PhD Scholarship in Creative Writing and Cultural Exchange

An exciting creative opportunity for a PhD candidate to join an ARC project on Connecting Asia-Pacific Literary Cultures: Grounds for Encounter and Exchange.

The PhD is for an established or emerging creative writer to extend their practice through participation in a project investigating principles and processes of ethical encounter and exchange through creative practice.

$31,260 per annum for three years (full-time).

  • Applicants need to be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident
  • Applicants with an established or emerging track record as creative writers will be preferred, and those from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply
  • The minimum requirements for admission to a PhD program in the School of Media and Communication are: 
  • A Bachelor degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with Honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year or
  • A Master degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average or
  • Evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Professors David Carlin and Francesca Rendle-Short.  

To apply, prospective candidates should submit the following documents to David Carlin via

  • A cover letter
  • A research proposal (of 1000-2000 words) that responds to the project brief and proposes how it will add value to the research project (see "Further information" below)
  • Examples of creative writing practice (max 2000 words)
  • A copy of electronic academic transcripts
  • A CV that includes any publications/awards
  • The contact details of two referees.

Proposals that indicate the candidate will start an independent project will not be considered appropriate. 

Prospective candidates will be invited to submit a full application for admission to the PhD (Media and Communication) DR221 through the School of Graduate Research. 

Scholarship applications will only be successful if prospective candidates are provided with an offer for admission. 

The PhD student will commence in the second half of 2021 (month to be agreed). 

31 March 2021.

31 May 2021.

This three-year ARC-funded research project, Connecting Asia-Pacific Literary Cultures: Grounds for Encounter and Exchange, aims to analyse and develop innovative creative practices to connect writers and evolve literary cultures in the Asia-Pacific region. It will elaborate, test, evaluate and communicate an evolving model for best practice in intercultural and transnational exchange, based on principles and processes of ethical encounter and exchange through creative practice. It looks at and builds upon the work of a successful pilot program, Writers’ Immersion and Cultural Exchange (WrICE), which has developed an organic network of 59 writers across 13 countries. The model, premised on situating creative writing as a way of thinking, being and learning collectively, centres on methods of curating and facilitating collaborative residencies.     

The project asks: how might writers be supported to develop intercultural and international relationships that augment and transform their creative practices, and produce networks of cooperation across the Asia-Pacific?      

The project’s objectives are to:

  • develop a novel theoretical model and allied set of protocols and practices for literary intercultural exchange, with a view to improving transnational understanding and cultural literacies
  • experiment with, activate, analyse and evaluate the model in action in the Asia-Pacific, focusing on its processes and consequences, via case studies of collaborative residency programs and collective writing laboratories
  • examine how questions of ethics and power can be identified and addressed in protocols and practices of cultural exchange involving diverse peoples with different perspectives, histories and resources
  • generate new knowledge in creative writing on the relationship between ongoing collaboration and intercultural knowledge exchange and the development of literary artforms, to underpin a strategic approach to developing relationships, not only peer-to-peer between writers, but also sustained network relations between the literary organisations and the national literary ecologies in which those writers are situated.

The PhD researcher will conduct creative practice-based fieldwork as a writer/participant in the project, extending and challenging their existing creative practice. 

This is an opportunity to participate in and co-design a range of innovative exercises in creative and intercultural collaboration, alongside creative peers from across the Asia-Pacific, and to theorise and apply the collaborative and intercultural creative writing methods developed and explored through the project. 

The candidate will produce a folio of creative work accompanied by a dissertation providing an original perspective on the project’s themes and research questions.

The PhD candidate will become a member of the vibrant and supportive community of practice within the non/fictionLab Research Group, in the School of Media and Communication, under the joint supervision of Professor Francesca Rendle-Short and Professor David Carlin. The candidate will be invited to connect with the Practice Research Symposium - PRS Asia and PRS Australia - PhD creative writing cohorts. 

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

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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.