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Future of Work Institute

PhD Top Up Scholarship

About this scholarship


The Future of Work Institute (FOWI) is a major new initiative of Curtin University to engage with the rapidly changing world of work. Under the directorship of Professor Mark Griffin and the academic leadership of Professors Sharon K Parker and Marylene Gagne and Associate Professors Patrick Dunlop and Karina Jorritsma, the Institute will research and implement new approaches and policies with government and industry partners to create a purposeful and productive future that works for everyone.

The Institute has funds to provide incentives to 4 PhD students for which interested candidates need to apply no later than 11.59pm (AWST) on Sunday, 2 September 2018.

To be eligible, each student will need to be eligible to apply for a PhD scholarship at Curtin University.

Requirements specific to the project are as follows:

  • Applicants should typically have a background in organisational psychology/organisational behaviour, or a closely related area such as cognitive, health or social psychology.

  • The successful applicants will be resident in Perth WA, or be prepared to move to Perth for the duration of their candidature and will be ready to commence their candidature in early 2019.

  • Candidates must have as their primary supervisor one of the Professors/Associate Professors based in FOWI.

About the Institute


FOWI conducts collaborative research to support new ways of working in the digital age. The Institute is dedicated to ensuring all people can thrive through work experiences and opportunities.

The Institute conducts research at the nexus of policy and practice designed to have a real impact on people, their work life, and work environment. We work with business, government, and not-for-profit organisations to create new ways of organising work and optimising human capability in the workplace.

The founding principle of the Institute is that productive and meaningful work is essential for a healthy economy and society.  The Institute has already established collaborative relationships with over 40 industry partners to explore how future work can create opportunities for everyone.

Curtin’s strong relationship with industry will ensure that a highly interactive facility in the city of Perth will be a hub for developing and implementing new insights.

FOWI is a world-leading hub of researchers, practitioners, and end-users improving work life in a technological age. Through leading-edge research and its dissemination, the Institute will:

  • Use data and evidence to support continuous transition in the world of work

  • Understand employment patterns and opportunities across the lifespan

  • Design and implement better ways of working in the digital age

Thematic research programs


We are looking for PhD candidates interested in a project in one of the following four research programs:

Organisations and the mature workforce

This research program is part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Population Ageing. Led by Australian Research Council Laureate Professor Sharon Parker, Director of the Centre for Transformative Work Design, the aim of this research is to identify work designs and practices to attract and retain mature workers in organisations, thus enhancing their performance and well-being, and improving productivity within organisations and society more broadly. For further information on this program, click here.

Work skills and motivation

Engaging people through changing organisational structures, intensive communication media, and fluctuating demands. Professor Marylene Gagne leads this program and will work alongside Associate Professor Patrick Dunlop when he joins the Institute in January 2019. Marylene and Patrick want to hear from potential PhD candidates interested in carrying out one of the following projects:

  • Newcomer socialisation: exploring the socialisation tactics today’s organisations use to ensure newcomers learn about their job and internalise organisational values, and evaluating how effective tactics are in helping newcomers being engaged and committed. Various research methods will be used including interviews, longitudinal organisational surveys, and experimental studies.


  • Incentives and compensation: exploring how different forms of compensation influence employee motivation, performance, and well-being using experimental and field organisational research methods.


  • Developing team motivation: using experimental and field longitudinal research methods, this research program involves looking at structural and process factors that influence the development of team motivation, considering the composition of individual members’ initial motivations.


Human System Integration

How do people work with technology and automation in complex and uncertain environments? Example projects involve studies of action teams in defence, emergency response, and other high-risk environments. Professor Mark Griffin is seeking candidates with an interest in team-work, human performance, and the integration of human factors, organisational psychology, and organisational behaviour domains.

Data Analytics and decision making

How do integrated data systems support decision making? Projects in this area involve a variety of organisational challenges involving the integration of data across levels of analysis and spans of time. Example projects include the integration of sleep, fatigue, work load and wellbeing measures and the integration of organisational performance measures with indicators of individual health, safety, and wellbeing. Professor Mark Griffin is seeking candidates with an interest in mathematical modelling, data integration, and other aspects of data science that intersect with human behaviour.


4 x scholarship top ups of a $12,000 per annum, per scholarship for up to 3 years duration (maximum $36,000) per each scholarship (Year 1: $12,000, Year 2: $12,000, Year 3: $12,000) i.e. this scholarship is in addition to the stipend (currently $27,082 p.a.) provided under an RTP scholarship. Further, the successful students will be provided with a support package which includes a laptop, travel allowance and project costs allowance.

Eligibility criteria

The candidate must be eligible to enrol into a PhD at Curtin University, and be eligible for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship.

Candidates must be enrolled full –time.

Candidates must have as their primary supervisor one of the Professors/Associate Professors based in the Future of Work Institute.

Conditions that need to be met to keep your scholarship


To maintain the scholarship, the successful candidate must be in receipt of an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, a recipient with unsatisfactory progress or who breaches the scholarship conditions shall be ineligible to retain the scholarship. Determination of exceptional circumstances shall be at the discretion of the FOWI Director, Professor Mark Griffin.

How to apply

Interested candidates need to no later than 11.59pm (AWST) on Sunday, 2 September 2018, apply for an RTP Scholarship through Curtin University’s application portal, taking necessary steps to nominate one of the Professors/Associate Professors from FOWI as your supervisor. Visit the RTP scholarship and application webpages.

All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.

General enquiries


Ms Abbe Rorrison

FOWI Centre Manager


T: +61 8 9266 4936

Potential supervisor enquiries


Before you lodge your application, we ask that you make contact with your potential FOWI supervisor. Their contact details are:

ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Sharon K Parker

Director, Centre for Transformative Work Design


T: +61 8 9266 4984


Professor Marylene Gagne 

T: +61 8 9266 4825

Marylene’s publications

Professor Mark Griffin


T: +61 8 9266 2279

Mark’s publications

Dr Patrick Dunlop

Please direct all enquires to Dr Marylene Gagne

Patrick’s publications

3459BAL_Future of Work Institute logo_Ma

PhD Opportunities at the Centre

The Centre for Transformative Work Design seeks to better society through the encouragement of good work design principles. We are committed to conducting high quality research that is of relevance to the community and industry. 

Potential PhD students at CTWD have an opportunity to choose to work in a wide variety of topics that will result in meaningful impact to the way we work. Additionally, you will also have access to the expertise of leading researchers in the field of work design.

Doing your PhD also gives you the opportunity to interact and network with our vibrant research community and obtain a qualification at a research focused institution.


Contact the Centre for more information and submit a CV and a personal statement outlining your interest in doing a PhD with us.

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