Call for Applications
PhD (Graduate Research) Scholarship

Applications are invited from suitably qualified scholars for a PhD scholarship to undertake a higher degree by research and join Professor Adrienne Stone’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship Program in Comparative Constitutional Law.   Successful candidates must commence the scholarship in February 2018. The program is establishing an interdisciplinary research team based at Melbourne Law School and is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) from 2016 to 2021.

About Melbourne Law School

Melbourne Law School (MLS) is Australia's first all-graduate law faculty. Melbourne Law School was the first faculty in Australia to teach law and awarded this country's first law degrees. The Law School is now fully graduate with its Juris Doctor for admission to practice recognised as a high-level qualification in Australia and beyond. Coupled with the unrivaled excellence of Melbourne Law Masters and its excellent Graduate Research Degree programs, the Law School offers a unique opportunity for the integration of scholarship and teaching.

Its faculty is a vibrant community of creative scholars, committed to a highly collegial, research-intensive institutional life. The Law School has particular strengths in comparative analysis. It aims to integrate teaching with research and engagement activities and to engage with local, national and global communities. It is a centre for international collaboration, regularly bringing leading international scholars to Australia to teach, participate in conferences, and conduct master classes for doctoral students. The Law School is a single department faculty located in a custom-designed building in University Square. The Law School has approximately 2,200 graduate students (including JD, Melbourne Law Masters, and PhD).

About the Laureate Program

The Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law aims to address a problem for liberal democracies: the need to reconcile the tensions between the pursuit of diversity and the promotion of social cohesion. The critical problem is becoming increasingly urgent as nations grapple with the challenges of highly diverse multi-cultural societies. The team working on the Fellowship will draw on the experiences of constitutionalism throughout the world to investigate how Constitutions, in their design and in their application, can serve as a unifying force while still nurturing the diversity appropriate for a complex, modern society.

This program will develop a new and comprehensive framework in which to understand how constitutions should balance the achievement of social cohesion while nurturing social diversity. Its core elements are in:

  1. Identifying and developing the understanding of how constitutions balance their unifying role with the need to foster diversity;
  2. Explaining and justifying the mechanisms by which constitutions balance these; and
  3. Using a broad comparative study of these phenomena to generate progress in the development of methodologies in comparative constitutional law.

In order to offer an excellent research training environment, the program will include a regular series of seminars, workshops, and reading groups designed to discuss work in progress, recent literature, and methodological and theoretical developments. These meetings will enable scholars working across disciplines to establish a shared interdisciplinary framework and language, and integrate perspectives and approaches across law, constitutional law, and related fields.

About the Team

The successful applicants will be part of a team of internationally recruited early career academics, with two postdoctoral researchers and a research fellow, and another PhD student that work with Professor Stone. Further, the award of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship allows Professor Stone to undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research by providing visiting fellowships for outstanding female early career researchers in constitutional law and related fields, and is designed to build international collaboration with influential and innovative scholars and practitioners in order to make important contributions to central questions of constitutional governance.

Scholarships now Open