and work with partner organisations on practical implementation of the resulting insights. Knowledge of theatre for young people, audience research and/or technical skills in social media use and transmedia storytelling would strengthen an application.

Applicants should have a strong Honours and/or Master’s Degree. A research background and/or practical experience in relevant areas will also be beneficial. The final deadline for applications to the university is 31 October, and further information can be found at In the first instance, however, interested candidates should send a CV and covering letter outlining their suitability for the relevant research project by Friday 7 October to Eddie Paterson ( for ‘Disability and the Performing Arts in Australia’, or Paul Rae ( for ‘Creative Convergence’