Indian Equality Law PhD Scholarship

Applications are invited from suitably qualified scholars for a PhD scholarship at Melbourne Law School (MLS) on any aspect of Indian equality or anti-discrimination law. Comparative law research proposals are welcome, provided they have a significant Indian law dimension. The successful candidate will be jointly supervised by Associate Professor Tarunabh Khaitan. Funding for the scholarship is provided by Melbourne Law School and the Letten Prize awarded to Associate Professor Khaitan in 2018. Facilitation of co-supervision from non-law disciplines will be considered for interdisciplinary proposals.

The successful candidate will also receive automatic entry into the Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Doctoral Academy.

Applications from traditionally under-represented groups in legal academy are especially welcome.

This PhD scholarship is available to a high achieving domestic (Australian national) or international student.

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.  Its faculty is a vibrant community of creative scholars, committed to a highly collegial, research-intensive institutional life.

Melbourne Law School is ranked:

  • No 1 law school in Australia and No 7 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject, 2018)
  • No 1 law school in Australia and No 8 in the world (Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject, 2018)

Further information about graduate research at Melbourne Law School is available here.

The successful candidate will be based at MLS and will benefit from a research-intensive environment, including interactions with visiting equality law scholars, whose visits will be facilitated by the Indian Equality Law Program. The PhD candidate will be expected to follow the life of the project, and attend seminars, workshops, and reading groups at MLS.  In addition, the successful candidate will benefit from the collegial environment for PhD students at MLS, which includes a comprehensive orientation program, a monthly Research Support Program, Graduate Research Colloquia and an active Graduate Student Association.

Candidates are also encouraged to look up the activities of the Asian Law Centre and the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at MLS.

Indian applicants can find out relevant information about studying at MLS here.

Stipend and benefits

This scholarship provides full fee offset and an annual stipend of $30,600 (2019 full-time study rate, indexed annually). The maximum duration of the stipend is 3.5 years full-time equivalent and the maximum duration of the fee offset is 4 years full-time equivalent. A relocation allowance of AUD $2,000 will be granted for candidates who need to move from outside Victoria or AUD $3,000 for candidates who need to move from outside Australia to study at the University of Melbourne.  Limited paid sick, maternity and parenting leave is available. Scholarship benefits can be found here.

The successful candidate will also be eligible to apply for up to AUD $4,000 project funding over the course of their candidature for approved travel, fieldwork and conference attendance.

Please note: Candidates from outside Australia are responsible for obtaining and funding any necessary visas.


Eligible applicants must:

  • must meet the general eligibility requirements including English language requirements for undertaking a PhD at MLS
  • have completed at least a four-year Australian Bachelor degree or overseas equivalent and achieved an overall average of greater than 75% in the final year of the degree
  • have completed a research project/component that accounts for at least 25% of their year's work at 4th year undergraduate or masters level
  • demonstrate current knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their research higher degree through relevant work and/or research experience (where applicable)
  • contact two academic referees. If you have prior professional and/or research experience, please provide employer referee/s for each position held. Your referees will be required to provide information about your academic ability and judgement of your research potential
  • be available to undertake research full-time in Melbourne
  • have not completed a PhD previously
  • be able to commence their PhD in February 2019

Applications for PhD scholarship must be submitted with clearly identified titles as listed below, and include the following by Friday 2 November 2018:

  • A current CV outlining education background, prior professional and research experience and publications relevant to your proposed research project
  • Scanned copy in colour of the original document of all higher education transcripts, completion statement (official translation, if applicable) and grading schemes
  • Research proposal (maximum 2,000 words)
  • Statement outlining reasons for seeking to participate in the Indian Equality Law Program (maximum 250 words)
  • Information on prior research completed (eg. Honours thesis, Masters thesis)
  • Evidence of meeting University's English language requirements

Further, to maintain confidentiality, two referee reports are to be sent directly from the referees to

Address the application to Associate Professor Tarunabh Khaitan, and submit it to

Important Dates

Monday 24 September 2018
Application submission opens
Friday 2 November 2018
Application submission closes
Wednesday 14 November 2018
Shortlisted applicants advised
Monday 19 November - Wednesday 21 November 2018
Shortlist interview (in person or by videoconferencing, eg. Skype) with co-supervisors
Wednesday 5 December 2018
Successful candidate to submit University of Melbourne Graduate Research Application Form online
Monday 25 February 2019 
Candidature commences


Direct enquiries about the application process to: