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Call for PhD Applications: ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation

It’s that time of the year again: my research centre, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), is calling for applications from prospective PhD students (and while this call focusses on PhDs, Masters and Honours applications are also due around the same time…). Undertaking your PhD at the CCI means you will be working with world class researchers who can offer supervision of the highest standards. Our research activities cover a broad range of emerging issues, themes and projects across the entertainment and creative industries including innovation and policy development; significant project collaborations with Asia; a major project looking at broadband services; mapping the creative industries; IP law; a global cultural futures study and other projects which engage community and industry partners in creative industries from major film studios to the Salvation Army and ‘at-risk’ young people working as media co-creators. visit the CCI Projects Page at to find out more about the Centre’s activities. There are a broad range of research opportunities available across the CCI’s member organisations in Australia, and I encourage you to have a look at the Website for the full details – application deadlines vary from university to university. Successful PhD projects would start in early 2011.

For applications to my university – Queensland University of Technology, based in Brisbane, Australia –, the relevant application deadlines are 30 September 2010 for international students, and 15 Oct. 2010 for domestic students.

Overall, I am interested in PhD applications from anyone with a research interest in the broad areas of produsage, Web 2.0, and social media, either in general or with a specific focus on fields and technologies including blogs, citizen journalism, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, social network analysis, government 2.0, or related themes. If any of those themes are of interest to you, please get in touch.

In addition to these broader themes, we’re also calling specifically for expressions of interest for a number of concrete research projects. In my own case, these are related to our research into mapping Australian online publics which will examine interactions across blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, which we’re undertaking as part of an ARC Discovery project, and to our work researching our changing media ecologies. For these projects, we’re particularly interested in expressions of interest from potential students who operate in the following areas:

Project: Mapping Twitter-Based Discussion Networks
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns ( and Dr Jean Burgess (

Building on the early work outlined at, you will research patterns of interaction on Twitter - for example around specific major events or recurring themes, as negotiated with your supervisors. This will involve further methodological innovation, large-scale quantitative work including automated textual analysis, network mapping and visualisation, as well as in-depth qualitative study of content. Applicants may require some statistics knowledge, software and programming skills relevant to the research, and/or training in media, cultural, and communication studies.

Project: Media Ecologies and Methodological Innovation
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns ( and Dr Jean Burgess (

As the Australian and international media environment changes, from one dominated by the mass media to a more complex media ecology interweaving mass, social, and personal media, new scholarly approaches to understanding that media ecology are necessary. Applicants may wish to focus on specific media themes or events (for example, current societal or political themes, media use during crises, or the specific approaches to new media phenomena that are being pursued by public or commercial media organisations), and propose innovative methodological approaches for their projects. Relevant research skills outside of the media, cultural, and communication studies domain (e.g. in statistics, computer science, and/or network mapping and visualisation) are particularly welcome.

A wide range of other potential PhD projects in the CCI are also available, and are listed here.

We’re very happy to discuss specific research interests related to these projects in more detail via email or in person – see the email contact details above. And if you have a slightly different PhD project idea which you’d like to propose to us, please also get in touch – the ideas above are by no means exhaustive. As noted above: we are especially interested in cross-disciplinary approaches; while we’re coming from a media, cultural, and communication studies background, applicants with relevant skills in statistics, computer science, network mapping, visualisation, and other cognate areas are particularly welcome.

So, hope you can join us – please get in touch! The deadlines for applications at QUT are 30 Sep. 2010 (international students) and 15 Oct. 2010 (domestic students).

Undertaking a PhD at CCI

A PhD at CCI gives you the chance to undertake in-depth study in a specific area, by way of independent learning combined with the mentoring of internationally renowned researchers. Graduate research students at CCI have a passion for their topics and fields of research. They take the opportunity to examine important problems at the cutting edge of their disciplines. A list of current CCI research students and their topics is available at:

Applicants would normally have completed a recognised Australian master's degree by research or bachelor's degree with first or second class honours (division 1).

To support you in your research studies, The Commonwealth Government Department of Education provides Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) which are tenable at an Australian tertiary institution for doctoral and masters research degrees. The scholarships are each valued at $22,500 (tax free) per annum with additional relocation and thesis allowances. Competition for the APA is high.

Prospective students, both domestic and international, may also apply for university awarded post graduate scholarships. Some of these offer a living allowance comparable to the APA scholarships as well as offering a number of top-up scholarships. For further information on scholarships, see