Applications are now open for Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships to undertake higher degree research (HDR) in alignment with programs of research at the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre under the supervision of our researchers.

2023 Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships

Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre is pleased to offer five fully funded Higher Degree by Research (HDR) research scholarships under the Research Training Program (RTP) scheme.

Each HDR scholarship offers a full fee offset and an annual stipend of $28,854 per annum for up to 3.5 years. For more detailed information about the scholarship, click here.

On top of the RTP scholarship program, the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre will provide a 33 per cent enhancement to the standard HDR student stipend and a desk space to facilitate co-location with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre researchers.

Applications for the RTP Scholarships close on Thursday 18 August 2022.

Project 1 – Gendered impact of climate change and policy responses

Project lead: Dr Abebe Hailemariam, Research Fellow, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

The 2019-20 Australian bushfire has been a poignant reminder of the repercussions of climate change risks to our health and wellbeing, livelihoods, and economic performances. Scientists have warned that the risk of bushfire driven by climate change in Australia will increase and the frequency and intensity will continue to become more severe without substantial efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  It is argued that women are more vulnerable than their male counterparts to adverse effects of climate change. This disparity in vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change may reinforce the pre-existing and well-founded gender inequalities as it may cause a disproportionate hardship for women. It is crucial to understand the nature of such threats to health and wellbeing of the vulnerable groups to formulate informed policy options and enforce appropriate preventive measures.

The proposed PhD research topic explores the gendered impact of natural disasters aggravated by climate change shocks and the effectiveness of policy responses in improving the resilience to climate shock vulnerability. They key research questions include: (i) is there a gender health and wellbeing gap in shock experiences to natural disasters such as bushfires in Australia? (ii) how affective are policy responses to climate change and disaster that need to be strengthened as part of disaster preparedness and prevention? (ii) what is the cross-country evidence on gendered laws and resilience to natural disasters? Answers to these questions have important policy implications to the growing threat of natural disasters from climate change and its impacts on mental-health and wellbeing. These questions will be explored with a particular focus on the impact of natural disasters in Australia, aiming at developing a framework to guide the design of policies that promote environmental stainability and resilience to climates shock.

For more information about this project, click here.

Project 2 – Loneliness in the changing world

Project lead: Professor Alan Duncan, Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

Our society is at increasing risk of loneliness. As of 2019, around three million people in Australia were lonely most of the time. Loneliness has significant adverse health effects and costs the country’s economy about $2.7 billion a year (Duncan et al 2021). However, some groups of the population are at higher risk of loneliness than others, which is likely to translate into poorer health, productivity and disadvantage for these groups. Economic and health shocks may exacerbate loneliness. Finally, while a number of initiatives by government and non-government agencies seek to address the issue of loneliness and isolation, there is virtually no strong evidence of their impact.

The task of this project is to gain a deeper understanding of the full distribution of loneliness in our society, and to explore the effects of loneliness on individual economic, social and health outcomes over time. The project is also intended to provide evidence on interventions that help to mitigate loneliness.

For more information about this project, click here.

Project 3 – Parents’ work hours and child health, wellbeing, and educational outcomes

Project lead: Professor Mike Dockery, Principal Research Fellow, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

Familial time is an important resource for optimal child development. Research has shown that parents’ work time, as a proxy measure of parental time spent with children, is linked to diet quality and risk for overweight and obesity in children and adolescents (e.g., in Western Australia and Germany). However, there is limited research focusing on the impact of parents’ work hours on other domains of child development, e.g., mental health and wellbeing and educational outcomes. Longitudinal analysis, especially that using longer time spans during child development, is rare. This project aims to fill this gap by investigating the trajectory of both mothers’ and fathers’ working hours and schedules, and the impact that these have on child social and emotional wellbeing and school achievement from infancy to adolescence. The analysis will use two main longitudinal datasets: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) as the primary data source, and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA).  The analyses will assess potential mediators (e.g., parenting stress, work-family conflict, time use, parental mental health and wellbeing) and moderators (parent socioeconomic and child characteristics, work time flexibility) between parental work hours and their impact on children. The Raine Study data may also be employed to explore the impact of parents’ work hours on specific health issues for which the Raine Study offers better measures.  The main analytical methods will include both random- and fixed-effects models and mediation analysis.

