Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship

Empowering women to make a real impact in the world.

Expression of interest is now closed. The successful applicant will commence studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia starting in 2023.


The Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship recognises the humanitarian and social justice achievements of international icon Shah Rukh Khan.

This four year research scholarship valued at more than $225,000 (AUD) is open to aspiring female researchers who are Indian citizens, primarily residing in India, and want to make a meaningful impact in the world through a PhD. The successful candidate will attend La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia from 2023 to 2026.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship, you must:

  • be an aspiring female Indian Masters graduate with a desire to undertake one of the eight PhD Research Projects offered by La Trobe University.
  • be a citizen of India.
  • be a permanent, primary residence in India
  • attained a high level of achievement, including a Masters by research degree in a relevant discipline completed within the past 10 years, and has been assessed equivalent to a La Trobe University Master’s by research degree standard of 70 or above.

Preference will be given to applicants who have not studied outside India at a university level previously.

Application process

  • Applicants must submit an expression of interest (EOI) by Friday 23 September 2022.

  • All successful EOI applicants will be contacted in mid-October 2022 and invited to submit a full application by 11 November 2022.

  • Following a review of applications and interviews with short-listed candidates, it is anticipated that the successful scholarship recipient will be announced in early 2023.

  • The successful candidate will be expected to commence her research placement at La Trobe University by mid-2023.

Scholarship benefits

The scholarship recipient will be supported with a four-year research scholarship valued at more than $225,000 (AUD) to be undertaken at La Trobe’s prestigious campus in Melbourne, Bundoora. She will explore a research focus on a wide range of themes under the supervision of world-leading experts at a university ranked in the top 1% worldwide*.

The benefits include:

  • a Full Fee Research Scholarship for four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
  • a La Trobe University Graduate Research Scholarship for three and a half years, with a value of $32,500 AUD per annum (2022 rate) to support living costs
  • visa length Overseas Student Health Cover with Medibank for a single person
  • visa application costs for a single person
  • a $3,000 AUD travel allowance to cover travel costs from India to Melbourne
  • opportunities to work with award-winning researchers, in world-class research facilities and access to La Trobe’s suite of professional development programs.

Research projects

You will need to nominate one of the eight research projects listed below. Only one scholarship will be awarded from the research projects.

These projects align with La Trobe’s priority research themes linked to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The research themes broadly seek to make a positive impact on the lives of people, their communities and the environment in which they live.

Supervisor: Professor Nora Shields and Professor Shannon Munteanu

School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport

Project Summary: This project will investigate the kind of shoes children with Down syndrome want to wear and need to wear. It will involve qualitative studies using interviewing techniques and quantitative studies using up-to-date technology such as three-dimensional foot scans and photography.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Raelene Wilding

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Project Summary: India is one of the primary source countries for migration to Australia, and the proportion of older migrants is increasing. This raises questions about how Australia can best provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care and support in later life. This project will inform future Australian healthcare and aged care services by investigating the meaning and expectations of wellbeing in later life for older Indian migrants in Australia.

Supervisor: Dr Tarryn Phillips

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Project Summary: Complications arising from type two diabetes mellitus are a major health problem amongst poorer communities in India and the Indian diaspora in Australia. To better understand these health inequities, this comparative project will explore the structural and everyday dynamics that shape how diabetes is managed, treated and experienced by Indian communities in these two contexts of marginalisation. The project will inform improvements in healthcare, access and wellbeing.

SupervisorProfessor Grant Drummond, Associate Professor Steve Petrovski and Associate Professor Antony Vinh

School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment

Project Summary: Disturbances to the gut microbiome (dysbiosis) are thought to contribute to many disease conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. This project will seek to understand the role bacteriophages – viruses that specifically infect bacterial cells – play in the development of gut dysbiosis in the hope that we can use this knowledge to develop new therapeutic or dietary interventions to treat chronic diseases.

Supervisor: Professor Caixian Tang

School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment

Project Summary: Climate change is impacting farming production. While increased CO2 in the atmosphere can stimulate plant growth, its effects on soil nutrient supply and carbon sequestration in the short and long term are unknown. This soil-based project aims to understand the effect of elevated atmospheric CO2, through the study of crop roots, on soil carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen cycles, and associated microbial mechanisms. It will provide vital information for the prediction of climate change impacts on soil health required for sustainable farming systems.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Deborah Gleeson

School of Psychology and Public Health

Project Summary: India’s generic medicines industry provides access to affordable medicines for much of the world. This project will use qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the implications of India’s trade policies and negotiating positions for its role in providing affordable medicines, and how it can advance equitable global access to medicines.

Supervisor: Dr Jennifer Wood

School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment

Project Summary: The remediation of degraded soils is urgently needed to reclaim arable land and restore the health of ecosystems. Soil microorganisms can be harnessed, either by themselves or in partnership with plants, to remediate land contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants. Rather than isolate novel microbiota to be used as bio-stimulants, this project seeks instead to enhance remediation by stimulating the native soil communities. This holistic approach integrates ecological theory, microbiology, and next-generation sequencing to identify links between microbial metabolism and microbial remediation traits that can be translated into management actions.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Leesa Hooker

La Trobe Rural Health School

Project Summary: This project will explore the under-researched topic of alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual violence, including an examination of media reporting and women's lived experiences. Solutions will be developed using co-designed methods to prevent violence and provide education for health and community services.

Scholarship background

The Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship was announced in August 2019.

SRK received his first Australian Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), during a visit to La Trobe’s Melbourne campus. This prestigious honour was presented in recognition of SRK’s wide-ranging humanitarian work, including establishing the Meer Foundation to support and empower women who have survived acid attacks in India.

SRK’s philanthropic leadership reflects La Trobe's values of inclusiveness, equity and social justice. Our scholarship with the Indian icon continues our five-decade history of engagement with Indian culture – from academic programs to study tours, research partnerships and student exchanges.

In early 2022, La Trobe University welcomed Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi, the first recipient of the Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship to Melbourne.

Gopika is currently working with La Trobe’s leading experts to develop new ways for protecting the world’s honeybee population from viruses, pollutants and declining diversity in flora.

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*Times Higher Education (THE), 2020, World University Rankings 2020; Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 2019, Ranking Web of Universities

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