The PhD project will explore lived experiences of borderline personality among young people. As borderline personality among young people is commonly stigmatised and stereotyped, it is important to understand their experiences within and beyond clinical settings. For example, we know little of young people's lived and everyday experiences of borderline personality, including social, cultural and economic circumstances; their relationships with friends and family; and how they seek advice online, among peers and through formal services, alongside how they navigate clinical settings. The PhD thesis will form part of a larger interdisciplinary Australian Research Council Linkage Project titled 'Borderline Personality as Social Phenomena', led by Prof Renata Kokanović.

The student will be panel supervised by academics in sociology and critical mental health, cultural studies and forensic mental health based in the Social and Global Studies Centre at RMIT University. They will be trained in advanced qualitative methodologies in the social sciences. The candidate will be an integral member of the Linkage Project team and will contribute to the intellectual development of the project and its outputs (such as co-authored publications).

Value and duration

$31,000 per annum for three years with a possible extension of six months (full time).

Number of scholarships available

One (1)


Candidates with backgrounds in critical mental health and health sociology are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • have first-class honours or equivalent in a relevant discipline;
  • be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident;
  • provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills;
  • demonstrate the ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team;
  • meet RMIT’s entry requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy.

How to apply

To apply, please submit the following documents to Professor Renata Kokanovic (Email: and Professor Stuart Thomas (Email: 

  • a cover letter, including a research statement
  • a copy of electronic academic transcripts
  • a CV that includes details of any publications/awards and the contact details of 2 academic referees.

Open date

Applications are now open

Close date

Until positions filled

Terms and conditions

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

Further information

Research area: critical mental health / medical humanities


Professor Renata Kokanovic -
Professor Stuart Thomas -