National Industry PhD Scholarship in Neurodiversity-Accessible Digital Environments for Australia’s Museums

The successful candidate will use a transdisciplinary design approach and methods from UX/UI, participatory design and co-design to identify, prototype and share ways for galleries, libraries, archives and museums to make digital content more accessible for people identifying as neurodivergent.

This National Industry PhD scholarship is a joint project between RMIT and the National Museum of Australia, supported by the Swayn Gallery of Australian Design. The successful candidate will use a transdisciplinary design approach to identify, prototype and share ways for galleries, libraries, archives and museums to make digital content more accessible for people identifying as neurodivergent.   

The scholarship includes a stipend with a top-up of $10,000 per annum pro rata and up to $10,000 per annum pro rata for research expenses. The candidate will be based primarily at RMIT in Melbourne, with placements at the NMA.

Australia’s culture sector has not systemically addressed digital accessibility for neurodivergent-identifying audiences. In response, project aims are to identify and communicate global best practice, to develop and evaluate accessible digital content environments that are transferable and scalable, and to develop and share tools for co-creating accessible digital content formats. Outcomes may include a guide to best practice principles, transferable, adaptable content environments, and a design methods toolkit.

The National Industry PhD Program supports PhD candidates to undertake industry-focused research projects and be equipped with knowledge and skills to better translate university research into commercialisation outcomes. The Industry Linked PhD stream is for outstanding PhD candidates to undertake research projects co-designed by university and industry, with opportunities to be embedded in an industry setting.

Higher Degree by Research stipend $34,841 per annum pro rata for three years with a possible extension of six months, plus a $10,000 stipend top-up per annum pro rata and $10,000 of additional research support per annum pro rata for three years.  All local candidates, Australian and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia are provided with an RTP Fee Offset scholarship. Applicants in receipt of an RTP Fee Offset scholarship are not required to pay tuition fees for the maximum duration of their candidature. International candidates in receipt of this scholarship are awarded an RTP International Tuition Fee Offset Scholarship (RIFOS) or an RMIT Research International Tuition Fee Scholarship (RRITFS).

One (1).

The successful candidate will meet standard admissions requirements to a PhD program at RMIT University. 

In addition to the standard requirements for admission to a PhD program at RMIT, the successful candidate will have:

  • Academic qualifications and/or industry experience in a relevant area or areas(s) including digital design, interaction design, UX/UI, social design, design for disability, transdisciplinary design, disability studies, critical disability studies, web development, application development, content management, digital transformation, computer science, museum and archival studies, museum and archival management and information science.
  • Very good knowledge of spoken and written English. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and be self-motivated, responsible, empathetic and a creative problem solver.
  • Interest and aptitude to acquire technical skills and approaches outside their areas of study and/or professional experience, as required for the project. In particular, candidates who are not already experienced in rapid product development methodology, web design and development for accessibility, and participatory design and co-design methods should be willing and ready to gain these skills.
  • Ability to work respectfully and collaboratively with audiences who identify as neurodivergent.
  • The position will require collaboration with staff at the National Museum of Australia, so the candidate should be able to spend three 10-week secondments in Canberra over the course of the PhD.

Interest in the galleries, libraries, archives and museum (GLAM) sector is strongly desirable. Candidates with lived experience in relevant areas are welcomed to apply.

Interested candidates who meet the eligibility criteria should contact the primary supervisor, Professor Sarah Teasley ( to express their interest and apply through the RMIT application process. 

Following the first step of the RMIT application process, the Expression of Interest, suitable candidates will be contacted by email and invited to an online interview of about 30 minutes.

Applications are open now.

Applications close 3 May 2024.

This scholarship will be governed by RMIT University's Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions.

Professor Sarah Teasley via

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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 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.