PhD Scholarship in Politics and International Relations
Monash University Arts Graduate Research

Monash University PhD Scholarship in Politics and International Relations – Internationalisation and Democracy

Job No.: 602818

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3-year and 3-month fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive a Faculty of Arts Research Living Allowance, at current value of $29,000 per annum 2020 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at: Faculty will provide the tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) for successful international awardee.

The Opportunity

Monash University Arts Graduate Research is funding a PhD scholarship as part of the Australian Research Council funded project ‘Internationalisation and Democracy’, which is led by Professor Robert Thomson (School of Social Sciences, Monash University) and Professor Christina Schneider (Department of Political Science, University of California San Diego). The Australian Research Council funded this project under its prestigious Discovery Project scheme.

The larger project, of which the PhD project is part, examines how internationalisation affects the quality of democratic representation in established democracies such as Australia, the US and the UK. This is a highly relevant topic, as around the world, many politicians and citizens believe that international organisations and economic openness threaten democracy. At the same time, many of the most pressing problems, such as climate change and poverty reduction, can only be addressed through effective international cooperation. Researchers also disagree on the impact of international integration on democratic performance.

The larger project is designed to make significant contributions to knowledge by examining the extent to which, and conditions under which internationalisation affects the quality of democratic representation in established democracies. It will make fundamental advances with respect to defining internationalisation, and explaining the effects of internationalisation on democratic accountability, responsiveness, and responsibility. Accountability is the extent to which citizens give credit and blame to governments for policies and performance. Responsiveness is the extent to which governments implement policies that are in line with public opinion. The project defines responsibility as the extent to which government policies positively affect economic, social and environmental welfare in the long term. The two leading professors are established researchers in their fields: Thomson in Comparative Politics, and Schneider in International Political Economy and International Relations. Each has strong international networks from which the PhD student will benefit.

The successful candidate will contribute to the wider project and develop their own research program that fits the broad parameters of the project. We envisage that the student will focus on the impact of internationalisation on democratic accountability, responsiveness and responsibility in Australia and the United States. We would also consider a PhD project on other pairs of countries, or a comparison of one or two of the three aspects across more countries. The details of the PhD research are flexible and depend on the successful applicant’s expertise and interests.

Working on a PhD as part of a larger project has major advantages. The successful candidate will be integrated into a successful research agenda that has been funded by a prestigious and highly competitive funding scheme. They will have access to funding to support fieldwork, travel, and conference attendance. The candidate will also receive expert supervision from research leaders in relevant fields. Furthermore, we envisage that the PhD candidate will co-author with the professors. The candidate will participate in funded conferences, and further research training tailored to their needs.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in the US (including with UCSD), Europe and Asia. The PhD student will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. Politics and International Relations at Monash is diverse and vibrant, including research expertise in Comparative Politics, Australian Politics, Public Policy, International Relations, International Security, and Gender and Politics. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognized scholars who are successful in attracting national and international competitive funding. UCSD’s Department of Political Science is among the highest-ranked in the US and worldwide. We envisage that the PhD student will conduct a research visit to UCSD at some point during their studies.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an outstanding academic track record in Political Science, International Relations or other relevant disciplines (e.g. Economics or Sociology). Competence in quantitative research methods is desirable.

Applicants will be considered if they meet the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University. In its assessment, the Committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian or New Zealand bachelor's degree with first-class honours or qualifications (including international) and/or research experience deemed equivalent by the University. Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full time and on campus.

Applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

This opportunity is open to candidates of any nationality.

Successful applicants will be expected to enrol by 31st October 2020, but there may be some flexibility regarding the date of commencement.


Professor Robert Thomson, School of Social Sciences,

Submit an Expression of Interest

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability;
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broader project, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research;
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience such as research assistantships;
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation; and
  • Contact details of two academic referees.

You may contact Professor Robert Thomson ( prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Your EOI should be sent in the form of a single attachment to an e-mail to Ms Samantha Lee, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following e-mail address: State “EOI [your name] Internationalisation and Democracy” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (by video call if necessary) in March

Closing Date

Saturday 29 February 2020, 11:59 pm AEDT

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