Scholarships and prizes

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RMIT and VCOSS PhD scholarship

The RMIT/Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) PhD Scholarship aims to generate new evidence to benefit the community services sector and the people who use their services.

RMIT and VCOSS PhD scholarship

The RMIT/Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) PhD Scholarship aims to generate new evidence to benefit the community services sector and the people who use their services.

Aims of the scholarship

Specific aims of the RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship include:

  • Increasing the community sector evidence base
  • Conducting research based on the priority themes identified by RMIT and VCOSS
  • Generating new knowledge that can support sector workforce development, service system reform, policy development and advocacy

Research themes

The inaugural RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship will focus on community services sector sustainability. Community services are a sub-set of human services that provide support to people experiencing poverty, social disadvantage, social distress and hardship. These vital services also offer emergency relief and seek to advance the position of disadvantaged groups.1

The research topic of the scholarship holder must be directly relevant to one or more of the priority themes outlined below:

  • Place-based approaches to overcoming poverty and disadvantage
  • Local area governance arrangements needed for better outcomes for those facing poverty and disadvantage
  • Creating integrated service models across universal, secondary and tertiary systems to address and overcome poverty and disadvantage
  • The future workforce needs of the community services sector
  • Victoria’s changing demographic and the implications for the community services sector
  • Effective outcomes measurement to demonstrate the value of services for those facing poverty and disadvantage
  • Consumer directed service delivery (e.g. National Disability Insurance Scheme) and its impacts
  • Co-design of services with vulnerable service users

What’s on offer

The RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship is comprised of:

  • A university research stipend scholarship for domestic students; /or
  • An RMIT scholarship covering stipend and tuition fees for international applicants;
  • A top up of $10,000 per year from VCOSS

Further advice and information

We strongly encourage you to contact the following RMIT staff to discuss your application if you wish to be considered for the RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship:

You are also invited to discuss your research proposal with the following VCOSS staff:


1 Productivity Commission, Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector, Research Report, Canberra, 2010, p. 23

Selection Criteria

  • Meets the entry requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy as outlined by RMIT and be competitive in obtaining a scholarship in the RMIT  research scholarship rounds.
  • The research proposal contains explicit linkage to the research theme(s) identified for the scholarship. Applicants should follow the guidelines provided by RMIT regarding the preparation of a research proposal.
  • The research proposal provides a rationale as to how the community services sector in Victoria will benefit from the research and how the proposed outcomes will have broad community sector applicability.
  • The candidate demonstrates understanding of and commitment to the objectives and values of VCOSS.

How to apply

Applicants must apply for the RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship through RMIT’s  research scholarship rounds, which are awarded through a competitive process. For more information on the application process, please refer to research scholarships.

When preparing your application it is important that you indicate on your application that you wish to be considered for the RMIT/VCOSS Scholarship.

As part of the selection process, applicants short-listed for the Scholarship will be invited to interview in early November. The interview panel will consist of staff from RMIT and VCOSS.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer