Progressive Social Change Research Award

A collaboration between the Institute for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University, Melbourne and the Centre for Social and Creative Media, University of Goroka.

This A$20,000 Award will:

  • Support a promising PNG-based researcher in developing her/his research skills, by designing and implementing a social change research project of up to 12 months' duration
  • Generate new knowledge in relation to progressive social change in Papua New Guinea, and
  • Share this new knowledge broadly, including via traditional research outputs and drawing on the CSCM's history of creative and innovative research dissemination (e.g., DVDs, blogging etc.)

Key application criteria:

  • Proposed research projects must examine progressive social change in an applied way
    (i.e., the research must be of practical use);
  • Preference will be given to work that examines participatory and culturally relevant progressive social change in PNG, focusing on people that are marginalised and disadvantaged;
  • All proposals must fit with the aims and the focus of the IHSSC and the CSCM (see below);
  • There is a preference for projects that focus on one of the topic areas currently covered by IHSSC and CSCM, which are (in alphabetical order):

    - Coalitions for change    

    - Communication for development/communication for social change

    - Disability

    - Intersections of gender and sexuality

    - Prevention of gender-based violence

    - Prevention of sorcery-related violence

    - Women's leadership

    Strong proposals related to areas of social change that fall outside of this list will still be considered;

  • The research proposal and dissemination plan are innovative, and

  • The budget and timeline are realistic.

Aims and focus of the IHSSC and CSCM

  • The Institute aims to better understand, support and share the practice of activists, practitioners and collective action processes in promoting progressive social change.
  • The Centre is committed to an interest in media practice and in ensuring that both research and practice produce outputs that are useful to communities.
  • Both are committed to working with and supporting disadvantaged and marginalised communities.

Selection procedure

All applicants are asked to submit an 800-1,200 word narrative proposal, a draft budget, and a timeline to The Director, CSCM ( Please also submit any questions to these addresses.

The deadline for applications is January 10, 2016.

The narrative proposal must:

  • Describe the proposed research project
    • What do you want to research, and why is it important?
    • What are your 'big picture' research questions?
    • How will you seek to answer these questions, and why?
      (e.g. will you review secondary data, such as media reports and online visual or written materials; will you collect 'new' data, by approaching certain people in certain ways; will you do both? How and why?)
    • What is the relevance of your proposed work to the aims & current work of the IHSSC and CSCM?
      (N.B.: proposals that fall outside of our current work will still be considered, but such projects will need a clear explanation of why we should fund work in a different topic area).
    • What outputs will you produce?
      (The IHSSC and CSCM expect to generate 3 co-authored journal articles from this Award, with input from the Awardee; what else will you produce?)
  • Outline the applicant's relevant experience and qualifications
    (N.B.: There is no minimum academic qualification required. Relevant experience in non-academic areas will be given full consideration.)

The dissemination plan must explain:

  • How will you share the knowledge generated during the project?
  • With whom? Why?

The draft budget has to take into account:

  • A maximum of A$10,000 can be allocated to living expenses (to be paid fortnightly by the CSCM).

The timeline has to include the following fixed elements (assuming a 12 month project):

  • 3 months: Research proposal agreed by IHSSC & CSCM; ethics application submitted (via University of Goroka processes)
  • 6 months: Progress report
  • 12 months: Agreed research outcomes delivered

Our commitment to the Awardee:

  • IHSSC & CSCM will provide regular supervision to the Awardee during the life of the Fellowship
  • CSCM will provide the Awardee with a work space for the life of the Award, and with access to audio visual equipment if required

The Awardee will be expected to:

  • Participate in the postgraduate life of CSCM, presenting at least one paper on their research to CSCM and University of Goroka staff and students during the life of the Award
  • Contribute to peer-reviewed journal articles (it is anticipated that a maximum of three such articles will be generated through the Award)
  • Acknowledge the contributions made by the IHSSC/La Trobe University and CSCM/University of Goroka in all outputs
  • Honestly acquit all expenditure

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