Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Anna Sullivan

Main Campus

Applications Close
29 Jan 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:
All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. International students who receive a stipend are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$29,863 p.a.

About This Project 

Develop better supports for early career teachers

Are you passionate about a career in education and keen to address challenges around precarious employment? The University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD with strong community impact within our Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion.

Australia is facing a teacher shortage crisis, and schools are struggling to find enough teachers for their students. Fuelled by rising student numbers, an ageing workforce and declining enrolments in initial teacher education programs, the shortage of teachers, particularly those on short-term and casual contracts, is dire and has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Despite these circumstances, until recently most new teachers have been employed on contracts of less than 1 year (30%) or as casual teachers (30%) and it can take years to secure long-term employment. 

There are school-based induction programs for new teachers; however, the majority are only employed for short periods and miss out on the opportunity to participate in these programs. These teachers may be left feeling unsupported, isolated and lacking confidence in their abilities, increasing the likelihood of them leaving the profession within their first five years of teaching. 

Few studies have investigated the induction experiences of precariously employed early career teachers, and research is urgently needed to understand what supports they should be provided during this phase of their career. 

The aim of this project is to produce new insights and knowledge into policies that guide the induction experiences of the precariously employed early career teacher workforce in Australia.

You will be based at the Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI), which is one of the largest research centres in the world to focus on generating new knowledge about issues related to educational and social inclusion. CRESI has a long history of developing and building an impactful research program. Its research seeks to understand the barriers to inclusion and offers educationally and socially inclusive alternatives that have impact. 

You will have a unique opportunity to work with a team of international experts from several other universities as part of an Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will conduct a critical analysis of policies related to the induction of early career teachers. The aim of your studies is to contribute policy alternatives to help education systems better support insecure early career teachers.

Upon completion of this project, you will be capable of designing and leading your own research projects and collaborating with research colleagues and industry partners. You will have the ability to make theoretical contributions and create practical frameworks that can translate your findings into meaningful practice. 

Additionally, you will develop strong research integrity and ethical values and have the skills to effectively disseminate your research findings to a wide range of audiences. Alongside learning how to write for academia via journal articles and conference papers, there is also the potential for public engagement via the media and blogs (e.g., The Conversation).

As a member of the Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI) and through your collaboration with industry partners, you will have highly desirable networking and skill development opportunities to advance your career.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI). It is one of the largest research concentrations in the world that is focused on contributing to new knowledge about issues related to educational and social inclusion.

Like many countries, Australia is experiencing widening economic and educational inequality which is undermining the social cohesion, national productivity, and the wellbeing of the population. In fact, Australia is now one of the least equitable educational systems in the OECD.

CRESI researchers have a range of interdisciplinary expertise to undertake a broad scope of research that contribute to and mitigate educational and social inequalities.

Our mission is to generate research-based knowledge to inform inclusive educational and social policy and practices across the lifespan. We conduct interdisciplinary research to generate knowledge of systemic forms of exclusion? policy analysis and critique focusing on policies' effects? theory building to understand complex phenomena? and case studies of hopeful sites of educational and social inclusion. Our research contributes to greater education equity to enhance social cohesion and wellbeing.

Supervisory Team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $29,863 per annum is available to eligible applicants. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information for domestic students or international students.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally, applicants who are able to demonstrate the following will be highly regarded:
  • Industry experience - in Education or Human Resource Management

All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our Magill Campus in the East of Adelaide.

Essential Dates 

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Sunday, 29 January, 2023

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

IMPORTANT: This site is optimised for the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Note that earlier versions of any browsers mentioned are supported, but likely to demonstrate slower response times.

By choosing to continue, you agree to the privacy policy. Show Privacy Policy