PhD scholarship in media and communication to conduct social research on 5G in Australia

PhD scholarship in media and communication on 5G

This goal of this PhD is conducting social research on the Australian 5G rollout. The PhD is associated with an ARC Discovery Project called '5G and the Future of Public Communications'. The successful candidate will work with and be supervised and mentored by Associate Professor Rowan Wilken and Dr. James Meese from the School of Media & Communication at the Melbourne (CBD) campus of RMIT University, and collaborate with Professor Catherine Middleton (Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada).

  • a stipend of $32,841 per annum pro rata (full-time study), with a possible extension of six months. This amount is subject to indexation annually.
  • international candidates in receipt of this scholarship are also awarded an RTP International Tuition Fee Offset Scholarship (RIFOS) or an RMIT Research International Tuition Fee Scholarship (RRITFS).
  • 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.
  • a relocation allowance for the cost of relocating in order to take up their postgraduate research program, up to $515 per adult and $255 per child to a maximum of $1,540
  • paid sick, maternity and parenting leave (within the limits of the Scholarship Terms and Conditions).

Applications are open now.

30 June 2022

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • satisfy RMIT University’s Doctor of Philosophy entry requirements.
  • hold a first-class honours or 2A honours or equivalent or a Masters by research degree in Media and Communications or a related discipline.

Interested applicants should first email Associate Professor Rowan Wilken via and Dr. James Meese via by 30 June 2021, with:

  • A cover letter (outlining interest and alignment with the proposed research, and addressing the selection criteria)
  • A copy of electronic academic transcripts
  • A short CV (including the contact details of two referees).

The successful candidate will be supported to develop a formal PhD application to RMIT. Scholarship applications will only be successful if prospective candidates are provided with an offer for admission from RMIT University.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:   

  • 5G wireless broadband adoption in Australian homes. 
  • Adoption of 5G technology in specific industry sectors. 
  • Individual adoption of 5G mobile phones/plans • 5G use in metropolitan and rural/remote areas
  • Impact of 5G transition on emergency services/systems
  • Telecommunications policy challenges associated with 5G. We are not interested in projects focused on the relationship between 5G and conspiracy theories.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate:

  • First-class honours or 2A honours or equivalent or a Masters by research degree in media and communications, or public policy. Applications are also welcomed from related humanities and social science disciplines.
  • Outstanding research skills.
  • Excellent written and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Experience in qualitative research or demonstrated capacity for qualitative research. 


  • Previous experience in communications policy or digital inclusion initiatives will be looked upon favourably. 

Associate Professor Rowan Wilken via

Dr. James Meese 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.