Internal or External

Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Lisl Fenwick

Main Campus

Applications Close
03 Jun 2024

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (2024 rates) available to domestic applicants only

About this project

Harness dialogic practice for maximum impact in schools

If you are seeking to advance your career in the education and training industry and interested in driving change in schools through dialogic practices, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD with community impact within the Centre for Research in Education and Social Inclusion (CRESI).

Our project aims to apply and extend understanding and application of dialogic practices within school systems and classrooms. We aim to extend knowledge of how teachers can use dialogic practices within classrooms to support student oracy development and learning. Our project will also explore how dialogic practices can be used to support whole-school change in one school context.

You will be situated within CRESI in Education Futures. CRESI hosts several national and international Visiting Research Fellows and you will have expert guidance and mentorship from world-renowned researchers. 

You will also have opportunities to engage with the developing research program on oracy at UniSA. This program includes work with school sites in Adelaide and rural SA and you would have the opportunity to observe and be part of the professional learning and action research that the oracy sites are involved in.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will need to make multiple trips to a school site that has used dialogic practices to navigate whole school change. You will also immerse yourself within the school site in order to undertake ethnographic field work. You may be able negotiate with the site when these periods of immersion will occur during the data collection part of the project.

Upon completion, you will have an impressive suite of skills, abilities and practical experiences that will position you well in the job market. There are ample opportunities for you to start building a strong and dynamic professional and academic network.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in 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 $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $50,291 per annum. 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.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:
  • Leadership experience in a site where dialogic practices have been used to navigate whole-school change
  • Time and willingness to use ethnographic and narrative research designs, which involve substantial time immersed within a school site for field work
All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. The successful applicant is expected to study full-time.

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 Monday 3 Jun 2024.

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.

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