Apply for a PhD

The Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance is accepting PhD applications on a rolling basis.

We welcome applications from candidates who wish to specialise in any of the following topics:

  • Theory, practice, and methodology of deliberative democracy
  • Democratic innovations
  • Global governance
  • Democratisation
  • Environmental politics

Candidates from different disciplinary backgrounds are welcome to apply.

How to apply

Contact a potential supervisor from the Centre. In this correspondence, include:

  • A brief statement explaining why you wish to pursue a PhD, the funding arrangement for your study, and reasons for applying to the Centre (less than 1,000 words)
  • A research description (less than 1,000 words)
  • CV
  • Relevant transcript

Once the supervisor supports your application, follow the instructions here to submit your application packet.

Scholarships are available for domestic and international applicants. Follow @DelDemUCan for the latest call for application.

Meet our PhD Students

Mohammad Abdul-Hwas

I joined the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Governance since August 2018 as a PhD Student. Watching the Syrian refugee crisis allowed me to carefully reflect on the politics and ethics underpinning the crisis. The Syrian refugee crisis has inspired me to intervene and support the refugees academically and carry out my own research. The PhD program at The Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance has helped me to start this academic journey. the program provided me the versatility that I will need to reach my full potential as an academic. 

There are excellent academic scholars at the centre that provide advice and feedback in every step and stage; PhD students have also made me feel belong to the centre from day 1. The centre is full of social and academic activities such as weekly morning teas and academic seminars that led by IGPA scholars and visiting scholars from all around the globe.

Contact: Mohammad.Abdul-Hwas | at |  


Nardine Alnemr

Before joining the Centre, I was a demonstrator for two years at a political science department in Egypt. At the time, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of Internet Governance in the Middle East and North Africa advocacy and policy forums. My experience was coloured by a couple of other things such as working for a development NGO. But the more time I spent looking at the range of issues related to internet governance, the more I realised that this is what I should be working on for my PhD. Coming to this realisation coincided with the time an opportunity to join the Centre opened-up.

By the time an offer was in place, I was overwhelmed by how I will be joining brilliant and inspiring academics and researchers. Little had I known that what I feel now is the opposite of overwhelmed. I am rather excited for all the rich and dense conversations everyone at the Centre is up to. The Centre has a very supportive, encouraging, and stimulating environment that is exemplary in bringing different insights, experiences and issues to its different activities. I am personally amazed with the progress and thought-development I underwent since joining.

Contact: Nardine.Alnemr | at | | @nnemr


Jane Alver

Lawyer and mild mannered public servant by day, women’s rights activist by night, I was motivated to start my PhD after attending the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York. Finding the global level was broken inspired me to take a closer look at regional feminism.

The PhD program has helped me refine this big idea from 6 theses to a more manageable 1, given me the skills I need to turn my activist thoughts into academic prose, and supported me to create my new persona of activist academic through attending international conferences and writing blog pieces along the way. To be a part of this world leading Centre brings new opportunities and networks and increased confidence.

Contact: Jane.Alver | at | | @Janealver 


Pierrick Chalaye

Until 2016, I was a teacher in public schools both in France and in Australia. Having read John Dewey’s work on education and democracy and Pierre Bourdieu’s work on social determination when I was a student, I believed that teaching was key for the health of a democratic state and for promoting social justice.

I loved teaching but I could not understand why our education system still maintains discipline and punishment as key values in practice. I thought I would never get the answer to this question as a teacher. Instead, studying political science would help.

I started to apply for a Ph.D. in political science in 2015. Last year, I accepted an offer from the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance in University of Canberra. I thought that doing a PhD was about being alone all the time. I was right! I work a lot by myself but my colleagues have been very welcoming and supportive. I always look forward to meeting them during our weekly philosophical morning tea and share thoughts. 

Contact: Pierrick.Chalaye | at | | @PChalaye


Wendy Conway-Lamb

My background is in climate change and international development. I’ve spent the last several years working for AusAID and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Having been involved with both community-based climate adaptation projects and international level climate policy development, I was interested in how climate change governance and decision-making processes could be more inclusive of those most affected by climate change. That’s what motivated me to apply to do a PhD at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance.

It felt like a big change of gear for me, going from working in a busy Embassy in Hanoi to starting a PhD at UC, so I’ve been really happy to find myself in such a collegiate and supportive atmosphere. PhD candidates are fully integrated into the Centre’s community of excellent academics. There’s a lively schedule of seminars led by colleagues from the Centre and visiting scholars, as well as a great curriculum of graduate forums tailored to IGPA PhD students. The Centre’s weekly morning teas are also not to be missed!

Contact: Wendy.Conway-Lamb | at | | @WendyConwayLamb  


Kei Nishiyama

My original research background was democratic education. I am now researching the role of children in deliberative democracy at this Centre. My research is motivated by my observation that there are few research on the role of children in deliberative democracy. Now, my research has made a great progress because of the invaluable supports of the Centre’s members coming from various research area. They are open-minded and cooperative, and they offered comments, feedbacks, criticisms, and knowledge from different angles. This culture enables me to develop my theoretical as well as empirical perspectives on my research topic.

My research has also gained great benefits from the Centre’s seminar series, summer school, weekly morning tea, and monthly reading group, where we can strengthen and forge new connections with scholars across the globe. These experiences help me not only to develop my academic skills, but also to realise three important things to ‘survive’ the academic world – that is, becoming social, open-minded and enjoying my research.

Contact: Kei.Nishiyama | at | | @KeiNishiyamauc 


Emerson Sanchez

Before commencing my graduate studies, I had over a decade of academic and NGO work experience in teaching, research, and advocacy. The experience strengthened my scholarly and social commitments, making it fitting to do my PhD at the Centre, a hub of renowned academics producing innovative research with a clear transformative agenda.

The Centre provides a holistic PhD program composed of academic, networking, and social activities. I find the Centre's supportive environment to be important in the development of the PhD project at various stages. I participated in numerous seminars and workshops, and a couple of summer schools and conferences organised by the Centre. I got a wide exposure to current work on deliberative democracy and related fields through leading scholars who come to visit the Centre to share their work. We also celebrate academic and personal milestones during our weekly morning tea and social activities outside the Centre.

Contact: Emerson.Sanchez | at | | @SanchezEmersonM