The PhD project will be supervised by leading experts in the research field on work-family and work-health interfaces, with connections to the Berlin Social Science Centre and Telethon Kids. The findings of the project will be publishable in high quality international journals and have significant implications for work and family policy and service provision in Australia and internationally.

For more information about this project, click here.

Project 4 – The legacy of violence in Australia on contemporary crime and gendered patterns of household interactions

Project lead: Dr Silvia Salazar, Research Fellow, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

The economics literature has widely studied the impact of economic conditions on the onset of civil conflicts and crime. However, there exists little quantitative evidence about the historical causes of contemporary violence and crime, especially in Australia. As a result, the inter-generational transmission of economic disadvantage and its interaction with crime is not fully understood in Australia and therefore no active policy has been put in place to break the cycle. This is particularly important in the national context as British settlements in the country have rarely been peaceful.

This study will seek to fill this gap from an economic point of view and study in particular:

  1. The main historical causes of contemporary violence and crime by interrogating historical data on colonisation and settlements.
  2. Understanding how the inter-generational transmission of economic disadvantage might still have an impact on today’s crime and what policies can be put in place to break the cycle.
  3. Study how the legacy of violence influences gendered patterns of household interactions and decision making even after decades of Australian colonisation.

For more information about this project, click here.

Project 5 – Understanding the labour market discrimination against LGBT people

Project lead: Associate Professor Astghik Maviskalyan, Principal Research Fellow, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

A large body of work in economics studies the labour market outcomes and discrimination faced by women and ethnic minorities. In comparison, economics studies on labour market outcomes of gender and sexual minorities are relatively scarce. As a result, there is limited quantitative evidence to inform the public policy discussions and legal debates on issues impacting the lives of these minorities.
This project will fill the gaps in knowledge by studying the outcomes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in a collection of quantitative studies. The project will:

1. Conduct a field experiment to study the effect of gender and sexual minority signaling in fictitious CVs on the probability of obtaining a job interview offer in the Australian labour market.
2. Study whether employers treat the workers within the groups defined by sexual identity differently by tracking the progression of earnings and returns to occupational mobility within the different sexual identity groups.
3. Evaluate the role of formal and informal institutions and policies in shaping the rights and wellbeing of gender and sexual minorities across countries.

For more information about this project, click here.

Applications for the RTP Scholarships close on Thursday 18 August 2022.

2023 Higher Degree by Research Curtin Scholarships

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. A$60,000 – $70,000 p.a.

Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100 per cent fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022.

Project 1 – Women’s challenges and progression in the workplace

Project lead: Associate Professor Astghik Maviskalyan, Principal Research Fellow, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

In spite of significant progress over the past decades, women continue to face a significant disadvantage in the labour market. There is a large body of research on gender wage gap and its drivers, yet policies succeeding to eliminate it are largely lacking. Gender bias beyond the measured pay gaps is persistent and there is mounting evidence on sexual harassment experienced by women at work. This project will fill important gaps in knowledge on wider gender bias in the workplace through the use of multiple micro- and macro-level datasets. The project will:

  1. Collect data on the dynamics of workplace sexual harassment and identify the effects of workplace characteristics and circumstances on rates of harassment.
  2. Identify the patterns of selection to, and survival in leadership roles among women in organizations, and evaluate the role of workplace policies in mitigating the barriers faced by women.
  3. Analyse vertical (inter-generational) and horizontal (intra-generational) transmission of gender-biased employment norms and the role of societal shocks in potentially modifying the existing patterns.

For more information about this project, click here.

Applications for the HDR Scholarships close on Thursday 18 August 2022.