Available Opportunities

Three Year PhD Scholarship: Urbanising Western China Project

The Department of Politics and Philosophy at La Trobe University invites applications for a full-time, fully-funded, three year PhD scholarship to conduct research related to an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project entitled “Urbanising Western China: Nation-building and Social Mobilisation on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier” (DP180101651).

The deadline for submitting the initial application is 9 April 2018. It is anticipated that the student’s PhD candidature will commence on 1 July 2018, although there is some flexibility here.

For more information and to submit an initial expression of interest, please email James Leibold (j.leibold@latrobe.edu.au).


In recent years, urbanisation has become the dominant model of development for the ethnically diverse western regions of the People’s Republic of China. It is the primary mechanism within a suite of ethnic policies for integrating territorially concentrated minority populations into urban melting pots where restive minorities can be shaped into hyphenated Chinese citizens through economic participation, ‘mingling’ and ‘fusing’ with the majority Han Chinese population, and through technologies of surveillance and social control. However, urbanisation also provides new opportunities for ethnic mobilisation in ways that challenge state hegemony and potentially undermine Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘dream’ of a strong and unified China. Focusing on China’s Tibetan areas, this project will examine urbanisation as a mechanism for state and nation-building, and the complex ways China’s six million Tibetans are responding.

The PhD candidate will work closely with the project team, Associate Professor James Leibold (La Trobe), Associate Professor Ben Hillman (ANU) and Dr. Gerald Roche (La Trobe), and will be based at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.


The scholarship comes with a full tuition fee waiver plus a living expense allowance of approximately A$27,000 per annum, plus the ability to apply for additional research funding.


  • Applicants must be fluent in Tibetan and Mandarin Chinese, and possess a high level of written and spoken English.
  • They must also be a university graduates with at least an upper second class honours degree or a Master’s degree, or they will be in the final year of a program that is expected to deliver that qualification.
  • La Trobe University requires that all international PhD students demonstrate English language proficiency by obtaining an overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 on the IELTS (Academic) exam or an overall score of 575 with 5 or better in TWE (Test of Written English) on the TOEFL.

Required Documents

  • a CV
  • an example of written English work, and
  • a single-page covering letter describing your suggested PhD topic and how it relates to the research project

Staff Exchange Program for Research Collaboration with Chinese Researchers - Call for Expressions of Interest

Under the La Trobe University China Strategy Implementation Grant Program, the China Studies Research Centre has funding to support staff exchange for the purposes of research collaboration between La Trobe University and (1) Peking University; (2) Beijing Foreign Studies University; (3) Wuhan University; and (4) the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing).

The aim of this program is to improve the volume and quality of joint research with China-based researchers, and to help La Trobe staff better understand China through improved access to China-focused scholarship.

Funding of up to $5000 will be available to support La Trobe staff traveling to one of these four institutions or staff from these four institutions traveling to La Trobe, to undertake collaborative research.

Deadline for submission of EOI: 31 March 2018.

Funds must be acquitted in 2018. The successful applicants must make flight bookings before the following deadlines:

  • La Trobe University academics to visit China: Friday 27 July 2018
  • Chinese academics to visit La Trobe University: Friday 31 August 2018

The China Studies Research Centre reserves the right to withdraw the grants, should the deadlines be missed.

Expressions of interest to participate in the 2018 program, including

  • a brief outline of planned research activities;
  • the names and affiliations of proposed collaborators/hosts; and
  • indicative budget

should be sent to csrc@latrobe.edu.au.

For enquiries please contact Professor John Makeham by emailing J.Makeham@latrobe.edu.au.

Successful Applicants for 2017 China Studies Staff Exchange Program